Partner Forman Brown
Turnabout Theatre, 716 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Turnabout House, 1141 N El Centro Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038, USA
Along with Yale Puppeteers Harry Burnett and Richard "Roddy" Brandon (October 6, 1904 – May 4, 1985) (Brown's lifelong lover), Forman Brown launched Turnabout Theatre in 1941 as "a vehicle for performing both puppet plays and revues for adults." Turnabout Theatre was a highly popular puppetry venue until its dissolution in 1956. Reversible seats were installed in the theatre so that after the puppet shows were performed at one end of the auditorium, the puppeteers asked the audience to "turnabout" their seats for the Turnabout revue staged at the opposite end of the auditorium.
Richard Brandon was born Brandon Frederick Rhodehamel in Pittsburgh. In his WWII draft card, he indicated Harry Burnett as his partner. In 1933, Brown wrote Better Angel, under the pseudonym Richard Meeker, about a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality. The novel is regarded as "the first American novel to present the 'gay' experience in a healthy light." When it was reprinted in 1995, thinking that the author was no more alive, Brown stepped forward and acknowledge the novel was heavily autobiographic: the main character, Kurt, was the same Forman Brown; one of the main character's love interests, Derry, was Brown's cousin, Harry Burnett; Kurt's main love interest, David, was Richard Brandon; another of Kurt's lovers, Tony, was actor Alexander Kirkland.
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