Shower and the Life of Juanita Castro at Coda Gallery. Jack Smith.

Shower and the Life of Juanita Castro at Coda Gallery

New York: Coda Gallery, [1965]. Photocopied flyer. 8 1/2 x 11 in. Near fine. Item #6064

Poster designed by Jack Smith promoting the first Theatre of the Ridiculous production, which was funded by Andy Warhol and hosted at the Coda Gallery.

The event included two new plays written by Ronald Tavel and directed by John Vaccaro, with costumes designed by Terry Cloth, music by Tony Conrad, and stage management by Angus Maclise. One of the productions, The Life of Juanita Castro, was later released as an Andy Warhol film. The other play, Shower, starred Beverly Grant, who also appeared in Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures.

The Theatre of the Ridiculous was a experimental performance group in New York founded by John Vacarro, Ronald Tavel, and Charles Ludlam, and characterized by surrealist stage sets and queer camp. The group included non-professional actors, cross-gender casting, and pop culture parody. Many of their productions were performed at La MaMa Experimental Theater Club.

Ronald Tavel’s tagline for the Theatre of the Ridiculous is printed on the flyer and sums up the event succinctly, “We have passed beyond the absurd: our position is absolutely preposterous”.

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