Find of the Day: Harvey Milk’s NYC Acting Career

Flyer for

Flyer for “Three New Plays Directed by Tom O’Horgan” (1965) [La MaMa Catalog UIN: OBJ.1965.0047]

His Wikipedia page doesn’t mention it, his official biography on the Milk Foundation website doesn’t mention it, but the La MaMa archives has proof: Harvey Milk was an actor in New York City before moving to San Francisco and beginning his political career.

These biographies do mention that Milk worked as a production associate on Broadway shows like director Tom O’Horgan’s Hair, but what they miss is that Milk starred in several of O’Horgan’s productions off-off-Broadway at La MaMa, including Changes (1968) and The New OP-ra (1965). Amusingly, on at least one occasion he performed under the pseudonym Basil Farckwart, according to a handwritten note on the flyer to the left.

Below is a photo of Milk (second from left) on stage during the July 1965 production of Three New Plays Directed by Tom O’Horgan.

Harvey Milk (with Marie-Claire Charba, Marlene Fisher, Tom O’Horgan (?) and others) on the set of “…And Now The Weather,” in July, 1965 at La MaMa’s 122 Second Avenue location. Photographer unknown.

Harvey Milk (with Mari-Claire Charba, Marlene Fisher, Tom O’Horgan and others) on the set of “…And Now The Weather,” in July, 1965 at La MaMa’s 122 Second Avenue location. Photographer unknown.