Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Villager covers TEMPEST 3 + WHAT TAMMY NEEDS TO KNOW... teaser


Trav S.D. recently covered TEMPEST 3 in an article for The Villager titled: 

"A Tempest Trilogy Galvanized by Sandy's Tide."

Here are some of our favorite quotes:
 "In these times of multiple daily apocalypses (environmental, biological, socio-political), there are an infinite number of possible human responses... But there is an older, more calming reaction we can have in the face of crisis: we can exorcise the bad demons through art. That would appear to be the tack La MaMa is taking this season with its trilogy of shows collectively branded “Tempest 3: The Tide is Rising.”
"The current version is a faithful interpretation of the play, with Swados’ eclectic score ranging from the avant-garde to the blues, and Koonrod making full use of the height, depth and breadth of the cavernous Ellen Stewart Theatre... Cathey’s Prospero was one of the most moving Shakespeare performances this writer has seen, and Coonrod’s two-hour production moved at such a clip, with such constant invention and such clarity of storytelling, I never regretted a minute of it. (How often can you say that?)"



TEMPEST - Story of a Production



We used Storify to collect all the pictures, posts, tweets and videos to capture the story of our first Tempest of the season (if you don't know, we've got two more coming, thus we call the project TEMPEST 3.

Enter the post to check it out!


Monday, October 27, 2014

6 QUESTIONS: Dick Zigun

Photo by Steve Solomonson

Dick Zigun is a man who wears many literal and figurative hats: Un-official mayor of Coney Island and Founder of Coney Island USA, Playwright (MFA, Yale School of Drama & New Dramatists Alumni) and founder of Fun House Philosophers - Coney Island's resident theatre company. His new play, Dead End, Dummy, is playing now at Coney Island and comes to La Mama on November 7th.

1. What was the initial inspiration for writing DEAD END, DUMMY?
The challenge was to use the techniques of vaudeville to tell the story of the death of vaudeville.

2. What should audiences expect from the show?
Ventriloquism & a fanatic ventriloquist's descent into madness & vaudeville hell.

3. Who or what inspires you?
Coney Island Freaks, Charlie McCarthy, Jerry Mahoney.

4. Do you think of your work as political?
Not political as in 'who to vote for,' but theatrically political. I'm defending vaudeville & sideshow dramaturgy as equal to Stanislavsky or Elizabethan dramaturgy.

5. How would you describe your aesthetic?
I'm a Fun House Philosopher and the permanently unelected Mayor of Coney Island.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
Manhattan respectability at last in my old age - bet you didn't know I was a serious experimental playwright.


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La MaMa presents:

Dead End, Dummy

written by Dick Zigun
directed by Trav S.D.

November 7 - November 14, 2014 
Friday & Saturday @ 10pm / Sunday @ 6pm

The Club
74A East 4th Street 

(Between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors. Ten tickets priced at $10 each are available for every performance, in advance only via web, phone or at the box office. Not available day of show. 

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Special Event: Sunday Brunch @ Contrada with “Tempest” director Karin Coonrod



Join Karin Coonrod, director of “The Tempest” at La MaMa, for a pre-performance brunch to discuss the production at our neighbor, Contrada! Discussion will be led by Lizzie Simon (Wall Street Journal) and will include other members of the TEMPEST team TBD.

Admission includes a cocktail, an entree, coffee or tea, tax and tip. Purchase HERE

Theater tickets for the 4pm showing must be purchased separately HERE
ABOUT KARIN COONROD
Karin Coonrod is a theater maker whose work has been seen and heard across the country and around the world. She founded two theater companies: Arden Party (NYC, 1987-1997) and Compagnia de’ Colombari (2004 - present) an international company (based in New York). 

Coonrod is known for her Shakespeare productions including her epic Henry VI (1996) and surprising Love’s Labor’s Lost (2011) both at the Public Theater (where she was Artist-in-Residence from 1995-96); King John (2000), Julius Caesar (2003) and Coriolanus (2005) all with Theatre for a New Audience; Othello at Hartford Stage (2005) and many others. Other seminal productions include her own creation for the stage of non-dramatic material: Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge developed at the University of Iowa, Sundance Theatre Lab and premiered at New York Theatre Workshop (2001), Anne Sexton’s Transformations with Arden Party (1991-5) and a cabaret adaptation of Lorca’s Poeta en Nueva York with flamenco dancer La Conja at New York University (2002). She prepared new translations: Vvedensky’s Christmas at the Ivanovs’ with Julia Listengarten (1996); Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba with Nilo Cruz (1997); and Victor or Children Take Over with Frederic Maurin (1994), all of which she directed in acclaimed productions. Coonrod’s work is featured in American Theatre Magazine, Shakespeare Bulletin, Sipario nel Mondo (Italian theater journal), Scena.Ro (Romanian theater magazine). As a guest artist/teacher Coonrod has developed work at NYU, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Cal Institute of the Arts, Fordham, Colgate, Gordon College and Univ of Iowa. She is on the faculty at Yale School of Drama (since 2002).


Brunch @ Contrada with Karin Coonrod

Sunday, October 26th @ 2:30pm


Contrada Restaurant
84 E 4th St
New York, NY 10003

Make a reservation: HERE

Monday, October 20, 2014

6 Questions: Christian De Gré & R. Patrick Alberty



Mind the Art Entertainment returns to La MaMa with of THE DREAM VAULT CYCLE, a theatrical exploration of the thread of artistic inspiration as source material is re-interpreted by over 50 multi-disciplinary artists. Directors/Conceptualizers Christian De Gré & R. Patrick Alberty took a break from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions:


1. Are you for real when you say the show "brings together over 50 multi-disciplinary artists?"

Christian: We sure are! We started this project back in 2009 as a partnership with FreeWriteNYC. At the time this was just an exercise to get 18 writers out of their heads and have them write short-stories based on a randomly selected photograph. As the project evolved, we realized that what was truly interesting was how different source materials could be interpreted. We began working on developing a festival that would go from art-form to art-form, re-interpreting the work. When visual artists came on board as the final interpretive stage, we realized we had visual bookends, allowing us to easily chart the movement of the piece in respect to its source. 

For this production at La MaMa we have pulled from a mix of new indie artists and some of our past Resident Artists at MTAE. We are excited to have a wide range, including: international filmmakers, poets, playwrights, painters, animators, designers, composers, cellists, actors, dancers, accordion players, hip-hop artists, aerialists, etc, etc, etc working on this project. 

Around 25 people will physically perform on the night but their work has been inspired by, and developed from, work done by close to 70 people over the last 5 years. 


2. What have you learned from creating THE DREAM VAULT CYCLE?

Patrick: Just how easy it is to become stuck in one way of thinking when there is so much variety out there. Normally, when faced with trying to create, most people tend to latch on to a certain thing - a phrase, a sound, an image - and work from there. Then, when you’re finished, you think to yourself, “This is how my creation is supposed to be - it could never be seen any other way." But when you give your creation to someone else to work off of, 90% of the time they will take a hard left and come up with something completely unexpected, usually based off of some throw-away detail that meant nothing to you but struck them in just the right way. And for me, that is the essence of this project - getting a chance to see something through the eyes of another person; to understand what it is they experience that you do not.


3. How does THE DREAM VAULT CYCLE carry out your mission to create work that is "idyllic, aesthetic, and above all accessible." 

Christian: For us it's all about creating new work that has a purpose, is enjoyable, has a high level of artistry, but above all doesn't an audience. Too often we see work that falls on one side of the 'art'-vs-'entertainment' line, and by taking that path, loses part of its audience. Whether it's an action film based on a toy franchise (thou shall not be named) that makes people have a swell time but it has no meaning or creative message, or a piece of fine art at a museum that makes regular audience goers stand there going "what the hell is this?" we feel that the best and most evocative work bridges the gap between art and entertainment. The best example of this I have seen in recent years is the Italian Film "The Great Beauty." There you have a piece with a strong message (raising questions about decadence in society), a high aesthetic (beautiful stylized imagery and design) that is accessible (a great story with a simple arc that is relatable).

In THE DREAM VAULT CYCLE we strive to do just that: The premise is relatable; "what does an artistic idea retain as it is adapted by different artists?" Living in an an era of adaptations; from Shakespeare re-imaginings (La MaMa's very own Tempest series) to film versions of books (Gone Girl) and musicals (Into The Woods), we, as artists, consistently find people bickering about what is retained and what is discarded and what different artists do (or don't do) with another artist's work. We think that this is something worth exploring and talking about.

Our aesthetic premise is simple; the work has to look good, sound good and be worth leaving your Netflix marathon at home to come see. To this end, we gathered some of the most innovative independent artists we know and threw them together with young artists who are full of original views and ideas. With a strong design team behind them ,and working with visually stunning artists such as The Hybrid Movement Company (aerialists) and illustrators like Mexican Artist Elias "Uva" Diaz, we feel confident this show will have plenty of stimulating spectacle.

Finally, we feel it is accessible because the show has a wide range of exploration. Traditionally photography and written stories are more easily grasped in concept by a normal audience, while dance and abstract art tend to appeal to the 'high art' crowd. We have a series here that erases that divide and as we quickly transition from one camp to the other you get to see these two worlds collide, merge and separate in waves, leaving behind an artistic smorgasbord for all to pick their favorites from.


4. What was the initial inspiration for the show?

Patrick: It was really a number of things... From a chronological stance, as Christian said, it initially went back to our 2009 project, A THOUSAND WORDS. With that as the base, we developed the idea further, including different types of artists and enhancing the 'thread' aspect of the project (a creation based on a creation based on a creation, etc.) The other part of this is that, at Mind The Art, there has always been a drive to do something different - not for the sake of being different, but rather because that is what has always held our interest. THE DREAM VAULT PROJECT is, essentially, a melding of everything we love - a multitude of arts and a variety of pieces all in one convenient place!


5. What recent productions/performances have inspired you?

Patrick: For me, SLEEP NO MORE has had a huge impact on how I view this project, as well as others in the future. While our two shows are completely different, there are aspects that we share: multiple narrative threads, non-linear story telling, an inclusion of several different art forms to make one coherent production. Oh yes, and a large cast…can’t forget that! From the producer/director side of things, I look at the time it took for them to fully realize their show - a massive undertaking that, understandably, took a very long time. But all of those years that were poured into making it a reality certainly paid off and what they have now is one of the most interesting and immersive theatre experiences anywhere. THE DREAM VAULT CYCLE took us 5 years to get to this point, a stretch of time where there were stops and starts, doubts and reaffirmations...now, here we are. In theatre and film, there is always a need to hurry to make the next big thing, but sometimes the best things are those that take time and really get it right.


6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?

Christian: La MaMa was, for all of us at Mind The Art, our first artistic home. We have had the pleasure and honor of creating 56 productions in New York City over the last 7 years with over 600 artists, but La MaMa was the first place that opened its doors to us and said "come play." I have always said that La MaMa is a place where an artist can go and truly explore the little ideas buried in the back of their head. Apart from giving you that freedom and inspiration, La MaMa teaches you courage and integrity as an artist. 

Above all once you have stepped on the La MaMa stage you truly are family. 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. 

La MaMa has, for us, built three of our most valued principles: 
1) Art is a collaborative and ever evolving medium.
2) There is great pride in risking all to entertain the few.
3) Have a strict no assholes allowed policy. For these values we are eternally grateful.



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Mind The Art premiere's its newest work, THE DREAM VAULT CYCLE on October 24th at The Club @ La MaMa. It looks like a true Gesamtkunstwerk to us! 

La MaMa presents
THE DREAM VAULT CYCLE
by Mind The Art Entertainment
Conceived & Directed by Christian De Gré & R. Patrick Alberty

October 24, 2014 - November 2, 2014
Friday and Saturday @ 10pm; Sunday @ 6pm

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

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; 10@$10 tickets available for all performances, in advance only (Ten tickets priced at $10 each - first come first served.)

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Video Preview: Neil LaBute & Marco Calvani on AdA

Neil LaBute & Marco Calvani introduce AdA (Author directing Author) from La MaMa on Vimeo

Playwright/Directors Neil LaBute & Marco Calvani discuss the second edition of AdA: Author directing Author which begins performances tonight at The First Floor Theatre @ La MaMa.

HAPPY HOUR
by Neil LaBute
directed by Marco Calvani
with Chris Henry Coffey and Jennifer Mudge



THE SECOND TIME
by Marco Calvani
directed by Neil LaBute
with Phil Burke and Meredith Forlenza.
translated by Bing Taylor

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La MaMa presents

AdA:

Author directing Author 

Second Edition

written and directed 
by Neil LaBute and Marco Calvani
and Marco Calvani and Neil LaBute

October 16 - November 2, 2014 

The First Floor Theater
74A East 4th Street 

(Between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors. Ten tickets priced at $10 each are available for every performance, in advance only via web, phone or at the box office. Not available day of show. 

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Video Preview: The Dream Vault Cycle


Mind The Art premiere's its newest work, THE DREAM VAULT CYCLE on October 24th at The Club @ La MaMa. It looks like a true Gesamtkunstwerk to us!

La MaMa presents
THE 
DREAM 
VAULT 
CYCLE
by Mind The Art Entertainment
Conceived & Directed by Christian De Gré & R. Patrick Alberty

October 24, 2014 - November 2, 2014
Friday and Saturday @ 10pm; Sunday @ 6pm

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

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; 10@$10 tickets available for all performances, in advance only (Ten tickets priced at $10 each - first come first served.)

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE