Wednesday, April 26, 2017

6 Questions: Elena Araoz


Catherine Filloux's Kidnap Road opens this week at The First Floor Theatre at La MaMa. Director Elena Araoz answered our 6 Questions about the show, Ingrid Betancourt and working at La MaMa.  Don't miss Kidnap Road at La MaMa through May 14th, 2017.

1. How did you come to direct Kidnap Road?
I have long admired Catherine Filloux as both a person and a playwright, so I jumped at the chance to work with her when she reached out.  I also have a personal investment in stories about the Andes and the Amazon – as well as in stories about fiery female leaders.

2. Did you do research on Ingrid Betancourt for this project? 
While preparing for this project, I devoured as many interviews with Ms. Betancourt as I could find.  I was particularly interested in discerning who she was before her capture, and who she seemed to become afterwards.  She is a fascinating woman, and her life is full of many startling events that extend far beyond her 6-year imprisonment by the FARC.  It is amazing that one person's life can be so full.  The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt, a documentary by Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes, provided a particularly helpful window into Ms. Betancourt’s relationship with her family and her home country.  Their footage seems to capture both her courage and her fears.  I am also fascinated by the continued sharp polarization of Colombians’ opinions about Ms. Betancourt, and the conspiracy theories that still swirl around her.
Current events in Colombia and in the U.S. have also inadvertently provided a wealth of research for this play. The peace efforts still in process in Colombia after five decades of conflict and violence show how massive a task Ms. Betacourt was trying to achieve. In the meantime, the recent American presidential election has starkly illustrated the double standards and animosity that female leaders often contend with.  Why are male leaders – especially those who incite aggression and antagonize opponents – so often viewed with excitement, awe, or romantic ideas of a revolutionary spirit?  Why are female leaders, even those who do the same work in the same way, so often portrayed as reaching beyond their post?  How many men in one woman’s life can tell her how to behave?

3. In what way(s) do you think audiences in NYC can relate to this story? 
NYC is full of people coming from somewhere else with big dreams of doing something remarkable.  Dreams of being leaders and being loved; of making their mark and making a difference. In the Ingrid Betancourt of Kidnap Road – who may be quite distinct from the real life person – New Yorkers see a woman on a mission.  But we also see a woman who is not devoid of ego or ambition – and for all of us trying to carve out a place for ourselves in NYC, it is not difficult to relate to that drive that keeps us going in a city that can be so arduous to live in.
 Ms. Betancourt was fighting what seemed to be an impossible fight.  She was envisioning an impossible future.  I think many New Yorkers today are wondering how to do the same thing – how to change a national mood and a political system with which many of us are deeply unhappy.  How much can an individual accomplish?  How much ego or self-assurance does it take to stay in the fight?  

4. What was the last good book you read? 
I’ve had the great pleasure to read two great books back-to-back: Kia Corthron's novel The Castle Cross The Magnet Carter, and Kara Lee Corthron's young adult novel The Truth of Right Now.  By chance, these two remarkable sisters have published their debut novels within a year of each other.  Separately and together, these two books have made me more acutely question the atrocious history and the embarrassing present state of racial divide in this country.

5. Who inspires you? 
There are a number of artists who inspire me to work harder and smarter.  But lately, I have been especially reminded of my greatest directing mentor, Sir Jonathan Miller, and his conviction that in order to put real life onstage you need to be living a real life.  I am currently trying to invest not only in the make-believe of theatre but in my family, my community, the people around me, and the planet we all share – in living a fully engaged life. I truly believe that if I can observe the daily minutia of the changing citizenry and popular opinion in this country, then I can make more honest art.
I am inspired by my father for making it in this country as an immigrant, by my mother (who I swear is the hardest working woman on the planet), and by my husband, whose artistry continues to surprise me. 
And I am inspired by the women all around the country who are standing up and running for office.  Women have been ignited into action, and that gives me hope that change is coming.

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

I have always been impressed by the long lineage of amazing artists whose work has been developed and supported by LaMama.  I am honored to be showing work in the same building that has housed so many luminaries of experimental theatre.  LaMama is a place for risk takers, for those exploring form and content and politics in strange, invigorating ways.  This is the kind of art I most admire, and it has been a true joy to work and collaborate here.
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La MaMa presents

KIDNAP ROAD

Written by Catherine Filloux
Directed by Elena Araoz

April 27, 2017 - May 14, 2017Thursday - Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

The First Floor Theatre 74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $20 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Eyewitness News On Arts Funding Cuts




Eyewitness News: Reaction to President Trump's budget proposal to cut funding for the arts

Eyewitness News talks to Melissa Aase, executive director of University Settlement about President Trump's budget and the proposal to cut funding for the arts.

Choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland is featured in the piece in anticipation of her new work Bienvenue 欢迎 Welcome Bienvenido which is part of La MaMa Moves 2017!

Watch the full video: HERE


Friday, April 21, 2017

Kidnap Road: Special Events


There will be a series of conversations after select shows, surrounding themes in KidnapRoad. The play runs approximately 70 minutes with no intermission, and these happen directly afterwards, lasting no more than a half hour including the Q & A.


Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:30pm Performance
In conversation with Patricia Davis about the book she co-authored with Dianna Ortiz, “The Blindfold’s Eyes” regarding the abduction of Sister Dianna Ortiz in Guatemala. 

Patricia Davis was a 2015-2016 fellow in Arena Stage’s Playwrights’ Arena. Her most recent play, Digna, is based on the life of Mexican human rights activist Digna Ochoa.  Davis is the former director of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission.  

Monica Trausch is a Brooklyn-based writer originally from Los Angeles.  Her play “The ABCs” will premiere at The Complex Theater in Hollywood this summer.


Sunday, April 30, 2017 2pm Performance
A post-performance conversation surrounding themes in Kidnap Road with Pirronne Yousefzadeh, a Brooklyn-based theatre director, writer, and educator and Martha Wade Steketee, dramaturg, critic, researcher, and theater adjudicator.

Pirronne Yousefzadeh’s productions have received fifteen Barrymore nominations, including Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Production.

Martha Wade Steketee works with playwrights, reviews scripts, and serves on boards including American Theatre Critics Association and Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.


Thursday, May 4, 2017 7:30pm Performance
Order and Disorder in Latin America: a conversation with Alexander Santiago-Jirau.

Alexander Santiago-Jirau is Director of Education at New York Theatre (NYTW).  A Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) practitioner who studied and worked with Augusto Boal, Alex has facilitated numerous workshops throughout his career.  He is on the faculty for the Program in Educational Theatre at NYU’s Steinhardt School. 


Sunday, May 7, 2017 2pm Performance
Artists of Kidnap Road in conversation with Caridad Svich.

Caridad Svich received 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement, and the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize. Her plays, in English and Spanish, have been seen across the US and abroad. As a translator she is best know for her translations of Federico Garcia Lorca's plays.


Friday, May 12, 2017 7:30pm Performance
Jeanine Tesori in conversation with Kidnap Road’s artistic team. 

Jeanine Tesori is an American composer and musical arranger. She is the most prolific and honored female theatrical composer in history, with five Broadway musicals and five Tony Award nominations.


Saturday, May 13, 2017 7:30pm Performance
In conversation with Shilpa Darivemula and Rohini Bhatia the medical students who created The Aseemkala Initiative: The use of dance to tell stories of illness and healing is ancient and powerful. We aim to preserve diversity and promote authentic engagement among indigenous communities through the shared experience of sickness and healing.


Sunday, May 14, 2017 2pm Performance
In conversation with Toni Shapiro-Phim and Amy Lee Sanford about artistic explorations of the legacies of violence and displacement, especially in Cambodia.

Toni Shapiro-Phim’s research and writing examines the relationship of the arts to violence, migration, conflict resolution and gender concerns. PhD in anthropology from Cornell, focusing on dance and war in Cambodia. Director of Programs at the Philadelphia Folklore Project.

Amy Lee Sanford, born in Cambodia and raised in the United States, is a performance and installation artist.

For Tickets and Info on Kidnap Road - CLICK HERE


Monday, April 17, 2017

Free Reading: THE CHASE by Mike Gorman


Free reading tonight at La MaMa Galleria: Mike Gorman's THE CHASE, part two of The Honor and Glory of Whaling trilogy. 






La MaMa presents
THE CHASE
part two of The Honor and Glory of Whaling trilogy
by Mike Gorman

Monday, April 17, 20177pm

La MaMa Galleria
47 Great Jones Street
New York, NY 10012

Reservations requested: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Preview Video: GRAND ROUNDS

 
Video by Theo Cote

In the 1950s world of Grand Rounds, a 10-year-old inspired by the adventures of Cherry Ames, nurse and amateur sleuth, turns her perceptive gaze on the rituals of family life. What goes on behind closed doors and on the radio is fodder for her scientific reckonings. Director/Choreographer Tamar Rogoff invites audiences to sit bedsides to share the intimacy that propels her protagonist on a rescue mission of her own. 
The action takes place in and around six beds, in open spaces, on a hospital floor, in a graveyard, and in the imagination of this curious child. With an ensemble of differently-abled performers, Rogoff charts a journey through life’s passages, widening our circle of connection and understanding. 
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La MaMa presents

GRAND 
ROUNDS

Choreographed and Directed by Tamar Rogoff


April 27, 2017 - May 14, 2017

Wednesday - Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 4pm

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

Tickets: $25 Adults/$20 Students and Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE


Monday, April 10, 2017

6 Questions: Kimber Riddle


Kimber Riddle is featured in the new play, Kidnap Road, by Catherine Filloux. Kimber took time out from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions. Kidnap Road plays La MaMa's First Floor Theatre from April 27 - May 14, 2017.


1. Who do you play in Kidnap Road?
I play the Woman (Ingrid Betancourt)

2. Did you do any research on the Ingrid Betancourt kidnapping or other research for this production?
Yes I did quite a bit of research on the kidnapping and the captivity as well as what happened before the kidnapping and after the rescue.

3. What is the most challenging part of this play?
The most challenging part of this play for me is preparing for this journey. Putting it together and organizing it in my head.

4. Who inspires you?
Ingrid inspires me. Even though she is a controversial figure that causes opinions and feelings to bubble, I find her very inspiring in preparation to play her. For all that she survived she is still going strong and working to be a better human.

5. What is the most challenging part of this play?
This is a dream role. Any female role that is complicated that inspires the challenge to do my best work.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
This will be my second time working at La Mama. It's exciting. Hopefully there will be a third time....

_____


La MaMa presents

KIDNAP ROAD

Written by Catherine FillouxDirected by Elena Araoz

April 27, 2017 - May 14, 2017Thursday - Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

The First Floor Theatre 74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $20 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Teaser Video: The Room Sings

 
Video by Theo Cote
Music by Ellen Maddow

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La MaMa presents

THE 
ROOM 
SINGS

By The Talking Band
Written and Directed by Paul Zimet
Set Design by Nic Ularu
Video Design by Baxter Engle
Lighting Design by Lenore Doxsee
Costume Design by Kiki Smith
Puppet Design by Ralph Lee

Now - April 16, 2017

The Ellen Stewart Theatre @ La MaMa
66 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $30 Adults; $20 Student/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

6 Questions: Marco Antonio Rodriguez


Actor Marco Antonio Rodriguez took time out from rehearsals of Catherine Filloux's Kidnap Road to answer our 6 Questions.  Kidnap Road plays La MaMa's First Floor Theatre from April 27 - May 14, 2017.


1. Who do you play in Kidnap Road
MAN (various roles)

2. Did you do any research on the Ingrid Betancourt kidnapping or other research for this production? 
Absolutely. I did not know Ingrid's story before this production. I have read the book she wrote (Even Silence Has An End) watched several of her interviews and also watched a documentary on her bid for the presidency of Colombia. The kidnapping was horrible yet I was truly floored and fascinated by what happens to her after she is rescued. The country turns on her and many are divided in her opinions of her. This could easily be a two part play!

3. What is the most challenging part of this play? 
I play multiple characters. There are sections in the play where I go from one character to the next instantly... we're talking ruthless military man to young, caring lover.... in a split second! There is no time to think. No time to "transform" or "shift" into the next character. What director Elena Araoz keeps reminding me of is to immediately focus on the core, immediate need of what that character wants in that moment. This helps me step in, physically and emotionally, into the world... the TRUTH of the characters. It's actually quite beautiful not to have any time to get into your head. You do the work then just let instinct kick in. All you have is the truth of the moment.

4. Who inspires you? 
I'm also a writer so I am truly inspired by human behavior, animal behavior and nature. I can literally sit in a park for hours and just observe: People, animals, trees... Whenever I go to gatherings my favorite thing to do is sit in a corner and just observe. Taking a walk or hike also does wonders for my creativity. Also, seeing lots of different kinds of theater in different languages! One of my favorite things to do when I travel is going to the theater. 

5. What is your “dream roll”? 
I've been blessed and lucky to have played many of them. "Orlando" in The Conduct Of Life, "Oberon" in Midsummer Night's Dream"... Many of the roles I was lucky enough to do in new plays (whether readings or full productions) also turned out to be dream roles. "Nino" in Barceló On The Rocks, "Paco Escribano" in The Fall Of Rafael Trujillo... I would truly love to play Lady Macbeth some day. I connect with her need at a visceral level.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you? 
I grew up going to see shows at La Mama. It is where my love for experimental theater was born. For me, it is a coming home of sorts. The word "experimental" is interesting. The word is defined as untested ideas or techniques that have not yet been established or finalized. A work of art or an artistic technique involving a radically new and innovative style. Yet every time I've seen anything on a La Mama stage I've been far more captivated by the human truths and questions that force truth (from a different angle but truths nonetheless) rather than the experimental qualities of it.

_____



La MaMa presents
KIDNAP 
ROAD

Written by Catherine Filloux
Directed by Elena Araoz

April 27, 2017 - May 14, 2017
Thursday - Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

The First Floor Theatre 
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $20 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Brooklyn Rail talks to Ellen Maddow Paul Zimet of Talking Band


Lizzie Olesker spoke with Paul Zimet and Ellen Maddow about Talking Band's newest work, THE ROOM SINGS, now playing at The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa through April 16, 2017.


"In The Room Sings there’s a sense of a landscape that goes on and on, whether people are there or not, and the seasons go on, too. I’ve always been struck with a sense that the natural elements, the animals—the deer, the beavers, and the bears—are going on as they always have. There’s this other time that sort of goes on without you."

Read the full story: HERE


____



La MaMa presents

THE 
ROOM 
SINGS

By The Talking Band
Written and Directed by Paul Zimet
Set Design by Nic Ularu
Video Design by Baxter Engle
Lighting Design by Lenore Doxsee
Costume Design by Kiki Smith
Puppet Design by Ralph Lee

Now - April 16, 2017

The Ellen Stewart Theatre @ La MaMa
66 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $30 Adults; $20 Student/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Video Preview: Benghazi Bergen-Belsen

 
Video by Theo Cote
_____
La MaMa presents
Benghazi 
Bergen-Belsen
Written and Conceived by Lahav Timor
Based on the novel by Yossi Sucary
Directed by Michal Gamily

March 23, 2017 - April 9, 2017
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 3pm

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

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, March 23, 2017

First Look: Terra dei Fuochi / Land of Fires


















_____

La MaMa presents


Directed and Choreographed by Bianca FalcoComposed by Alberto Falco
March 23 - April 2, 2016
Thursday - Saturday at 7:30 pm; Sunday at 2 pm

First Floor Theatre
74A East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003
Tickets: $20 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors
For Tickets & Info: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

6 Questions: Susana Cook

Photo by Annabelle Contreras Castro

Susana Cook's newest work, Non-Consensual Relationships With Ghosts,  premieres at The Club at La MaMa on March 24th and runs through April 2, 2017.  Susana took a break from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions.  


1. How do you describe your new show, Non-Consensual Relationships With Ghosts?
Non-Consensual Relationships with Ghosts has many experimental components in the writing, and suddenly we are all singing a la Broadway. It’s an ensemble work but it’s also a solo show. It’s playing with language and the non-sense of our times. It’s a collage of powerful images, trying to create resistance through form. It’s fun and it’s tragic too. It’s intense, like the moment we are living. It has 15 actors onstage trying to make sense of a structure that keeps destroying itself all the time.

2. How does it feel to be doing this play in our current political climate? 
It feels necessary and urgent. We can’t do anything else but referring to what’s happening with whatever art we are creating. Non-Consensual relationships with Ghosts is a show of the resistance. It’s an attempt to make people feel better, to laugh, to sing and to make them feel part of a community; that’s the best part of the theater experience.

3. What have you learned during the creation of this piece? 
That the most important part of a theater piece is the energy. That people leave their house to come see us to experience something, and as directors we have to be magicians who can unleash that transformative energy.

4. Who inspires you? 
Heiner Muller

5. What was the last good book you read? 
I couldn’t read books lately, I am constantly following the news, reading articles, things are happening so fast. But Post-Dramatic Theater by Hans- Thies Lehmann is what comes to mind.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you? 
I always wanted to do a show at La MaMa, I am ecstatic that is finally happening.


_____




La MaMa presents
Written and Directed by Susana Cook 
Sound Design by Julian Mesri

March 24, 2017 - April 2, 2017

Fridays & Saturdays at 10pm; Sundays at 6pm

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

Tickets: $20 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Friday, March 17, 2017

Video Preview: Terra dei Fuochi / Land of Fires

 
Video by Theo Cote


La MaMa presents
Terra dei Fuochi / Land of Fires
Directed and Choreographed by Bianca Falco (Napoli, Campania- NYC, USA)
Composed by Alberto Falco (Napoli, Campania)

Terra dei Fuochi / Land of Fires is an environmental performance project blending modern dance, music and documentary theatre to tell the story of Campania Felix, an area in Italy north of Naples that suffered devastating loss of life due to a toxic waste disaster and scandal. Accompanying the performance will be panel discussions with local environmentalists regarding land and water contamination issues facing our global community.

To accompany the performance, a booth will provide information about the toxic waste afflicting Campania Felix and how this situation can be compared to others around the world. We aim to provide further education in the increasing land and water contamination issues facing our global community.

The First Floor Theatre
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $20 Adult Tickets; $15 Student/Seniors

For Tickets & Info: CLICK HERE

Monday, March 13, 2017

6 Questions: Catherine Filloux

Catherine Filloux's new play, Kidnap Road, is inspired by the story of Ingrid Betancourt.  As Filloux explains, "Details of Ingrid Betancourt’s story can be found in the public record. This story is imagined as a two-person play based in part on those events."  Catherine took time out from preparing for the show to answer 6 Questions for the La MaMa Blog:

1. What was it about the story of Ingrid Betancourt that made you want to explore it?
My parents are French and French was my first language. I was in France traveling by train to my aunt’s in Montpellier when Ingrid Betancourt was rescued. France had worked consistently for her rescue. I admire women leaders who fight for the poor, for children, and who risk their life in a male-dominated political climate. I was drawn to the parallels that Ingrid Betancourt and her own mother shared; what they decided to do in terms of their families to pursue politics. I am personally intrigued by family legacies. And PTSD is a theme I have often written about; when I first started writing about it, it was not a well known acronym as it is now, and that exploration has been important to me. Also I wanted to explore the spirituality in this story as well as the dramatization of memory.

2. What surprised you the most about Betancourt or her story?
The story of survival, and the story of the backlash against women leaders and their polarizing effect, which repeats itself.

3. What would you like audiences to take away from Kidnap Road?
I hope they will be immersed in this human struggle onstage, and in the spirit of the unexpected (for example, God and Camus) through the power of language, and our artistic team’s collaboration.

4. What was the last play/film/performance that made an impression on you?
I was pleased to take my sister Marianne, who lives in Montana, to see The Mountain Bird at La MaMa recently. Ibsen’s unfinished opera. We were both amazed by the performers’ physicality. I loved the (slow) climbing up the mountain and the descent; it was mesmerizing in a way I had not seen before. Marianne is a skier as are her friends and family, and if anyone could relate to the process of putting on skis it is her! The performers were intrepid in the Norwegian snow! It was a surprising and memorable performance.

5. If you weren't working in theater, what do you think you'd like to do?
A runner.

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


_____




La MaMa presents
KIDNAP 
ROAD

Written by Catherine Filloux
Directed by Elena Araoz

April 27, 2017 - May 14, 2017
Thursday - Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

The First Floor Theatre 
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $20 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE