Tuesday, September 27, 2016

OUT Magazine on DENUDED!



Out Magazine calls Bruno Isaković's Denuded a "Must See"!

Premiering at the Queer New York International Arts Festival in association with La Mama, Denuded is a nine-person dance piece choreographed by the legendary Bruno Isaković. The movement is inspired by the connection between breath and physical tension of the body, and explores that relationship through precise, intricate moves and shapes.

Read the full article HERE.

La MaMa presents
Denuded
by Bruno Isaković

Part of Queer New York International Arts Festival

September 28 - October 2, 2016
Wednesday 9/28: Solo Version
Thursday 9/29 - Sunday 10/2: Group Version

The Downstairs @ La MaMa
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

Monday, September 26, 2016

La MaMa Archive Monthly Open House


NEW for the 55th Season - the La MaMa Archive will be open to the public for monthly viewing hours on the first Thursday of every month, from 5:30 - 7:00.  Come stop by and see all of the amazing posters, puppets, awards and other materials from the 55 years of La MaMa's history.

Timed to for audiences to come early before our Thursday performances, stop in before seeing THE GOD PROJECT,  ET'TEFFEH/APPLES or DENUDED this Thursday and experience 55 years of off-off Broadway history.

Admission is free, donations accepted.

La MaMa presents

La MaMa Archive 

Open House


Thursday, October 6, 2016: 5:30pm - 7:00pm

La MaMa Archive
66 East 4th Street, 1st Floor
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Free Admission, donations accepted.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Coffeehouse Chronicles #136: Theodora Skipitares


On Saturday, October 8 at 3pm Coffeehouse Chronicles #136 celebrates the work of Theodora Skipitares.  


Moderated by JoAnne Akalaitis 

Panelists: Andrea Balis, Claudia Orenstein

and Jane Catherine Shaw 

Theodora Skipitares is an interdisciplinary artist and theater director based in NewYork. Trained as a sculptor and theater designer, she began creating personal solo performances in the late 1970's, which revolved around the use of handmade objects that were worn on her body. Gradually she moved away from autobiography to explore social and historical themes. She introduced small 3-dimensional representations of herself into these performances, which she understood (later) to be puppets. She has created 25 works featuring as many as 300 puppet figures, live music, film, video and documentary texts. These projects include UNDER THE KNIFE, a site-specific history of medicine which took an audience to twelve different theater environments, and BODY OF CRIME, a history of women in prison. More recently, she created three plays about the Trojan War: HELEN, ODYSSEY, and IPHIGENIA. In 2014, she devised THE CHAIRS, a take-off on Ionesco's absurdist classic, and in 2016, she created SIX CHARACTERS, a response to Pirandello's play.


La MaMa presents
Coffeehouse 
Chronicles #136:
Theodora Skipitares

Saturday, October 8 at 3pm

Free/Suggested Donation

For Reservations and Info: CLICK HERE

Friday, September 16, 2016

Abdelkader Alloula


This season, La MaMa welcomes the Algerian company, Istijmam and their production of Et'teffeh/Apples by Abdelkader Alloula.

 Jane E. Goodman, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Indiana University, writes:

"Playwright Abdelkader Alloula wrote Et’tefeh in 1992, in the aftermath of Algeria’s 1988 uprising, which toppled 30 years of single-party dictatorship but led to a decade of civil war that pitted Islamist insurgents against a military-backed regime. A secular democratic intellectual committed to political pluralism, Alloula was assassinated outside his home in Oran by Islamist terrorists in 1994."

Abdelkader Alloula's daughter, Rihab Alloula is performing in the play along with Moussa Boukra and Mustapha Lakhdari.  La MaMa is the New York stop on this multi-city tour of Et'teffeh/Apples that runs through October 2, 2016.




La MaMa in association with Center Stage presents
Et'teffeh/Apples
by Istijmam  

September 29 - October 2, 2016
Thursday - Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

The First Floor Theatre @ La MaMa
74A East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $25 Adults/$20 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE




Monday, September 12, 2016

6 Questions: Randolph Curtis Rand


Obie-winner Randolph Curtis Rand is bringing Phantasmagoria; or, Let Us Seek Death! to The Ellen Stewart Theatre in October.  Randolph took time out of rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions about Frankenstein, puppets and who inspires him.

1. What was the original inspiration for Phantasmagoria; or, Let Us Seek Death!?
I first read FRANKENSTEIN as a teen, and have to say, that i did not get it. Probably, I was expecting something closer to the movies. Flash forward many years, and I inadvertently picked up a copy of the 1818 edition. STILL don’t know as I got it, but now I knew that that was the point; it's a truly strange book, and I wondered just what Mary wanted to say with it. So, asking that question, and the only way of doing that (for me) is to get it up on it’s feet, putting action to description. Also, it struck me that there was a lot of philosophy in the book. She paints a very well drawn, cosmopolitan world, from Geneva, to The Orkney Islands, to the Arctic! Poets, scientists, college students, sea captains, Italian noblemen, and Muslims! I think she paints the world she knew, from her travels, the people that were friends with her, Shelley, her father, and the books she read. And I began thinking about what the zeitgeist was like then; she sets the book in “17- “, so the late 18th century- romanticism, the American, and French revolutions, Thomas Paine, the Rights of Man, etc. I wanted to tell the story, like a jewel in the setting of the time.

2. What should audiences expect from the show?
Well, NOT the movies!! I hope they’ll see something like what it must have been like for this teenage girl to be among these brilliant iconoclasts, AND her coming into her own as an artist.


3. How did you decide to incorporate the use of puppets into this piece?
I can’t really say why, but from the very first stirrings of this piece, I knew that the creature had to be a puppet. Not an actor, per se, but something inanimate, that we animated. Perhaps that’s it- a theatrical metaphor.


4. Who has inspired you? 
Hard. There are so many. I think I’m mostly inspired by other arts. Cunningham, Trisha Brown, Mary Overlie, Lucinda Childs, Laura Dean, Francis Bacon, and Marc Rothko, John Cage, and always, always, Charles Ives!

5. What film/play/art exhibit/dance work have seen recently that made an impact on you?
So many things! I’m always fascinated when someone, or some group, seem to creating new language with their work; Elevator Repair Service’s production of Sybil Kempson’s play, at New York Theatre Workshop; a couple of years ago watching Witness Relocation do Chuck Mee’s ETERNIDAY (at La Mama); a lot of reading is inspiring me; John Cage’s SILENCE, also Barbara Dilley’s memoir/auto-biography/work book, THIS VERY MOMENT, also George Mac Donalds’ classic of fantasy, LILITH.


6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
Oh, it’s home! This is my 7th show here. I got my Union Card here, won my OBIE here, toured Austria, Greece, and Romania from here. A lot of the faces are different now, but it will always be coming home.



- - - - -


La MaMa presents
Phantasmagoria; 
or, Let Us Seek Death!
Conceived and Directed By Randolph Curtis Rand
Written by Chana Porter
Puppetry by Benjamin Stuber
An Eric Borlaug Production

October 20 - November 06, 2016
Thursday to Saturday at 7PM; Sunday at 4PM

Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Students/Seniors; ten tickets priced at $10 each are available for every performance as part of La MaMa 10@$10 ticketing initiative.

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Friday, September 9, 2016

6 Questions: Edward Einhorn


Writer and director Edward Einhorn is the Artistic Director of Untitled Theater Company No. 61 and co-author and co-director of The God Projekt, which returns to La MaMa this month.  Edward took time out from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions! 

1. How did The God Projekt come about?
Kevin approached me to help him transform some concepts from his earlier show, Bride, into a new piece. I was fascinated about its themes about the origin of monotheism, an interest of mine as well. I come from a Jewish background and reworking the bible through story, in or order to examine and critique it, feels to me like a very Jewish pursuit. I like that our different backgrounds, his being Catholic, brought very different perspectives to the story--and some similar ones. We progressed from a small scene at Dixon Place, to a large one at the Henson Carriage House, to a production in the 2013 La MaMa Puppet Series, to a reworking at an NACL residency last year, to this final version of the piece we are about to present. Each time I feel its development has led to new revelations and a deepening of the characters. I am very excited to have an audience see our current version.

2. What should audiences expect from the piece?
I hope the first thing they can expect is to experience a gripping theater piece that engages them emotionally and intellectually. It is a visceral piece, both tragic and funny at times, with powerful visuals provided by Kevin's puppets and by our talented group of designers. This is a story about God, and in our story God is failing. Seeing a great figure fall apart, no matter what his faults, is always a heart wrenching affair.

3. What have you learned from working on The God Projekt?
I have long has a love of puppetry, using it in many of my Untitled Theater Company No. 61 productions, but it has been a wonderful opportunity to work with puppetry on a different scale. What I most enjoy about working with Kevin's puppets is the depth of expression they are capable of, especially Adam. It has also been a learning experience to participate in this sort of collaboration, it's exciting to see what happens as a co-writer and co-director and how our two styles blend.

4. Who has inspired you?
When I was seven years old, my brother started reading me Ionesco (he was nine years older and reading it in class). We progressed to Beckett, and as an adult I had the extraordinary opportunity to work with Havel. I feel like everything I write comes from those old absurdist impulses to tell tragedy through comedy. My techniques may be different (and here I am inspired by directors like Breuer or LePage), but the object is essentially the same.

5. What was the last good book you read?
I am currently reading We, an century old Russian dystopian novel by Yvgeny Zamyatin. It's slow going, in the midst of production, but tow-thirds through and intrigued by the world he created.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
The first show I saw at La MaMa was Andrei Serban's The Trojan Women, playing in the Ellen Stewart Theater well before it was called that, because of course Ellen was still living. It was one of the most exciting pieces of theater I had ever seen. I had heard of La MaMa before and knew its place in history, but when I saw that show, I knew I wanted to be part of the tradition. To be playing in that same theater is a great honor.






La MaMa in association with 

Untitled Theater Company No. 61 presents

THE GOD PROJEKT

By Lone Wolf Tribe
Conceived by Kevin Augustine
Co-written and Co-directed by Kevin Augustine and Edward Einhorn

September 30 - October 16, 2016
Thursday - Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 4pm 
- additional performance on Monday Oct. 3 at 7pm

Tickets: $30 Adults/$25 Students/Seniors; ten tickets priced at $10 each are available for every performance as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

6 Questions: Chana Porter

Playwright Chana Porter took time out from preparing for rehearsals of Phantasmagoria; or, Let Us Seek Death! to answer our 6 Questions, in which she talks about Frankenstein, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and  Thomas Paine.


1 How did Phantasmagoria; or, Let Us Seek Death! come about?
I met Randy [director, Randolph Curtis Rand] in 2011 when I was 26. I had just come back to Brooklyn from a crazy strict 10 day silent meditation retreat— no phones, books, pens or paper allowed. It was a fortuitous moment, but at the time I was just delighted to talk to people again! We got to talking about Mary Shelley and he told me his idea for a play that swirled between her unconventional life and the original Frankenstein text. I actually raised my hand and said “Me! Me! I want to write this!” Then I went home and sent him every play I had ever written. Thankfully, he liked those early plays and we began to meet to talk about Mary Shelley, her circle of artists and thinkers, the French Revolution, Romantic poetry, Gothic literature, Thomas Paine— it was a real education.

2 What do you find interesting about Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein?
First of all, the story around the book’s creation is so incredible. It began as a contest, inspired by “the year without a summer” in 1816 when it was too cold for frolicking outside. I love that Mary’s story is the only one that really had much of a life, because she actually finished it! As a writer, I can’t take enough inspiration from that: your work will only live on if you see it through. Keep going.

For the Frankenstein sections of the play, I went back to Mary’s original manuscript, which you can find published aside the original 1818 version. It’s choppy and very modern, with not much punctuation. The slapdash manuscript of a brilliant teenage girl. I was entranced by the language, the sophisticated Creature with his love of John Milton, the idea of alchemy from ancient science-philosophers like Paracelsus and Agrippa. Of course, the question of mastery over death. But there’s so much more! You can read Frankenstein in the vein of parental responsibility, or look at it through the lens of medical ethics or environmentalism. As modern readers, Frankenstein just keeps giving us gifts.

3 Can you talk about the queer aspect(s) of the play?
I was most interested in exploring this slice of history from a queer feminist frame. In Shelley’s circle of free thinkers, who were experimenting with what they termed “free love” and embracing their queerness, straight sex still had such social and physical repercussions for the women. As a bisexual queer woman, I feel deeply for Mary and her circle. They were trying to remake the world and were crushed by it, again and again. (Of course, everyone had different agendas. It didn’t seem like Lord Byron was concerned about social issues at all— he found talk of revolution and class politics gauche.) So the women would run off with these men who promised to love and support them without the tyranny of marriage, only to be financially and socially ruined upon abandonment. And the men were crushed by these times too. Remember, in England during the entire lifetime of Byron and Shelley, men as young as adolescents were hanged for having sex with each other. Mary and her scorchingly brilliant step-sister Claire, ran off to Italy and later Switzerland with Percy Shelley, where the laws were not so oppressive and they were out of the public eye. It was under this new freedom that she conceived Frankenstein. But the demands and judgements of the outside world did not stay away from them for very long. I don’t want to give too much away, but I could argue that Mary’s life was actually just as grisly as Frankenstein. Death and heartbreak followed her. That’s part of why we choose that subtitle, Let Us Seek Death, which is actually from Paradise Lost (the Creature’s favorite book!) We can’t skirt around death in this production, so we decided to run towards it, to embrace it, to face the abyss head on.

4 Who are some writers you admire?
I’ve always been interested in science fiction and horror, particularly writers who use the fantastical to talk about potent social issues or explore possibilities for alternative futures. I’m currently loving the horror writer Victor LaValle and speculative fiction author N.K Jemisin. Octavia Butler is an all-time favorite. I adore the creeping biological horror of Jeff VanderMeer’s excellent Southern Reach Trilogy. For scarily delightful plays, Erin Courtney’s A Map of Virtue does all the things to me— it upsets me while making me recognize the beauty of small objects and chance encounters. Every time I pass a Christmas tree lot I think of Julia Jarcho’s terrifying yet tender Grimly Handsome. And Kristine Haruna Lee will soon be taking over the world. 

 5 What is your favorite scary movie and why?
This is really difficult, but I probably just have to say John Carpenter’s The Thing. Wait, no! All time favorite is Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the 1978 version. Oof, that movie! My SF novel, Seep, is like the utopian version of that movie, where aliens in the form of a viscous substance completely remake the world through human-alien symbiosis.

But in Body Snatchers it’s not so nice! I love that the aliens don’t ever seem interested or even able to actually communicate with the people they’re taking over. We are the same as flowers to them. They have no sense of human speech or morality, they infiltrate and consume, while the people run around and try to make sense of what’s happening. And I love a good love story. Donald Sutherland is crazy charismatic in that movie. Sometimes it really takes the end of the world to tell someone how you feel. And then it’s too late! Because now you’re both pod people, bwahahaha. Yes, I love to be gut-wrenched.

6 What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
I’m so honored to be working at La MaMa, especially in the historic and gorgeous Ellen Stewart Theatre. I’ve been coming to see shows at La MaMa since I was in undergrad, traveling down from Massachusetts as a baby experimental theater nerd. I’m really excited about the La MaMa archives being open to the public this year, to watch and read past performances and now to be a part of that legacy. Life is too good. I’m all gratitude. 

La MaMa presents
Phantasmagoria; 
or, Let Us Seek Death!
Conceived and Directed By Randolph Curtis Rand
Written by Chana Porter
Puppetry by Benjamin Stuber
An Eric Borlaug Production

October 20 - November 06, 2016
Thursday to Saturday at 7PM; Sunday at 4PM

Tickets: $30 Adults; $25 Students/Seniors; ten tickets priced at $10 each are available for every performance as part of La MaMa 10@$10 ticketing initiative.

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Split Britches in Senior Planet



Raven Snook of Senior Planet takes a look at Split Britches' Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) currently in residence workshops on Governors Island prior to performances in The Downstairs @ La MaMa in October 2016.

"Buried potential became both the inspiration for and the focus of Weaver and Shaw’s latest endeavor, “Unexploded Ordnances (UXO),” a series of exploratory workshops with seniors that will provide material for a theatrical production. The term “buried,” Weaver says, refers more to “the fantasy of life as opposed to the lost opportunities of life.” It’s a subtle but important distinction: what you always wanted to do rather than what you didn’t do."



La MaMa presents

Unexploded 

Ordnances (UXO)

by Split Britches
Written and Performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver

*Unexploded Ordnances is one of two Split Britches shows at La MaMa in October. Retro(per)spective plays October 20 - 23, 2016. 
October 6 – October 16, 2016
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 6pm

The Downstairs @ La MaMa
66 East 4th Street
New York, NY `10003

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors; ten tickets priced at $10 each available for every performance, in advance only, as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative.
2-Show Split Britches packages also available!

For Tickets & Info: Click Here

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Artistic Director Mia Yoo on The 55th Season!



Dear Friends,

Our 55th season celebrates the creative and collective histories of La MaMa's local and global communities. La MaMa was born from a need within a small community of artists for an artistic home where they could create and voice their struggles and triumphs through art. Over the years, this community grew to include artists based in different parts of the United States, Europe, Asia, Oceania, South America and Africa.

Today, these long-term relationships have taken on a new life. New pathways in performance and technology can now connect the myriad experiences, politics, conflicts, aesthetics, intimacies, and dreams of people and communities participating in an increasingly globalized world. Our season programming explores the different connections between our local and global communities and how, in a world with changing modes of communication, these connections sustain and even thrive.

In bringing together different people from different places, my hope is that our 55th season could perhaps create a theatre of peoples, of the languages and maps and stories with which we build and inhabit shared worlds.

Love,
Mia
Artistic Director


Celebrate 55 Years of La MaMa!

#LaMaMa55 #LaMaMaWorld

Visit www.lamama.org for Tickets & More Information!


 



6 Questions: Kevin Augustine


Kevin Augustine returns to La MaMa with The God Projekt, September 30 - October 16th. Originally produced as part of the 2013 La MaMa Puppet Series, this revised "second coming" of the show has been redesigned for The Ellen Stewart Theatre.  Kevin took time out from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions.


1. What was the inspiration for making The God Projekt?

It was based on an earlier Lone Wolf Tribe play I wrote in 2008, BRIDE. I wanted to tell a more intimate version of that story- the forgotten partnership between the Jewish God, Yahweh and the local Cannanite Goddess, Asherah. The essence of my curiosity was to peer outside the frame of certain belief systems we habitually take for granted. Growing up in a religious family, I wanted to explore Christianity's origins. It was a revelation when I first discovered that Judaism, Islam and Christianity all share the same origin story. It was a further revelation that long predating Judaism, for thousands of years God was considered a woman and not a man.

2. What questions does the play raise?

What implications arise from a religious belief system that centers on a male deity, i.e.. "The Father"? What global consequences can be attributed to such a choice when billions of worshipers elevate the male over the female as the 'creator of life'? What can be done to bring balance to our ideological differences? Is it not time for a change? Can we do better?

3. You originally presented The God Projekt at La MaMa Puppet Series in 2013, how has it changed?

We have reworked the script to tighten the narrative; I've fleshed out the character relationships in the play and added two puppeteers as well as additional puppets and props. We have also integrated a multi-media element with video footage of God's VHS archives along with a live camera feed. Lastly, the set design of God's heavenly office is on a much grander and more eerie scale.

4. Who has inspired you?

People working for peace through non-violent means. Old time circus clowns.

5. What was the last good book you read?

Non Violent Communication by Marshal Rosenberg

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

Performing at La MaMa has always been an artistic ambition of mine. It is a dream come true to finally have the opportunity to perform in the Ellen Stewart Theatre! I am truly appreciative to be counted among the countless artists who have been given a temporary artistic home here. 





La MaMa in association with 

Untitled Theater Company No. 61 presents

THE GOD PROJEKT

By Lone Wolf Tribe
Conceived by Kevin Augustine
Co-written and Co-directed by Kevin Augustine and Edward Einhorn

September 30 - October 16, 2016
Thursday - Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 4pm 
- additional performance on Monday Oct. 3 at 7pm

Tickets: $30 Adults/$25 Students/Seniors; ten tickets priced at $10 each are available for every performance as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE