Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Who's Who in the La MaMa Junior Committee: The Next Generation of Arts Donors!


La MaMa Junior Committee's FREE 54th Season Opening Party kicks off in Bushwick on Thursday, September 24th at 8PM at The Topaz! The Topaz, with a beautiful back room and garden space, will be the home to AMAZING ENTERTAINMENT provided by Shane Shane, face painting by Marina, drinking, dancing, socializing, and talking up the Junior Committee. No cover charge, delicious cocktails available for purchase at the Bar! 

La MaMa Junior Committee is a collection of brilliant young creative minds to form the next generation of arts donors! Members enjoy discounted tickets and exclusive access to our programs, artists, and staff while contributing to the heart of the La MaMa family. 

Name: Julia Dobner - Pereira
Age: 25
Occupation: Graduate Student at NYU, Children's Acting Academy Teacher, Artist/Performer
# of years in Junior Committee: Founding Member



1) What drew you into the arts? 
The arts have been in my life since I was a child. Towards the end of high school, I committed seriously to classical voice, which also led me to delve further into theatre. Through La MaMa, i discovered the colorful kaleidoscopic world of experimental theatre and I'll never go back!

2) What inspired you to join La MaMa Junior Committee
I started working at La MaMa in 2013 and helped create the Junior Committee in 2014. I love the energy of the JC. It is one of my favorite things about La MaMa.

3) What has been your favorite Junior Committee Event? Why? 
The Dance Cartel Party! Wild party with dancing, incredible performances from THE DANCE CARTEL, and an impromptu street dance session afterwards courtesy of Reggie Watts' car speakers...what more could you want?

4) Favorite performance you've seen at La MaMa? Why? 
It's a toss up - it is so hard to compare shows because we have such variety every season. My top 3 are TRASH CUISINE by Belarus Free Theatre, THE ELEPHANT IN EVERY ROOM I ENTER by Gardiner Comfort, and SQUIRTS.

5) Which artist inspires you? Why? 
MOTUS --- an Italian company that creates politically charged, aesthetically arresting brave new work. I met MOTUS while at La MaMa Umbria in summer 2014 and then was lucky enough to help produce their show Nella Tempesta at La MaMa in November 2014. Look them up - they are so important!

6) What is your favorite karaoke song? 
LET IT GO because "let the storm rage ON".


Name: Kate Foster
Age: 27
Occupation: La MaMa Outreach Coordinator, Bandmember of Anna/Kate and Sean Cronin's Very Good! 
# of years in Junior Committee: 1 year


1) What drew you into the arts?
I was lucky enough to be an arty kid growing up in an arty home. My family is chock-full of theatre makers, visual artists, musicians, and- most importantly- artists in awe of other artists. I consider myself, still, an artist in awe of other artists.

2) What inspired you to join La MaMa Junior Committee?
The La MaMa Junior Committee holds true to an integral tenet of La MaMa (if not all theatre): communities do not appear on their own, we build them. We build them because we have to. At its founding 54 years ago, La MaMa appeared much like young artistic companies popping up today. La MaMa was founded to produce voices that were not getting opportunities elsewhere, or not getting opportunities paired with agency. La MaMa still gives these same opportunities to artists from around the world, and from every spectrum of New York's artistic/social/political scene.  I joined the Junior Committee because La MaMa is my community and my community thrives with support, growth, and general cheer-leading. And, hey, if you aren't already on board?... I hope you'll join me in Junior Committee's Year 2.

3) What has been your favorite Junior Committee Event? Why?
My favorite Junior Committee Event is tied between the best party I've been to, and the best karaoke I've EVER been to. The Dance Cartel threw a performance party this past May, with their new piece, "Wet Clutch," followed by a set from DJ Average Jo. I've been in mourning for a few queer parties I used to love going to, or hearing about (Hey Queen!, Confession) and this event had a similar hugged-by-endorphins feel. Later in the summer, I got to know other Junior Committee members at a social event, Karaoke Night. They sang "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" and it was game over.

4) Favorite performance you've seen at La MaMa? Why?
MOTUS' "Alexis: A Greek Tragedy." The performances were fierce, physically impressive (understatement of the year) and entirely moving in their scope. I ended the night by getting on stage and joining them in a movement sequence. The show not only moved me that night- it moved me that year.

5) Which artist inspires you? Why?
I'm inspired by artists who hold themselves accountable, have unfathomable depths of emotional bravery, and a worldview equally grounded in the personal and the political-- Poets Timothy DuWhite (link: "Joy Revisited") and Nicole Goodwin (of Queer Arts Mentorship)... Directors Rebecca Wear (presently at Oregon Shakespeare Festival with Kate Whoriskey) and Patrice Miller... Artistic organizers and performers Lauren Whitehead (of Poetic Theater Production's Conscious Language Festival) and Sarah Duncan ("her play "Come Back Up" is at Judson and she is a guest curator for Poetry Electric Series at La MaMa)... Musicians Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Brooklyn's own "looper" SHIRA E and rapper Ish.... I'd be remiss not to mention the people in my bands- Anna/Kate and Very Good!- who hold me accountable every day. Everyone on this list has challenged my thought processes, and written some kind of love letter to my heart. The great thing about life is I just keep adding to the list.

6) What is your favorite karaoke song?
Definitely a Spice Girls number. #sportyforlife


Name: Kelly O'Hara
Age: 23
Occupation: Tech Startup Founder
# of years in Junior Committee: New Member


1) What drew you into the arts? 
In 2nd grade I was Narrator #2 in my class’s performance of Frog and Toad. I’ve been a theater lover ever since, and I was a drama major in college.

2) What inspired you to join La MaMa Junior Committee? 
Since moving to New York I’ve really missed having a community of theater lovers. I thought joining the junior board would be a good way to fix that!

3) What has been your favorite Junior Committee Event? Why? 
I don’t know, I haven’t been to one yet! 

4) Favorite performance you've seen at La MaMa? Why? 
I saw Dark Matter for the first time when they performed as part of Under the Radar and it was a special performance. I really appreciated the chance to see work I really love performed at such an intimate venue. 

5) Which artist inspires you? Why?  
Anna Deavere Smith was the first documentary playwright I read, and her work inspired my senior thesis production in college. I love the reality in her work, and that she doesnt shy away from difficult subject matter. From an acting perspective, I really enjoy that she challenges herself in her solo work to portray such a diverse range of characters in a way that doesn’t feel campy. 

6) What is your favorite karaoke song? 
Back to Black by Amy Winehouse or Say it Ain’t So by Weezer

Name: Romana Soutus
Age: 22
Occupation: Actor/Playwright at La MaMa ETC
# of years in Junior Committee: Founding Member (so, since its inception a year ago)

1) What drew you into the arts? 
When I was in 1st grade my parents took me to a huge Picasso retrospective. It started with his last paintings and ended with his sketches from art school and in childhood. I remembered seeing a particular sketch and thinking “I can do that”, and I begged my mom to give me my allowance early, bought a sketchpad and some pencils in the gift shop, and spent the rest of my time there sitting in front of that sketch drawing it again and again. I knew I wanted to be an artist ever since.

2) What inspired you to join La MaMa Junior Committee? 
I believe in La MaMa. Its my home and my family. I’ve been so incredibly lucky to do my work here and I think every person, young or old, needs to see a show here because La MaMa takes risks, risks that not a lot of theaters in the city are really willing to take. Anything I can do to be a part of spreading the word is good for me.

3) What has been your favorite Junior Committee Event? Why? 
I loved our Dance Cartel event a lot. There was this reall beautiful moment at the end of the night when Reggie Watts was DJing a dance party out of his car stereo and all the stragglers from the party were outside dancing. It was organic and I don’t know many other places in the city that can facilitate that kind of experience.

4) Favorite performance you've seen at La MaMa? Why? 
I was a huge fan of “Trash Cuisine” by Belarus Free Theatre. They make incredibly brave stuff with a mastery of theatre. I also have a soft spot for the Foundry Theatre production of “Good Person of Szechwan” with Taylor Mac. The production seamlessly integrated the La MaMa scaffolding and tiered wooden platforms that are so iconic in the Ellen Stewart Theater. The production fit so perfecting in the space. Not to mention I’ve adored Taylor Mac for ages.

5) Which artist inspires you? Why?  
Jean Genet, without a doubt. He was ballsy and bold and demanded that people take a cold hard look at themselves all the while writing some of the most beautifully complex prose in his plays.

6) What is your favorite karaoke song? 
Ignition (Remix), hands down. Or anything from Fiddler on the Roof.


Name: James Ganley
Age: 24
Occupation: Recent Law School Graduate
# of years in Junior Committee: Founding Member




1) What drew you into the arts? 
The ability of the arts to act as an outlet for people’s creativity.


2) What inspired you to join La MaMa Junior Committee?
In college I worked on La MaMa’s Capital Campaign and learned about the organization’s history and the wonderful art that it was producing.  Once the Junior Committee was created, I jumped at the opportunity to stay involved.


3) What has been your favorite Junior Committee Event? Why?
The Dance Cartel Party.  The performance and follow up dance party showcased the energy that La MaMa brings to the East Village.


4) Favorite performance you've seen at La MaMa? Why?
Christmas in Nickyland.  The performance was so eclectic and fun. 


5) Which artist inspires you? Why?
My favorite artist at La MaMa is Nicky Paraiso.  He brings great energy to the stage and has been doing so for quite some time. 



6) What is your favorite karaoke song? 
Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance with Somebody



Name: Paola Pagano
Age: 27
Occupation: Illustrator and Graphic Designer
# of years in Junior Committee: Founding Member (from the very beginning) 

1) What drew you into the arts? 
Being an illustrator and designer, I’m a visual person. Though I do enjoy all arts and theater brings artists together in such a unique way; intertwining different talents in interesting and beautiful pieces of art.     

2) What inspired you to join La MaMa Junior Committee? 
I love La MaMa and its mission to foster local and international emerging artists encouraging them to be bold and to explore. I want to support in anyway I can an institution that offers a safe place for artist to grow and experiment. 

3) What has been your favorite Junior Committee Event? Why? 
If I had to pick one, it would be the Cartel Party, because it was an amazing party and while organizing it, I met so many wonderful people.   

4) Favorite performance you've seen at La MaMa? Why? 
“Tempest" was definitely my favorite show. I enjoyed the bareness of the stage and acting in particular I loved Reg Cathey's performance.  

5) Which artist inspires you? Why?  
Anish Kapoor, Grant Shaffer, Viktor Koen, Marjane Satrapi, Shirin Neshat, Toulouse Lautrec, Cezanne and more. I like different artist from different backgrounds. It’s hard to say why they inspire me, I guess whenever I relate to an art piece and I find something that makes me feel connected, understood I feel inspired.      

6) What is your favorite karaoke song? 
Roar.



Interested in becoming a member of the La MaMa Junior Committee?!

Come meet all of the members of the La MaMa Junior committee and consider being a part of a thriving community of artists and professionals to gain access to the best downtown theatre has to offer! Come and bring friends to our free event on Thursday at 8pm to find out more! RSVP for the opening party on Facebook!

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