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Ron Vawter

Personal information
Birth dateDecember 9, 1948
Place of birthLatham, New York
Date of deathApril 16, 1994
Death placeOn a plane from Zürich to New York

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Ron Vawter (December 9, 1948 April 16, 1994) was an American actor and a founding member of the experimental theater company, The Wooster Group.

Vawter performed in most of the Group's works until his death from a heart attack in 1994 at the age of 45. He originated roles in Rumstick Road, Nayatt School, Point Judith (an epilog), Route 1 & 9, Hula, L.S.D. (...Just the High Points...), Frank Dell's The Temptation of Saint Antony, North Atlantic, and Brace Up!. He appeared on video in Fish Story, and in the Group's video pieces White Homeland Commando and Flaubert Dreams of Travel but the Illness of His Mother Prevents It.

In addition to his work with The Wooster Group, Vawter appeared in films, including King Blank, Philadelphia, The Silence of the Lambs and sex, lies and videotape, generally playing small but memorable character roles. He also performed in theater pieces by Richard Foreman, Jeff Weiss, Mabou Mines, and The Performance Group.

In his 1992 work for the stage, Vawter explored the themes of sexual identity in Roy Cohn/Jack Smith, a series of two monologues that contrast the characters of two gay men who died of AIDS.

The Jack Smith section was a recreation of Smith's performance "What's Underground About Marshmallows?" and the Roy Cohn section was written by Gary Indiana.

It was directed by Greg Mehrten and created with Clay Shirky and Marianne Weems. The piece was released as a film directed by Jill Godmilow in which the sections were intercut.

Ron Vawter's papers are held by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.




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