What piece of art changed your life? How did it affect you?
The piece of art that changed my life was seeing Charles Ludlam getting ready to be Marguerite Gautier. He was in dress rehearsal for a benefit for The Ridiculous Theatrical Company called Taboo Tableaux. It was eleven different scenes from the previous shows the company had done. At this point, Charles Ludlam and I were partners, but I had never seen him perform. I was backstage before the final scene and watched Charles put on make-up for act III of Camille. It was at that exact moment I knew there was a place for me in this world—for a queer actor. Three months later, I made my acting debut in Caprice.
Everett Quinton directs The Mystery of Irma Vep—the off-off-Broadway smash written by Charles Ludlam—at Everyman Theatre through Dec. 13th. Quinton and Ludlam won Obies for Irma Vep ("Best Ensemble Performance") in 1985. The costume changes alone are worth the price of admission.
[photo of Ludlam (above, at left) courtesy Everett Quinton]