Charles Braun Ludlam (April 12, 1943 - May 28, 1987) was an American actor, director, and playwright. Ludlam joined John Vaccaro's Play-House of the Ridiculous, and after a falling out, became founder of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company in New York City in 1967. His first plays were inchoate exercises: however, starting with Bluebeard he began to write more structured works, which, though they were pastiches of gothic novels, Lorca, Shakespeare, Wagner, popular culture, old movies, and anything else that might get a laugh, had more serious import. Theater critic Brendan Gill after seeing one of Ludlam's plays famously remarked, "This isn't farce. This isn't absurd. This is absolutely ridiculous!". Yet on his own work Ludlam had commented: I would say that my work falls into the classical tradition of comedy. Over the years there have been certain traditional approaches to comedy. As a modern artist you have to advance the tradition. I want to work within the tradition so that I don't waste my time trying to establish new conventions. You can be very original within the established conventions. Ludlam usually appeared in his plays (particularly noted for his female roles), and had written one of the first plays to deal (though tangentially) with HIV infection. dressing, rights to perform the play include a Ludlam was diagnosed with AIDS in March 1987. He died a month later of PCP pneumonia in St. Vincent's Hospital, New York. The street in front of his theatre in Sheridan Square was renamed "Charles Ludlam Lane" in his honor. In 2009, Ludlam was inducted posthumously into the American Theater Hall of Fame. (Wikipedia)
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As founder of the innovative Ridiculous Theatrical Company, Ludlam stretched the boundaries of stage art, introducing a radical energy and spontaneity to the form. Each of the 30 plays in this collection, many of which are previously unpublished, fascinate the reader with their unyielding originality, frenetic action, controversial and hilarious commentary on everything from history to social mores, vivid characterization, and often absurd stage directions. Both difficult and delightful, Ludlam's written work leaves the reader yearning to see his strange little universes come alive on stage. With Ludlam's brilliant career stopped in mid-stride by his 1987 death from AIDS, these plays are important in preserving and transmitting his odd genius, in validating the positive if sometimes preposterous results of a risk-taking not often seen in contemporary American theatrical productions.
- Jean Keleher, Wally Findlay Galleries Lib., Chicago
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harpercollins, 1989. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060963999
Book Description Harpercollins, 1989. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060963999
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800609639961.0