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50 Years of Theatre of the Ridiculous

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May 15, 2017
May 15, 2017
Segal Theatre

Photo courtesy of the artists

Monday, May 15
Segal Theatre
Introduction by Sean F. Edgecomb, College of Staten Island, CUNY
Readings + Conversation with Everett Quinton, et al.
+ 5:00pm

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

50 years ago in New York City, the Theatre of the Ridiculous movement as a theatrical genre started in in 1965 with The Play-House of the Ridiculous, the spin-off group The Ridiculous Theatrical Company formed in 1967.

The Theatre of the Ridiculous made a break with the dominant trends in theatre of naturalistic acting and realistic settings and brought elements of queer/camp performance to avant-garde theatre. Cross-gender casting was common, scenarios improvised, and players often recruited from non-professional sources, such as drag queens or other “street stars.” In a reference to Martin Esslin’s concept of a theatre of the absurd, in 1965, Ronald Tavel promoted the first “Ridiculous” performances with the one-line manifesto: “We have passed beyond the absurd: our position is absolutely preposterous.”

With Theatre of the Ridiculous company members Everett Quinton, Brian Belovitch, Beth Dodye BassJulia Campanelli, Geraldine Dulex, Eureka, Jim Freeman, Chris Johnson, Lenys Sama, Kevin Scullin, and Jenne Vath.

Evening Program

Introduction by
Sean F. Edgecomb, College of Staten Island, CUNY

Excerpted play readings:
Conquest of the Universe or When Queens Collide by Charles Ludlam
Turds in Hell by Charles Ludlam and Bill Vehr
Grand Tarot by Charles Ludlam

Afternoon Screening

5:00pm Tabu Tableaux
Edited clips from Ridiculous Theatrical Company 60 min


Photo courtesy of the artist

Everett Quinton made his stage debut in  the 1976  RIDICULOUS THEATRICAL COMPANY’S production of Charles Ludlam’s CAPRICE.  After that Everett became a member of the company and over 21 years appeared in about 100 productions including:  BLUEBEARD, CAMILLE, TURDS IN HELL, SALAMMBO, and LOVE’S TANGLED WEB among others.  Everett became Artistic Director of the company in 1987 after Charles Ludlam’s untimely passing. Everett is now a freelance actor and director.  He has appeared with The Penguin Rep, RedBull Theater, Yorick Theater, The Arizona Theater Co., The San Jose Rep, to name a few.

Sean F. Edgecomb is Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Department of
Performing and Creative Arts at the College of Staten Island, City University of
New York. He also teaches into the Ph.D program in Theatre and Performance
at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Prior to joining CUNY, he served as the Assistant
Professor of Theatre and the Director of the Bachelor of Creative Arts at The
University of Queensland, Australia. His articles and essays have appeared in
Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, Popular Entertainment Studies, and The Gay and
Lesbian Review Worldwide. He is the author of the forthcoming book Charles
Ludlum Lives! Charles Busch, Bradford Louryk, Taylor Mac, and the Queer Legacy of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company (University of Michigan Press, 2017).






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