Mar 30, 2024

Coffeehouse Chronicles #174: Lola Pashalinski, star of Theater of the Ridiculous

Coffeehouse Chronicles #174: Lola Pashalinski

Curated by Michal Gamily
Moderated by Jim Nicola
Panelists and Performers: Black Eyed Susan, Ain Gordon, Linda Chapman, Nicky Paraiso, John Kelly, Vivian Stein, Gregory Mehrten, Peggy Shaw, Doug Wright, Moe Angelos, Alyce Dissette, Madison Fiedler, and Lola Pashalinski
a black arrow pointing downward

Lola Pashalinski is a founding member of The Ridiculous Theatrical Company, with Charles Ludlam, where she created 17 roles in 13 years, including those in Blue Beard, Stage Blood, and Camille. She received two Obie Awards for her work with the company, in Corn and Der Ring Gott Farblonjet. Since leaving the company in 1980, Lola has worked with the foremost stage directors and writers including: Lee Breuer in The Tempest at The New York Shakespeare Festival, and the gender reversed Lear with Ruth Maleczech; Robert Wilson in Medea at The Kennedy Center; Richard Foreman in Egyptology and Film Is Evil, Radio Is Good; Joanne Akalaitis in The Photographer at BAM’s Next Wave Festival and The Screens at The Guthrie Theatre; Anne Bogart in The Women at Hartford Stage; for David Gordon in The Mysteries And What’s So Funny at Lincoln Center’s Serious Fun Festival, The Firebugs at The Guthrie, and Punch And Judy Get Divorced; for Neil Bartlett in Twelfth Night at The Goodman Theatre, playing Sir Toby Belch; Art, Life & Show-Biz and Birdseed Bundles by Ain Gordon; Brian Kulick in A Dybbuk, adapted by Tony Kushner; Les Waters in Charles Mee’s Wintertime; and Irene
Lewis in The Skin Of Our Teeth at NYSF. She co-wrote and performed Gertrude and Alice: A Likeness To Loving, with life partner Linda Chapman, directed by Anne Bogart, receiving her third Obie in 2000. She performed on Broadway in Fortune’s Fool with the late Alan Bates and Frank Langella, directed by Arthur Penn; and has performed in theatres throughout the country including New York Theatre Workshop in Doug Wright’s Quills; The Portland Stage Co. playing Lady Bracknell; and at Playwrights Horizons, Baltimore Center Stage, Pittsburg Public Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, The McCarter Theatre and Yale Repertory Theatre. Most recently she reprieved her role as Gertrude Stein in John Kelly’s Underneath The Skin. Lola appears in numerous films including Mary Harron’s I Shot Andy Warhol, Peter Sellar’s The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez, Ironweed, Godzilla, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close directed by Stephen Daldry. Television appearances include 30 Rock directed by Steve Buscemi.

Curated by Michal Gamily
Moderated by Jim Nicola
Panelists and Performers: Black Eyed Susan, Ain Gordon, Linda Chapman, Nicky Paraiso, John Kelly, Vivian Stein, Gregory Mehrten, Peggy Shaw, Doug Wright, Moe Angelos, Alyce Dissette, Madison Fiedler, and Lola Pashalinski

James Nicola has been the Artistic Director of New York Theater Workshop for more than thirty years.  Prior to NYTW, he served at Arena Stage, New York Shakespeare Festival and TCG. As a director, his work was sometimes seen at the WPA Theater, and but mostly he spent many hours libating with the legendary, inspiring community of downtown artists at Phebe’s.

AIN GORDON is a three-time Obie Award-winning writer/director/actor, two-time NYFA recipient, Guggenheim Fellow, and Creative Capital Awardee. Gordon’s work often sources forgotten/marginalized history, framing the obscured figures within. His work has been presented at BAM Next Wave, Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York Theatre Workshop, Performance Space 122/PSNY, HERE Arts Center, 651 Arts, Dance Theater Workshop/NYLA, The Public Theater (all NYC); and Flynn Center (VT), Krannert Center (IL), Wexner Center (OH), International Festival of Ats & Ideas (CT), George St Playhouse (NJ), Center for the Art of Performance/UCLA, Quick Center (CT), Arizona Arts Live, Williams College (MA), Boston University (MA), Diverseworks (TX), and the Mark Taper Forum (CA) among many others. Director of Pick Up Performance Co since 1992.

Founding President, Youth Arts New York
Co-Director, Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award Program 2023
Associate Artistic Director, New York Theatre Workshop 1995-2020
Co-wrote The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, adapted from Ann Bannon’s classic w/Kate Moira Ryan, published by DPS
Co-wrote/performed Gertrude and Alice: A Likeness to Loving, w/Lola Pashalinski
Founding producer, DYKE TV/DTV Productions
Managing Director/Associate member of The Wooster Group 1983-94 and performed in Brace Up
Administrator - Theater For The New City

GREG MEHRTEN is a two-time OBIE Award-winning actor, director and playwright who has been active in Downtown theater, film, video and radio productions since 1975. His work has been seen across five continents, and he is currently an artistic associate of The Wooster Group and a senior artistic adviser at Mabou Mines.

DOUG WRIGHT Broadway Plays: Good Night, Oscar and I Am My Own Wife.  Broadway Musicals (Libretto): War Paint, Hands on a Hardbody, The Little Mermaid, Grey Gardens.  Off-Broadway: Posterity, Unwrap Your Candy, On Facebook, and Quills. Movies (Screenplay) Quills, The Burial. Awards: Pulitzer Prize, Tony, Obie, Drama Desk,  Glaad Media Award, Lambda Literary Award, Paul Selwin Award from the Writers Guild of America, Golden Globe nomination and others.  Service:  Boards of New York Theater Workshop, The Hermitage Artists Retreat, and the Dramatists Guild Foundation.  Former President of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Moe Angelos is a theatre artist and writer. She's one of the Five Lesbian Brothers and has been a member of the Wow Café up the block since 1981. Moe works with The Builders Association and has been a mentor in Queer/Art/Mentorship. Now, she's developing a piece with the Builders about artificial intelligence and its invisible influences on the democratic process, which is a lot more entertaining than it sounds. By day, she works on scenic painting crews, helping make Hollywood dreams come true. She is a devoted Lola superfan!

Madison Fiedler is a playwright living in Brooklyn. Recent work includes SPAY (Concord Theatricals, 2024) and THIS IS WHAT THE DAYS ARE (Bedlam’s 2024 Do More: New Work series).

Coffeehouse Chronicles


Coffeehouse Chronicles is an educational performance series exploring the history of Off-Off-Broadway. Part artist-portrait, part history lesson, and part community forum, Coffeehouse Chronicles take an intimate look at the development of downtown theatre, from the 1960s’ “Coffeehouse Theatres” through today.

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