Saturday, February 6, 2016

Behind The Scenes at ORESTEIA: AGAMEMNON

Behind the Scenes at Orestia: Agamemnon from La MaMa on Vimeo.

Director Zishan Uğurlu talks about her upcoming production of ORESTEIA: AGAMEMNON, a rare opportunity to see this classic text performed in its native Greek (with English super-titles). ORESTEIA: AGAMEMNON comes to The Ellen Stewart Theatre for four performances only February 18 - 21, 2016. 

La MaMa presents

Directed by Zishan Uğurlu
Greek Translation by Dimitris Dimitriadis
English Translation (super-titles) by Robert Fagles

February 18 - 21, 2016
Thursday - Saturday @ 7:30pm; Sunday @ 4pm

The Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Friday, February 5, 2016

Gallery Opening: Alexis Myre

Last night, February 4, 2016, was the opening reception for Alexis Myre's solo show: Power of Limits.

Artist Alexis Myre with Gallery Director Matt Nasser

La MaMa presents

February 4 - 21, 2016
Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 1pm to 7pm
or by appointment

La MaMa Galleria
47 Great Jones Street
(between Bowery and Lafayette Street)
New York, NY 10003

Free Admission

For more info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, February 4, 2016

6 Questions: Alexis Myre in La MaMa Galleria

La MaMa is proud to present Power of Limits, a solo show at La MaMa Galleria by Alexis Myre who we first met last year at the La MaMa Meetups! Alexis took time out of her busy installation to answer 6 questions about her background in mathematics, jewelry making, and what it means to work at La MaMa.

1. Can you talk a bit about the role of mathematics in your work?
I'm attracted to the aesthetics of mathematics. I love the rhythm and patterns of solving problems and the images formed from graphs and calculations. Mathematics shapes how we interpret and perceive the universe. We are subconsciously drawn to symmetry, pattern, and harmony existing in the natural world. Theorems and formulas provide a framework to comprehend things like infinity, dimension, and time. Part of the beauty of mathematics is its exploration of the same questions asked through art, spirituality, and anyone contemplating relationships of the surrounding world. 

2. What led you to the materials that you're using in these new pieces?
I've been exploring these materials for 10 years. The technique has evolved, but what I love most about combining disparate materials is the parameters it creates in joining them together. It's problem solving in the most basic way. The parameters don't necessarily limit or constrain, they create new sets of parameters to work within, and this is where I feel most creative.   

I took a workshop from the artist Kiff Slemmons a few years back called "Material as Metaphor,” and it continues to influence my work. Thinking of materials as part of the story… Pencil often represents logical systems, while thread connotes flexibility, softness, and connection.  Harder materials of metal and plastic acknowledge the man-made and nod at the necessary rigidity of structure and core. Natural, found objects are left alone or altered sparingly, segmented perhaps, but are always recognizable, honoring their connection to a broader system.

3. Are there specific references or subjects in your wall works?
I think of the wall pieces as narrative landscapes. Some are direct responses to ideas I don't fully understand, concepts like infinity, imaginary numbers, the way natural systems follow rhythmic patterns or how understanding something in facts and concrete terms doesn't mean the depth is fully comprehended. Some reference a specific idea and others are a general inquiry. 

4. How do you think your background in jewelry making has affected your sculptures?
Detail. And avoiding glue. 

Glue is a major no-no in jewelry, it is a very weak joint. It's about integrity and craft when it comes to jewelry and metal-smithing, I hold these standards in my work and love the forms and detail that come from working like this, where most of the elements are functional.  The better the joint the more attractive it is to me. 

5. Do you have a favorite piece in the show?
I love the sculptures with personality, like little organisms or pets from someplace else. They are usually put together from "scraps" or bits and pieces that I fabricated but didn't end up using in another piece. They come from the other work, but they’re more spontaneous, and are even a surprise to me with how they turn out. That's the exciting part of making art, what comes out of us that we didn't realize was there. 

6. What does working at La MaMa Galleria mean to you?
The painter Pat Steir said to me once that "eyes on the work give it breath" I believe in that. Being able to show work is a way to communicate with people. The experimental ethos of La MaMa lends itself to emerging artists and encourages a broad spectrum of art.  There is an ease to La MaMa Galleria, their exhibitions come from a authentic place.

Alexis Myre

February 04 - February 21, 2016

Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 1 to 7PM, or by appointment

La MaMa Galleria | 47 Great Jones St.

Alexis Myre’s artworks are each a small universe: a sphere in which natural materials, geometric patterns, and symbolic references all mingle.
These elements are incorporated into mathematical systems, where pins, thread, and pencilled lines chart each item and its relations, and establish a microcosm of order and influence. With the logic of a drawing and the structure of a sculpture, the works are meticulous, poetic, and beautiful, and are the subject of this solo exhibition at La Galleria.
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 4, 2016: 6pm - 8pm

Monday, February 1, 2016

6 Questions: Judith Sloan

Judith Sloan returns to The Club La MaMa in March 2016 with YO MISS! Transforming Trauma Into Art - a one-woman show with music where human rights meets hip-hop performing from March 4 - 13, 2016.

1. What was the original inspiration for YO MISS?
I originally produced radio and audio stories from my poetry about teaching in jails and working with undocumented teenagers and was performing in a studio behind a mic. A radio editor in Chicago at WBEZ said that they would make a good series. I wanted to get back to live performance after writing a book and reporting on and creating a lot of radio about new immigrants and refugees. It took a long time to figure out how to make it work on stage. I honestly just was compelled to keep writing and making art and I had no idea how it was going to work. I was desperate and aching to tell the stories and to find a way to bring attention to the youth program I was running in Queens. And I was dealing with PTSD from an accident and becoming more and more attuned to the ways some of the youth I was directing are dealing with PTSD from displacement and war. I wanted to find a way to have joy inside painful stories.

2. Where did the title YO MISS come from?
I am a practicing artist and an educator.  I am an adjunct professor at NYU (Gallatin School) and a visiting artist and teaching artist in the schools and sometimes in youth detention centers. All my college students call me Professor Sloan. Sometimes the kids in the public schools forget my name because I'm not there every single day. They call their other teachers Miss Sarah or Mr. John. They don't call me Miss Judith. In jails, they don't have time to remember my name because the workshops are so tightly controlled in the system and Miss is a sign of respect. So I just became "Miss." I figure at least they are calling me to get my attention.

3. How are you using sound, specifically midi-controls in the show?
I'm using three midi-controllers to play music compositions, soundscapes, my additional voices, and samples of dialogue I had with various people and playing that in real time. I originally was designing and arranging for radio in Protools so I could make very tightly constructed and edited musical and vocal arrangements. Two of the pieces from Yo Miss! won the Missouri Review National Audio Competition. It took me a long time to figure out how to perform the monologues and characters and to play the sounds at the same time and to learn to use Abelton Live in the way that would work for this show. I also have live musicians - viola and violin - playing over the full tracks so it is a combination and it feels and sounds like a full band. The trick was finding a way to use the midi-controllers in a way that allowed me to move around the stage so one is portable/wireless, one is a floor pedal, and one is a keyboard so I can play a few melody lines in the mix at times. I received a fellowship from NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) for Sound and it allowed me to get all the right computers, midi-controllers and work with a few engineers who helped me learn the technology so I could change and rearrange things on my own and make choices on stage. (Thanks to engineers Josh Valleau, Deep Singh, and Red Ukachukwu). 

4. What was the last good book you read?
I just finished Rita Moreno's memoir. She has a lot to say about the entertainment world about acting, love, life, and being Puerto Rican in Hollywood and about continually recreating herself.

5. Who has inspired you?
Kids who I have worked with. My teachers. The people who work at all the schools for new English speakers through the International High Schools. A lot of radio racantuers. Performers, musicians, filmmakers, dramaturgs and radio producers like Jad Abumrad and Sarah Koenig. Also Lily Tomlin, Morgan Jenness, John Leguezamo, Toshi Reagon, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Spike Lee, Rita Moreno, Warren Lehrer, the engineers I work with now. I was deeping insipired by French theatre maker Ariane Mnouchkine's piece that I saw in 2005 about refugees. I remember walking out of that seven hour piece feeling like I had to one day figure out how to make theater about the kids I was working with and I wanted to find a way to use multiple languages on stage so the audience could experience what I was experiencing in Queens, NY. 

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you? 
I moved to New York City in 1990 and first performed at La MaMa in 1991. I was supposed to be performing in the Club but there was a show that started packing houses in the Club right before me and they extended it and La MaMa moved me to the first floor theater. The other performance was Blue Man Group! La MaMa presented three more shows of mine from 1991 to about 1996 or so and the last show I was developing there was based on a young deputy sheriff who blew the whistle on police brutality in Mississippi. Coincidentally  I'm briefly referencing that show (A Tattle Tale) in Yo Miss! because after that show moved to another theatre I co-produced a radio docudrama with Laura Sydell that aired on NPR and shortly after that in 1998, 1999 I was invited to perform in jails and schools. I continued performing in prisons and working in schools with immigrant and refugee teenagers but that's what happened. After about ten years of traveling around the United States with a museum exhibition, Crossing the BLVD (a project about new immigrants and refugees), I started coming back into working on theatre and performing. Coming back to La MaMa after all this time is coming back to a place that inspired so much of this journey. I have been in the audience at many shows in the past decade, so it's thrilling and an honor to be on the other side of the audience and to be on stage. La MaMa has changed and grown so much since I was performing here and it's exciting for me to work with such varied, vibrant and intergenerational team. Yo Miss! includes so many stories about coming up from nothing. Ellen Stewart started this theater from scratch. I am surrounded by the spirits of so many great artists who have performed and created work at La MaMa. La MaMa has always had a commitment to international productions and given that Yo Miss! is about living in a global village, I'm bringing a version of international stories to the stage through the lens of immigrants in New York. 

La MaMa presents
Transforming Trauma Into Art

Written, Performed & Live-Sound Engineered by Judith Sloan
Josh Henderson on violin and Andrew Griffin on viola (March 4-6)
Andrew Griffin on viola (March 11-13)
Dramaturgy by Morgan Jenness

March 4 - 13, 2016
Friday & Saturday @ 10pm; Sunday @ 6pm

The Club @ La MaMa
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery & Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; ten tickets priced at $10 each are available for each performance, advance sales only.

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, January 28, 2016

JUPITER (a play about power) and Greening The Grid

Superhero Clubhouse and Kaimera Productions are integrating green values into their upcoming production of Jupiter (a play about power).

About the show:
Before retreating to the planet Jupiter, a young tycoon overhauls the entire energy system on Earth. His imposed vision promises to halt climate change and improve Humanity, but demands costly sacrifices in the process. A trio inspired by Frankenstein and energy policy.

La MaMa presents
(a play about power)
a production of Superhero Clubhouse + Kaimera Productions

Directed by Simón Adinia Hanukai 
Written by Jeremy Pickard

Music by Jonathan Camuzeaux 

February 11 - 28, 2016
Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm

The First Floor Theatre at La MaMa
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10001

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; ten $10 tickets available for every performance (advance sales only) first come first served

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE