JUDY ALTMAN did her fist play in New York City with John Vaccaro at LaMama. It was a Christmas Play called XXX's. After that a few more off-off Broadway plays and then off to L.A. where she worked in T.V. and Film. and did Stand-up Comedy, a One Woman Show THURSDAY'S CHILD, she wrote and directed at the Players Club and in Paris, France.She also wrote a Play called SEX, also done at the Players Club. She is also proud to be the Great-niece of Fanny Brice.
PENNY ARCADE debuted at 18 in John Vaccaro's explosive Playhouse of the Ridiculous at seventeen. She was a regular at LaMama Etc and an escapee from Andy Warhol’s Factory scene at 20. Penny Arcade (born Susana Ventura) emerged in the 1980s as a primal force on the New York downtown theatre scene and was an originator in solo text based performance art. She grew as both a an improvisor and writer to bring the political and sociological brand of high camp and street-smart rock and roll showmanship she learned at Vaccaro's knee into her own work which has been winning over international audiences ever since. Since 1992 she has collaborated with former architect and video producer Steve Zehentner in all her theatre work and since 1999 they have co-helmed The Lower East Side Biography Project, an oral history video project which broadcasts every Monday at 11pm on Manhattan neighborhood Network. Also a poet and essayist, her writing has been published in numerous newspapers, journals and catalogs: Film Culture, Found Object, Verses That Hurt, Please Kill Me (The Oral History of Punk), Out of Character, Raves, Rants and Monologues from America's Top Performance Artists, Monologues for Women, Monologues for Cold Reading, Writing Your Own Monologues. Bad Reputation a selection of her scripts with essays on her work by Sarah Schulman, Steve Zehentner and Professor Stephen Bottoms was published by Semiotexte in 2010
MICHAEL ARIAN's life and education began when, in 1967 as a 19 year old, he won an ABC Network scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After not being asked back for year two of the scholarship, creative thinking brought him to a job where he met Kenny Hill. Kenita-as he came to be called brought him to La Mama for the first time to see a Jackie Curtis play. Finding it the funniest thing ever-he soon joined the company beginning 18 years of working in NYC and touring all around Europe with The Playhouse of the Ridiculous and La Mama where he had the pleasure of meeting Gabriel Berry. Including work at Theater for a New City, La Mama, Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte and Off-Broadway, he counts his association and touring with Hair in Germany and Spain and the various authors and actors he met here and abroad as being some the best things that ever happened to him all coming out of his association with La Mama and the great Ellen Stewart. It's hard to know where to begin.
DON ARRINGTON first came to LaMaMa in 1970 as a member of Wilford Leach and John Braswell's performance of "The Only Jealousy of Emer" and Stravinsky's "Renard," where he played a tap dancing rooster. The company went on to become the E.T.C. Company of LaMaMa. He first worked with John Vaccaro beginning in 1978 in LaMaMa's CETA program's "Juba," followed by The Judge in Theater for the New City's "La Justice by Ken Bernard" various roles in William Hoffman and John Braden's "A Book of Etiquitte," at LaMaMa; Roslyn Drexler's "Graven Image" with Mink Stole at TNC, Ken Bernard's "Le Fin du Cirque" at LaMaMa , and "The Heart that Eats Itself" at TNC. Through meeting Mel Howard, the first producer of the ETC Company tours, he became company manager for numerous international touring dance and music companies throughout the globe. He is also a composer and playwright, including "Allegros!," "If This Ain't It!," "On the Block," "Without Apparent Motive," produced at LaMaMa, the old WPA and TNC. He is currently working on a play with music, "Cemetery Beach".
JOHN BARILLA is an actor,singer, and voice-over artist who was born and raised in the same small town as John Vaccaro, Steubenville, Ohio. He studied theater at Kent State University and has worked as a professional actor for over 45 years. He was a member of the Playhouse Of The Ridiculous from the mid 70's until it's final days. He recently performed the musical June Cool Alive at Pangea and is working on the play Prague 1912 which will be performed at Theater For The New City this fall directed by George Ferencz.
KENNETH BERNARD is an author, poet and playwright. He has received Guggenheim, Rockefeller, NEA, NEH, NY Creative Artists Public Service, and New York Foundation for the Arts grants. He is the author of eleven books, including the novel From The District File, and Clown at Wall: A Kenneth Bernard Reader. John Vaccaro directed many of Mr Bernard's plays including The Moke Eater, Nite Club, The Magic Show Dr Mag-ico Monkeys of the Organ Grinder, The 60 Minute Queer Show, Fin Du Cirque.
GORDON BRESSACK spent ten years with the Play-House of the Ridiculous playing featured parts in about twenty plays including three European tours, one of which resulted in the entire company being arrested for obscenity. He later went on to become a playwright and a film and television writer earning three Emmy Awards for his work on Animaniacs and Pinky & The Brain. He also won the WGA Award for animation writing. Next month Cargo, the animated film he wrote with his son, comes out on DVD and the play he wrote and directed, Murder, Anyone? is currently running in Los Angeles.