Between the mid-1980s and 2000, the Foundation pursued an oral history program, locating as many friends and colleagues of Weill and Lenya as possible and seeking to interview them. Both audio recordings (now mostly digitized from the original cassettes) and transcriptions are typically available to researchers (Series 60).
Over 50 substantial interviews were recorded and transcribed during that time; some subjects sat for more than one. In most cases, Foundation staff conducted the interviews, while some were conducted by others, such as Lenya’s biographer Donald Spoto or journalist Alan Rich. For convenience, interviews with Lenya are also filed here, though they were not made under Foundation auspices. The interviewees include: Maurice Abravanel, Hesper Anderson, Margot Aufricht, Phoebe Brand and Morris Carnovsky, Milton Caniff, Carmen Capalbo, Agnes de Mille, Todd Duncan, Nanette Fabray, S. Neil Fujita, Helen Hayes, Hans Heinsheimer, Ann Jeffreys, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Michael Kidd, Robert Lewis, Burgess Meredith, Harold Prince, Ann Ronell, H.H. Stuckenschmidt, Arnold Sundgaard, Lys Symonette, Virgil Thomson, and several members of Weill’s family.