Playwright and AIDS activist, James Carroll Pickett, was the co-founder and Executive Director of Artists Confronting AIDS (ACA). He is best known for his plays Bathhouse Benediction, Dream Man and Queen of Angels, which have been produced in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, Portland, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Dusseldorf, Edinburgh and London. Pickett received an LA Weekly Humanitarian Theatre Award for his work with Artists Confronting AIDS, as well as for his work as a founder and producer of the Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (STAGE) Benefits for AIDS Project Los Angeles.
Pickett was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1949, and raised on the family farm in Shelby County. After briefly living in New York and San Francisco, Pickett settled in Los Angeles in 1973. He began writing plays and acting and getting involved in the Los Angeles theater scene. His most active period in playwriting began in 1984 with Bathhouse Benediction, for which he received a Drama-Logue Award for Playwriting. In addition, he wrote and co-produced the docudrama AIDS/US and AIDS/US II, for which he received a Media Award from the Alliance for Gay and Lesbian Artists.
In the early 1990s, Pickett was a Writer in Residence at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, and taught theater classes and headed the Thursday Night Playwrights Workshop. From 1987 to 1990, Pickett produced the monthly Gay Writers Series for A Different Light Bookstore in Los Angeles. He curated "3 Gay Sons Read on Father's Day" at Highways Performance Space; "(This is Not) An AIDS Reading" for Words Project for AIDS at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre; and "3 Gay Writers for Life" for the Otis-Parsons Art & AIDS Exhibition.
Pickett died of complications from AIDS on July 4, 1994.
Box 1, Folder 1, James Carroll Pickett Papers, Coll2013-058, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.