Lola Pashalinski

Lola Pashalinski is an American theatre artist known for her work as a founding member of Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company.

Early life

She was born Regina Hirsch in Brooklyn, New York.[1] Her father was an insurance salesman.

Pashalinski spent her young adulthood "bounc[ing] around from odd job to odd job 'mostly in publishing' and briefly attended college before dropping out."[2]


Pashalinski became involved in theatre as an assistant director with John Vaccaro's Playhouse of the Ridiculous, a resident company at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, during the 1960s. She left the Playhouse of the Ridiculous with Ludlam when he and John Vaccarro had a disagreement during rehearsals for Conquest of the Universe in 1967.[3]

Ludlam then founded his Ridiculous Theatrical Company, and Pashalinski was a founding member, working with the company from its establishment in 1967 until 1980.[1] During those years, she appeared in 17 of the company's productions,[2] including as Lola Lola in Corn (1973), Brunhilde in Der Ring Gott Farblonjet (1977),[4] and Miss Cubbish in Bluebeard (1970).[5] Black-Eyed Susan, Mario Montez, Bill Vehr, and John Brockmeyer also performed in that production of Bluebeard, which took place at La MaMa. Mary Brecht and Leandro Katz did design for the production.[6] She also performed alongside Black-Eyed Susan, Brockmeyer, and Ethyl Eichelberger in Eichelberger's Phedre and Oedipus at La MaMa in 1977.[7]

After leaving the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, Pashalinski appeared in a range of theatrical productions and in film and television. In 1981, she played the jester Trinculo in The Tempest, directed by Lee Breuer at Central Park's Delacorte Theater.[8] She then worked with Richard Foreman, appearing in his 1983 production of Egyptology (My Head Was a Sledgehammer) at The Public Theater and his 1987 production of Film is Evil, Radio Is Good[9] at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.[10] She also worked with David Gordon, appearing in his 1992 production of The Mysteries And What's So Funny at the Joyce Theater, his 1996 production of Punch and Judy Get Divorced,[11] and his 1983 collaboration with JoAnne Akalitis, The Photographer, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.[12] She performed in Tom Eyen's Give My Regards to Off-Off-Broadway at La MaMa in 1987.[13]

She also appeared in film and television, including as the psychiatrist in Mary Harron's I Shot Andy Warhol,[14] as Narc in Peter Sellar's The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez,[15] as Mona Black in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,[16] as Hedy Wormenhoven on One Life to Live,[2] and in smaller roles in All Good Things,[17] a remake of Godzilla, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, and The Equalizer.[2]

In 1999, she and her partner Linda Chapman performed in a play they wrote called Gertrude & Alice: A Likeness to Loving, based on the relationship between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.[18] "I've always loved Gertrude Stein and felt that as a gay woman, I understood her in a way that many biographers did not," Pashalinski told journalist Simi Horowitz for a profile published in Backstage in 2005. "I wanted to explode the myth of what Stein was about... and the play gave me the chance to work with Linda."[2]


Pashalinski won Obie Awards for Distinguished Performance by an Actress for her performances in the Ridiculous Theatrical Company productions Corn (1973) and Der Ring Gott Farblonjet (1977), and for her performance in Gertrude & Alice (2000).[19]


1970BluebeardMiss Cubbish
1973CornLola LolaObie Award For Distinguished Performance by an Actress
1977Der Ring Gott FarblonjetBrunhildeObie Award For Distinguished Performance by an Actress
1981The TempestTrinculo
1983Egyptology (My Head Was a Sledgehammer)nurse
1987Film is Evil, Radio Is GoodHelena Sovianavitch
1999/2000Gertrude & Alice: A Likeness to LovingGertrudeObie Award For Distinguished Performance by an Actress


  1. Hodges, Benjamin A. (2009). The Play that Changed My Life: America's Foremost Playwrights on the Plays that Influenced Them. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9781557837400.
  2. "Lola Pashalinski: Evoking a Sense of Menace". Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  3. Ludlam, Charles (1992). Ridiculous Theatre: Scourge of Human Folly: the Essays and Opinions of Charles Ludlam. New York: Theatre Communications Group. ISBN 1-55936-041-0.
  4. Gussow, Mel (1998). Theatre on the Edge: New Visions, New Voices. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9781557833112.
  5. "Flyer: "The Ridiculous Theatrical Company presents Bluebeard" (1970)". La MaMa Archives Digital Collections. 1970.
  6. La MaMa Archives Digital Collections. "Production: Bluebeard (1970)". Accessed May 29, 2018.
  7. La MaMa Archives Digital Collections. "Production: Phedre and Oedipus (1977)". Accessed May 29, 2018.
  8. Rich, Frank (1981-07-10). "Theater: Raul Julia in Park 'Tempest'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  9. Foreman, Richard (1987). "Film Is Evil: Radio Is Good". The Drama Review: TDR. 31 (4): 149–176. doi:10.2307/1145842. JSTOR 1145842.
  10. Gussow, Mel (1987-05-05). "STAGE: 'FILM IS EVIL: RADIO IS GOOD'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  11. "A.R.T. - American Repertory Theater". Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  12. "The Photographer (dress rehearsal) 1983-10". NYPL Digital Collections. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  13. La MaMa Archives Digital Collections. "Production: Give My Regards to Off-Off-Broadway (1987)". Accessed May 29, 2018.
  14. I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), retrieved 2018-03-03.
  15. "Lola Pashalinski". To the best of our KNOWLEDGE. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  16. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011), retrieved 2018-03-03.
  17. Jarecki, Andrew (2010-12-09), All Good Things, retrieved 2018-03-03.
  18. Carr, C. (May 25, 1999). "Inventing the Century". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  19. Isherwood, Charles (1999-06-14). "Gertrude and Alice: A Likeness to Loving". Variety. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
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