Cast Complete for Charles Ludlam's CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE at La MaMa
CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE - which marked the birth of the The Ridiculous Theatrical Company, co-founded by the late groundbreaking playwright and performer Charles Ludlam in 1967 - will return on the occasion of the play and the company's 50th anniversary with a production, starring and directed by Everett Quinton, a long-standing member of RTC who assumed leadership as Artistic Director when Mr. Ludlam died 30 years ago, in 1987.
With previews starting November 2 prior to an official press opening on Monday, November 6 at 8pm, CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE OR WHEN QUEENS COLLIDE is presented by La MaMa in association with Howl Arts at the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4 St.) in Manhattan.
CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE is an epic collage inspired by Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great that is as outrageous and timely today as it was when first performed in 1967. It's a futuristic tale of war across the universe. Tamburlaine, President of Earth, proceeds from planet to planet, capturing and enslaving Bajazeth and Zabina-King and Queen of Mars-Venus, and Natolia, Queen of Saturn, among others. Cosroe - a Martian prince and twin brother of Zabina - leads the rebel forces against Tamberlaine in Ludlam's mind-bending experimental classic, his theater of "sexual, imperialistic war." Literary, film, and dramatic treasures are ransacked and pillaged, resulting in hilarious dialogue and multiple plots in this original, humorous tale of unbridled space queens!
The play embodies Mr. Ludlam's core belief, and the mandate for The Ridiculous Theatrical Company: that every play/production was an experiment. According to Mr. Quinton, even Ludlam's breakout 'commercial' success - THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP, a long-running hit at the Sheridan Square Theatre - was totally abstract and as such, an experiment. Mr. Quinton adds that RTC and its trademark outlandishness resulted as a reaction to the cultural upheaval of the 50's and 60's and the perceived Fascism during that time.
"There was much to rage at in the 60's," Mr. Quinton states. "And the theater of rage often made good company with the high comedy."
Now complete, the CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE cast includes: Everett Quinton, Géraldine Dulex, Beth Dodye Bass, Grant Neale, Jeanne lauren Smith, John Gutierrez, Lenys Samá, Sommer Carbuccia, Shane Baker, Brian Belovitch and Eugene the Poogene.
Performances run November 2 through 19: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM; Sunday at 4:00 PM and Monday, Nov. 6th at 8:00 PM. at The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La Mama, 66 E. 4th St., NYC. All tickets: $30; $25 students and seniors. To purchase, visit: www.lamama.org or call OvationTix at 212-352-3101.
Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 3pm; Ellen Stewart Theatre - free/suggested donation
La MaMa's educational performance series exploring the history and development of Off-Off Broadway will look at the groundbreaking Ridiculous Theatrical Company and the work of its co-founder actor, playwright and director, Charles Ludlam.
Charles Ludlam was an American actor, director, and playwright. Ludlam joined John Vaccaro's Play-House of the Ridiculous, and after a falling out, became one of the founders of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company in New York City in 1967. He taught or staged productions at New York University, Connecticut College for Women, Yale University, and Carnegie Mellon University. He won fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller and Ford Foundations and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts. He won six Obie Awards, the Rosamund Gilder Award for distinguished achievement in the theater in 1986 and in 2009, Ludlam was inducted posthumously into the American Theater Hall of Fame. He wrote nearly 30 plays, some of which include: Turds in Hell, an adaptation of The Satyricon (1969); Bluebeard (1970), an adaptation of H. G. Wells's The Island of Dr Moreau; Corn (1972); Camille (1973); Der Ring Gott Farblonjet (1977), an adaptation of The Ring Cycle; The Enchanted Pig (1979); Exquisite Torture (1982); The Mystery of Irma Vep (1984); Galas (1983), inspired by the life of Maria Callas; and The Artificial Jungle (1986)
Everett Quinton recently directed Charles Ludlam's, THE ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE with Theater Breaking Through Barriers. Everett also directed IN THE BAR OF A TOKYO HOTEL by Tennessee Willliams with Theater 292 and THE WINTER'S TALE by William Shakespeare with Yorick Theater. As an actor Everett recently appeared as Enobarbus and one of five Cleopatras in Shakespeare's ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. Everett also appeared as Paulina and Autolycus in THE WINTER'S TALE, and Idris Seabright in DROP DEAD PERFECT, to name a few. Everett is a long time member of THE Ridiculous Theatrical Company where he appeared in Charles Ludlam's CAMILLE, BLUEBEARD AND THE SECRET LIVES OF THE SEXISTS. Georg Osterman's DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and BROTHER TRUCKERS. As well as his own plays, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, LINDA AND CARMEN.
La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. The organization has a worldwide reputation for producing daring performance works that defy form and transcend barriers of ethnic and cultural identity. Founded in 1961 by award-winning theatre pioneer Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has presented more than 5,000 productions by 150,000 artists from more than 70 nations. A recipient of more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, La MaMa has helped launch the careers of countless artists, many of whom have made important contributions to American and international arts milieus. Its 56th season reflects the urgency of reaffirming human interconnectedness. Our stages will embrace diversity in every form and present artists that persevere with bold self-expression despite social, economic, and political struggle. Visit www.lamama.org for more information.