John Vaccaro, American theatre director, Died at 86


John Vaccaro was born on December 6, 1929, in Steubenville, Ohio and died on August 7, 2016.

He was an American theatre director.

Following his service in the U.S. Navy from 1951-1955, and receiving a B.A. in English from Ohio State University in 1961, he moved to New York City and became involved in the underground art and film community of the early sixties.

He acted in Jack Smith’s Normal Love and Flaming Creatures, and performing in the “Happenings” of Robert Whitman and Walter DeMaria, Vaccaro founded the Play-House of the Ridiculous in the summer of 1965.

Previous collaborators and playwrights in this community included Ronald Tavel, Charles Ludlam and Kenneth Bernard.

During 1967, during preparatory work for a production of Ludlam’s play Conquest of the Universe, or When Queens Collide Vaccaro and Ludlam came to a disagreement and split into competing companies (Vaccaro retained the Play-House of the Ridiculous; Ludlam founded the Ridiculous Theatrical Company).

His productions were staged at the Coda Gallery, La Mama ETC, the Gotham Art Theater, Max’s Kansas City, The American Place Theater, and other Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway venues in New York.

During 1970, Vaccaro had received a special citation OBIE award.

John Vaccaro passes away at 86 years old.