Charles Ludlam and the Ridiculous Theatrical Company
Critical Analyses of 29 Plays
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About the Book
In the late 1960s, Charles Ludlam (1943–1987) brought his unique brand of theatre to New York audiences. Based in part on traditional comic characters, his “ridiculous” school included such inspirations as Hollywood B movies, camp, drag, and opera. His shows were also a study in self-collaboration; Ludlam acted as playwright, director, designer, and actor in his own Off Broadway theatre—the Ridiculous Theatrical Company.
Critically, Ludlam’s works were often overlooked or misunderstood, and since his death The Mystery of Irma Vep is the only one of his 29 plays consistently performed in regional theatres. This work provides an overview of Ludlam’s life, explores the theatrical underpinnings of his work and goes on to cover the entire Ludlam canon. The book includes examinations of such plays as Le Bourgeois Avant-Garde, Bluebeard, Galas and Stage Blood. It concludes with a look at Ludlam’s work in the 1980s when he focused on presenting new plays, many of them original farces.
About the Author(s)
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010 
Table of Contents
1. Charles Ludlam in the Beginning 9
2. Roots of Ridiculosity 17
3. Ridiculosity in Theory 41
4. Ridiculosity in Practice 65
5. The Ridiculous Plays, Part One: 1967–1979 83
6. The Ridiculous Plays, Part Two: 1980–1986 117
7. Charles Ludlam at the End 159
Appendix: Manifesto: Ridiculous Theater, Scourge of Human Folly (by Charles Ludlam) 167
Book Reviews & Awards
“provides an overview of Ludlam’s life, exploring the theatrical underpinnings of his work and then the whole Ludlam canon”—Reference & Research Book News.