Warhol Superstar Ronald Tavel
Warhol Superstar Ronald Tavel was born on May 17, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York. Tavel wrote the screenplays for many of Warhol’s early films, such as Vinyl, Kitchen and Chelsea Girls, as well as Warhol’s first “Screen Test” film. After graduating from University of Wyoming with a masters degree in creative writing, Tavel became a prolific and greatly talented writer for both film and stage. He won an Obie Award (also known as an Off-Broadway Theater award) in 1969 for his dramatic musical, Boy On the Straight-Back Chair.
In regard to giving screenplays to Warhol, Tavel said, “His instincts were so strong. He could depend on them. They seldom failed him… I handed him the script and he said you do it, Ronnie. I was slowly becoming aware that I was one of the people Warhol was studying.”
Tavel went on to fund The Theatre of Ridiculousness in New York. The Theatre of Ridiculousness presented most of his plays and were produced and directed by John Vaccaro, Harvey Tavel and Charles Ludlam. He also became the Artist-In-Residence at the Divinity School of Yale University in 1975. Tavel wrote multiple plays at Yale, including Bigfoot and Gazelle Boy. He became the first Playwright-In-Residence at Cornell University in 1980.
Tavel passed away on March 23, 2009, on a return flight from Bangkok.