Monday, July 27, 2015

Being a La MaMa Llama: Mary Fulham

Being a La MaMa Llama!

Our experiences of working as summer interns at La MaMa


Above: J. Mehr Kaur, Mary Fulham and Mollie Molumby
outside The Ellen Stewart Theatre

Hi there! Mehr, Mary and Mollie here!

We are three students interning at La MaMa this summer. We decided to nick-name ourselves the La MaMa Llamas as, just like this wooly camelid from South America, we too are cuddly, domesticated and we travel in packs. (We are also quite partial to rhymes and hope that La MaMa interns will be Llamas for years to come.)


Let us tell you a little about ourselves and what interning at La MaMa means to us!


Mary Fulham:

I am from a suburb of Boston, but I have spent the last two years at school in Los Angeles.

La MaMa is one of the few places in the world that showcases the beauty in the intersection of cultures, art, history, and creativity. It is exciting to know that however small one of my tasks at La MaMa may be, my efforts are contributing to the ability of the organization to thrive.

I spent my first day helping Mary clean out her office! We found old photos, letters to and from Ellen, and the original deed to 74A East 4th Street.

My weeks here have shown me that there is much more to a theatre than just the performers! The future of La MaMa depends on the hard work of the administrative teams (and the La MaMa Llamas!).


Keep an eye out for two more blogs chronicling the experiences of our summer interns, the La MaMa Llamas! If you are interested in applying for an internship at La MaMa send an e-mail with a resumé and cover letter to kate@lamama.orgSubmissions are accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Being a La MaMa Llama: J. Mehr Kaur


Being a La MaMa Llama!

Our experiences of working as summer interns at La MaMa


Above: J. Mehr Kaur, Mary Fulham and Mollie Molumby
outside The Ellen Stewart Theatre

Hi there! Mehr, Mary and Mollie here!

We are three students interning at La MaMa this summer. We decided to nick-name ourselves the La MaMa Llamas as, just like this wooly camelid from South America, we too are cuddly, domesticated and we travel in packs. (We are also quite partial to rhymes and hope that La MaMa interns will be Llamas for years to come.)

Let us tell you a little about ourselves and what interning at La MaMa means to us!

J. Mehr Kaur:




I am going into my final year at Smith College in Northampton MA and am thrilled to be in the city. One of my favorite things about working at La MaMa is the Archive, right downstairs--decades on decades of some of the richest modern theatre history at my fingertips. At the beginning of my time working in the office I went on an archive tour with Ozzie Rodriguez, the director of the Archive, and learned more than I ever could have imagined about the roots of La MaMa and its tradition of genre-bending art. It was an inspiring and thought provoking visit. I also love that my internship has so many different pieces to it. In May I interned exclusively for the La MaMa Moves! dance festival, now in its 10th year. Working with artists like the Junk Ensemble and Yoshiko Chuma challenged me and kept me on the tips of my toes. “Other tasks as assigned” suddenly became my favorite part of the job.


On my first day, I was led into a jungle of gold string and was handed a drill and a little knife. After hours of drilling, cutting, tying, and untangling, I was extremely proud to have helped put together the set for Junk Ensemble’s piece, DUSK AHEAD.

To me, La MaMa means innovation in a safe place. I am grateful to work at an organization that is committed to helping both emerging and established artists to keep on doing what they do. As a young director/producer I feel like this is a place I can thrive.

Future interns: USE post it notes; we Llamas can't live without 'em. 



Keep an eye out for two more blogs chronicling the experiences of our summer interns, the La MaMa Llamas! If you are interested in applying for an internship at La MaMa send an e-mail with a resumé and cover letter to kate@lamama.orgSubmissions are accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What Does Working at La MaMa Mean to You, Part 2!

The 53rd season has come to an end at La MaMa after another wonderful year featuring dozens of different artists performing in 80+ productions and working in our art spaces on the Lower East Side! There is no better time to reflect on our mission dedicated to the artists and all aspects of the theatre. Ever since Ellen Stewart founded La MaMa in 1961, our interest has been in the people who make art, and it is to them that we give our support with free theater and rehearsal space, lights, sound, props, platforms, and whatever else we have that they can use to create their work. 

We want them to feel free to explore their ideas, and translate them into a theatrical language that can communicate to any person in any part of the world. Here are some thoughtful quotes from old friends and new artists who spent time at La MaMa this season about what brought them to La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club and why they keep coming back:


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"La MaMa has always been an artistic home for me."
~ Nicky Paraiso, Christmas in Nicklyland & Director of Programming -- The Club

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"La MaMa means having a safe haven to experiment and create alongside some amazingly talented and wonderful artists."
~ Sorab Wadia, Tempest directed by Karin Coonrod

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"La MaMa is an amazing place. They love and support artists above all, and I am so in awe of that."
~ Jane Comfort, Altiplano 

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"La MaMa is home. I have been in two plays here, and I wrote and directed a circus at the Café years ago. It’s a place where my work is welcomed and supported, and where the community of fellow artists is rich and diverse." 
~ Obie-award winner Winsome Brown, This Is Mary Brown

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"I have never experienced anything quite as magical as living and collaborating with Ellen. When she smiled, the whole world lit up. I can feel her smile in rehearsal."
~ Arthur Adair, Your War'try Grave

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"I can tell you exactly what the dressing room smells like in the Ellen Stewart Theater with the same detail that I can tell you what the kitchen in my childhood home smells like, if that’s any indicator as to how vivid and loved La Mama is in my memory."
~ OBIE Award-Winner Heather Christian, Daily Life Everlasting

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"I feel lucky to have the opportunity to perform and develop in such a nurturing environment. I will keep coming back, sniffing out all your squirreled pianos, as long as y'all will have me."
~ Dane Terry, Bird in the House


"Ever since I was a drama student at NYU, La MaMa, and The Public Theater, have always, and continue to be, definitive hubs for cutting edge, innovative theatre, and we're proud to be a part of that tradition."

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"To have my students and my colleagues come together for this production at La MaMa is an honor."
~ Martha Tornay, The Shell Shocked Nut



"For me, working at La MaMa means having a home to pursue my creative work to its fullest potential. It also means having an artistic family and being directly connected to an amazing culture and community."


"To step into the house that Ellen Stewart built is a watershed."
~ Daniel Alexander Jones, An Integrator's Manual 

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"Rehearsing at 47 Great Jones is like coming home." 

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"To have this work, which is so important to me, at la MaMa, which has been on an altar of creativity for such a long time, is empowering and inspiring. La MaMa, for me, represents exactly what this work is attempting: to build on history while constantly seeking a new way to communicate, to bridge relationships, to foster a future."
~ Alexandra Beller, Milkdreams

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"Having known both Ellen Stewart and Mia Yoo, I can say that they both radiate this same quality, a sort of ethic of being welcoming and nurturing, of hearing you, and supporting you, not just materially but morally."  
~ Trav S.D. , Horseplay

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"What I love most about La MaMa is the lack of fear in the shows they choose to present, with a look towards risk and beauty and vital things that need to be said."
~ Megan Kennedy, Dusk Ahead


"Working at La MaMa means performing in a space I have been thinking about since I was a teenager in Virginia, imagining the magical world of experimental New York theater. And in a space where I have seen work that defined my idea of what performance could and should be. We are so honored to be here."
~ James Harrison Monaco, INCOMING! Aaron/Marie

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"I love the values that La Mama supports and promotes, and am glad to play a part in this." 
~ Sam Trubridge, Sleep/Wake



Looking forward, keep an eye out for the new season on our website and consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our artists & productions!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Elizabeth Swados' MY DEPRESSION on HBO



La MaMa artist Elizabeth Swados premiered her HBO special, My Depression (The Ups and Downs of It) last night.

The New York Times said:

"it’s as charming and whimsical a discussion of depression as you’re likely to find. And as musical. Yes, the song “Suicide Mobile” (sung by Steve Buscemi) may be a little dark for some tastes, but, like the rest of this film, it’s honest and forthright as it talks about a condition often misunderstood and misrepresented."

Read the full review: HERE

You can watch it now on HBO GO with your subscription: HERE

Congratulations Liz!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What Does Working at La MaMa Mean To You?

The 53rd season has come to an end at La MaMa after another wonderful year featuring dozens of different artists performing in 80+ productions and working in our art spaces on the Lower East Side! There is no better time to reflect on our mission dedicated to the artists and all aspects of the theatre. Ever since Ellen Stewart founded La MaMa in 1961, our interest has been in the people who make art, and it is to them that we give our support with free theater and rehearsal space, lights, sound, props, platforms, and whatever else we have that they can use to create their work. 

We want them to feel free to explore their ideas, and translate them into a theatrical language that can communicate to any person in any part of the world. Here are some thoughtful quotes from old friends and new artists who spent time at La MaMa this season about what brought them to La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club and why they keep coming back:

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"I love the family of people who work for La MaMa and the brilliant leadership of Mia Yoo. I feel very lucky to have a place like La MaMa where I can go and concentrate on nothing but the work -- it’s not about business or success or anything like that at La MaMa; it’s all about the work and that’s like finding an oasis in the desert."

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"La MaMa means a collective ensemble mentality which I look for first and foremost in a company."

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"To me, La MaMa will always mean Ellen Stewart. Her aura extends way beyond her death." 
~ Keith McDermott, The Floatones

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"Working at La Mama means having the freedom and space to create what I feel compelled to create, right now."

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"I was introduced to this amazing institution for the first time in 2008, in Italy, at their splendid villa in Umbria, when I took part in their playwrights’ retreat. It was for me the first time in such an artistic ‘island’ in the company of writers and artists from all over the world. I think I learned more about collaboration and inspiration in those ten days than in the whole rest of my life."

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"The big room of the Ellen Stewart Theater at La Mama is a holy space for me."

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"When you are a small company, that has to create work on ​​ ​a shoestring, because you have ​to keep creating​ otherwise you shrivel up and die on the inside, when you have been working like that for so long, and then a place as meaningful and inspiring a place as La MaM​a lets you in, it feels like being embraced." 
~ Andi Stover, Noodles Astray

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"I only had the pleasure of meeting (founder) Ellen Stewart a handful of times, but the one thing she taught me is to be unafraid while being human. Be assertive, maybe even aggressive with your art, but with humility and kindness to those around you."
~ Christian De Gré, The Dream Vault Cycle

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"Working at La MaMa means Manhattan respectability at last in my old age - bet you didn't know I was a serious experimental playwright."
~ Dick Zigun, Dead End, Dummy

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"La MaMa means home, family." 
~ Catherine Filloux, Selma ’65

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"You don't know how proud I am to be able to be a part of this legacy. This run at La MaMa has far reaching implications of happiness, acceptance and self worth."
~ Richard E. Waits, MaMa Rose

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"Ellen Stewart, who I will always consider my mentor, was one of the most influential people in my life - she influenced my vision of the world." 
~ Elia K. Schneider, Judgment on a Gray Beach

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"When Talking Band work at La MaMa we feel that we are part of creative family which includes the many artists who work here and the La MaMa staff who work with such dedication, understanding, and love to support the work."
~ Paul Zimet, The Golden Toad

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‘It feels like an artistic home I’m returning to.’ 
~ Marietta Hedges, Selma ’65

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"It's an honor to be able to work at such an incredible place!"
~ Lucy Alibar, INCOMING! Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up



Looking forward, keep an eye out for the new season on our website and consider making a tax-deductible donation!