Sean Edgecomb: Charles Ludlam Lives

Monday, November 27, 2017 - 5:00pm

The Drama Book Shop is pleased to welcome Sean Edgecomb to celebrate the release of his book Charles Ludlam Lives! on Monday, November 27th at 5:00pmCopies of Mr. Edgecomb's book will be available for purchase, and the discussion will be followed by a signing. Admission is free and open to the public. The event is free and open to the public.

Playwright, actor and director Charles Ludlam (1943–1987) helped to galvanize the Ridiculous style of theater in New York City starting in the 1960s.  Decades after his death, his place in the chronicle of American theater has remained constant, but his influence has changed.  Although his Ridiculous Theatrical Company shut its doors, the Ludlamesque Ridiculous has continued to thrive and remain a groundbreaking genre, maintaining its relevance and potency by metamorphosing along with changes in the LGBTQ community.  
Author Sean F. Edgecomb focuses on the neo-Ridiculous artists Charles Busch, Bradford Louryk, and Taylor Mac to trace the connections between Ludlam’s legacy and their performances, using alternative queer models such as kinetic kinship, lateral historiography, and a new approach to camp. Charles Ludlam Lives!, published by University of Michigan Press,  demonstrates that the queer legacy of Ludlam is one of distinct transformation—one where artists can reject faithful interpretations in order to move in new interpretive directions.

Sean F. Edgecomb is Assistant Professor of Theatre, College of Staten Island, City University of New York.

The Drama Book Shop is located at 250 West 40th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. A Tony Honoree for Excellence in Theatre, the historic shop is currently celebrating its 100th Annivesary Year. Events are free and open to the public. To learn more, or browse the shop's online bookshelves, visit


“Sean Edgecomb thinks beyond pre- and post-Stonewall definitions of camp (without neglecting their significance) to argue that camp not only persists but remains a relevant tactic of transformational queer performance. Charles Ludlam Lives! is a smart, beautifully written book that will make a lasting contribution to gay and lesbian performance history.”
—Shane Vogel, Indiana University
“Charles Ludlam would be thrilled—just as he toyed with and overturned the conventions of popular theatre, this book playfully and brilliantly queers performance scholarship in its exploration of Ridiculous legacies. Edgecomb’s research is adventurous, and the writing is lively and compelling. Most importantly, the central figures, Charles Ludlam, Charles Busch, Bradford Louryk, and Taylor Mac, receive the full diva treatment they deserve.” —James Wilson, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

Event date: 

Monday, November 27, 2017 - 5:00pm

Event address: 

The Drama Book Shop, Inc
250 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018-1511