Charles Ludlam's Theatrical World Examined in Feb. 5 Discussion

News   Charles Ludlam's Theatrical World Examined in Feb. 5 Discussion The life and works of the late Charles Ludlam, the playwright and actor who founded The Ridiculous Theatrical Company, will be explored during a panel discussion Feb. 5 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Entitled Not So Ridiculous: The Theatrical World of Charles Ludlam, the afternoon at the Bruno Walter Auditorium will feature Ridiculous Theatrical Company veteran Lola Pashalinski, theatre critic and Ludlam’s biographer David Kaufman, Argentinean visual artist and photographer Leandro Katz, and "glitter" artist Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt. Joe E. Jeffreys, a theatre studies teacher at New York University and Stony Brook University, will be the moderator of the discussion, which begins at 3 PM. Playwright-director-actor Charles Ludlam died in 1987 of AIDS at the age of 44. By the time of his death, he had overseen for two decades the creative output of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, the outrageous and influential troupe he founded in New York City in 1967. Ludlam penned most of the plays which RTC produced, including such noteworthy successes as Bluebeard, Camille and The Mystery of Irma Vep. The company's productions were known for their outlandish brand of camp melodrama and gender bending performances. Ludlam typically starred, often in drag and in fantastical, over-the-top costumes and make-up.

"Bedlam Days: The Early Plays of Charles Ludlam and The Ridiculous Theatrical Company" will be on display at the Library for the Performing Arts through March 5. The exhibit features 67 photographs by Leandro Katz, who documented Ludlam's productions. The Library’s Billy Rose Theatre Collection houses Ludlam’s papers, scripts, and notebooks.

The New York Public Library's Bruno Walter Auditorium is located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. Admission to the event is free; seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.