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John Vaccaro
(? - living) U.S.A.

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Director, actor

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(Often misspelled Vacarro) John changed the face of American theatre founding his performance group The Play-House of The Ricidulous, New York's seminal queer, glitter/glam, rock and roll, political theatre that influenced everyone from Jack Smith, to Andy Warhol, to Charles Ludlam, to The Cockettes, to Hair, to David Bowie, to The Rocky Horror Show.

The Play-House of the Ridiculous had started in 1965 from a Factory reject, Shower, and a recycled screenplay, The Life of Juanita Castro, both of them written by Ron Tavel and directed by John Vaccaro. By the fall of 1967, Ridiculous theater had become so fertile and successful that it had split into three groups that defined the terms of separation, the important issues.

John and lover
John (right) in 1971 with one of lis lovers, a German hustler.

The Play-House of the Ridiculous opened in their new Seventeenth Street Theater on April 21, 1966, with a double bill of Tavel's new play, The Life of Lady Godiva and a revival of The Life of Juanito Castro.

John Vaccaro said:

"Charles [Ludlam] was very interested in promoting homosexuality and I wasn't. I didn't think of drag as homosexual. Did they think it was homosexual in Shakespeare? In Kabuki?" We didn't want a drag show. It was the idea of sexual duality and interchangeability. I like burlesque but I don't like 'he/she/it'."
Although both Vaccaro and Warhol were trying to "liberate" performers for a new kind of acting, Vaccaro's complete involvement was the opposite of Andy Warhol's complete passivity.

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