May 17, 1936|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||March 23, 2009
Aboard a flight from Berlin, Germany to Bangkok, Thailand
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Alma mater||Brooklyn College
University of Wyoming
|Occupation||Novelist, poet, screenwriter, director, actor|
|Relatives||Harvey Tavel, Norman R. Glick|
Early life and career
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Tavel graduated from Brooklyn College and later attended the University of Wyoming, where he earned a Master's degree in creative writing in 1959. Tavel worked as a screenwriter during the 1960s for many of Andy Warhol's underground films including Chelsea Girls. Tavel worked with other members of Warhol's Factory crowd, including Freddie Herko, Ondine, Mary Woronov, Billy Name, and Brigid Berlin. He also received the Obie Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theater in 1969, for the musical drama Boy On the Straight-Back Chair.
Tavel later founded, named, and was heavily involved with the Playhouse of the Ridiculous, a New York City theatre presenting works produced and directed by John Vaccaro, Harvey Tavel, and Charles Ludlam. Tavel provided the one-sentence manifesto for The Theatre of the Ridiculous: "We have passed beyond the Absurd: our position is absolutely preposterous."
In 1975, Tavel was appointed Artist-in-Residence to The Yale University Divinity School for his contributions to formal theology and religious theatre (notably, the Obie-Award winning play Bigfoot). In 1977, he was re-appointed to that position for the three-act play Gazelle Boy.
In 1980, he was appointed the First Playwright-in-Residence at Cornell University where he was commissioned to write the melodrama, The Understudy, directed and designed by Michael Hillyer, which starred a young Jimmy Smits. In 1986, Tavel was appointed Distinguished Visiting Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at The University of Colorado at Boulder.
- Chelsea Girls (1966)
- Hedy (1966)
- Kitchen (1965)
- The Life of Juanita Castro (1965) as the Stage Manager and on-screen director
- Poor Little Rich Girl (1965)
- Horse (1965) as Illuminary
- Space (1965)
- Screen Test #1 (1965) as off-screen interrogator
- Screen Test #2 (1965) as off-screen interrogator
- Vinyl (1965)
- Harlot (1964)
- Hevesi, Dennis (2009-03-27). "Ronald Tavel, Proudly Ridiculous Writer, Dies at 72". nytimes.com. Retrieved 23 October 2011.