La MaMa Blogs: 2020

Thursday, August 20, 2020

La MaMa Umbria International - Re-imagined


In the midst of travel restrictions and social isolation, a collective of innovative artists from around the world gathered online for La MaMa’s first Virtual Umbria Symposium with Emily Mann, Michael Mayer, Nambi E. Kelley, Martha Clarke and more.

For 20 years, La MaMa has provided international theatre artists with space of experimentation and education at our Umbria campus in Spoleto, Italy. This summer, the program evolved to a digital environment. Directors and playwrights joined seven renowned theatre artists for master classes in communal theatre-making, anti-racism theory, and creative resilience.

“The most surprising thing we learned was that you really can create a community over Zoom,” commented David Diamond, Umbria International Coordinator. “A benefit of this format is that you can have such different types of personal interactions within a group.”

Though some workshop participants were thousands of miles away from one another, Diamond notes that collaborative projects and plans for the future have emerged. “Ellen taught us to bring people together,” said Diamond, “and realize the potential of having an amazing confluence of artists in a room.”

The Symposium’s participants celebrate the rich experience of creating a space of togetherness with other artists. “I have never participated in a learning opportunity for directors that was as loving and supportive as the Umbria Directors Symposium,” remarked a participating artist. “I feel focused and filled with hope.”

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Murielle Borst-Tarrant receives Mellon Foundation Awards Residency at La MaMa



Murielle Borst-Tarrant from the Kuna & Rappahanock Nations selected for a three-year residency from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Playwright Residency Program (NPRP). La MaMa is chosen as the host theatre.

Playwright, director, and major advocate for the NYC Native American theatre community, Murielle has been involved with La MaMa for most of her life. She embodies La MaMa’s mission to inspire empowerment and social transformation through the arts.


“It is bittersweet to be awarded this residency during the recent loss of my husband Kevin Tarrant who died of complications due to covid-19. Kevin was a great believer in my work and was my biggest supporter.

Although we cannot continue to enjoy our lives together, this residency will help me fulfill my goals as a theatre maker.

I thank the staff at La MaMa, The staff and ensemble of Safe Harbors NYC, Spiderwoman Theater, Pangea World Theater, Linda Chapman, Morgan Jennesse, Jim Nicolla, Faithe Merrick, my family, and always my loving husband Kevin. I am humbled to be included in this group of theatre makers.”   

Murielle Borst-Tarrant
Kuna/Rappahannock
Director of Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective

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More about Murielle Borst-Tarrant:  CLICK HERE

In 2012, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and HowlRound launched the National Playwright Residency Program (NPRP) in response to the increasing difficulty for playwrights to earn a living. More about the residency program: CLICK HERE

Friday, June 12, 2020

Work Resumes on 74 East 4th Street!


After nearly three months, work on our renovations of 74 East 4th Street, the first permanent home of Ellen Stewart's La MaMa, resume with NYC entering phase one of reopening after shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Below are photos of a new concrete floor being poured:








To learn more about the plans for our capital project and to find out how you can help: 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A Message From Mia


April 28, 2020          

Dear Friends,

In these past three weeks, there is not one day that goes by that I don’t think about La MaMa’s treasured resident set designer, Jun Maeda, who died on April 6 due to complications related to the Covid-19 virus. In some moments I am filled with deep sadness, overwhelmed with the loss and with all the loss that is happening around us.  Mostly though I hold on and remember that we live on in the people that we touch.  His exquisite art, unwavering creative force and magic live in the spaces where he worked at La MaMa, in the sculptures and art pieces he made, and of course in our hearts.

With Maeda’s passing, I cannot help but think of generations of La MaMa that came before us.  I go back to the beginnings when Ellen Stewart started La MaMa. She didn’t set out to establish a theatre, but her friends were theatre artists and they needed space to create.  Now with our theatres closed, La MaMa is focused on the virtual space for artists as we continue to present a multiplicity of perspectives and to experiment with different artistic mediums and theatrical forms.

Ellen used theatre as a vehicle to bring global communities together; now we are leveraging the internet and other emerging technologies as creative tools for making art and connecting people around the world. Since 2009, La MaMa in partnership with Seoul Institute of the Arts founded CultureHub. Together we have been exploring emerging technologies, making online art and educational programs, and livestreaming countless productions.

Artists need to be in this space, to inform how these online platforms can be used for art. In the artist’s hands, work generated online will expand our understanding and potential of this new venue where we can gather as humans, as a community. During this crisis, the numbers of viewers in our livestreams have drastically increased. Each stream shows viewers from various states, as well as in countries across the globe.

The impact and access of the artists’ work to go beyond the four walls of our theatres is how we imagine La MaMa’s future. La MaMa will always present live performance in our theatres and nothing will replace the need for us to experience something in a physical space together.  When our work resumes in the theatres, these online explorations will continue and inform how artists can make/share work and how audiences can be engaged. For now we are postponing our productions for the rest of the season but we forge ahead to experiment and collaborate with our artists online through the summer.

Life is changing around us and as we process where we are and where we are headed, art creates an environment of sensitivity which opens up the possibility for change. La MaMa has always been shaped by its community of artists and audiences. It is all of you who give me energy and hope. In exploring what new experiences we can create I am inspired by Maeda who never stopped working until his last days. I feel his spirit in this endeavor to never stop experimenting and examining our humanity through artistic creation.

Love,

Mia
CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT LAMAMA

Thursday, April 2, 2020

New La MaMa Podcast: Amy Rox Surratt chats with Split Britches

Photo by Christa Holka

In the latest edition of the La MaMa Podcast, Amy Rox Surratt chats with Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw of Split Britches.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

An Important Message From La MaMa


Dear friends,

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, all public events and performances of shows at La MaMa are suspended as of Friday, March 13, 2020 until further notice. La MaMa is exploring ways to respond creatively to a situation that is potentially changing how we gather as a community in our theatres. 

La MaMa and CultureHub have closed this weekend’s interactive exhibition, Re-Fest, to the public and instead the event will be live-streamed all weekend. One performance of Pananadem (Remembering) will be live-streamed on Sunday, March 15th. 

La MaMa is working with CultureHub to provide online streaming of select productions and events on Howlround Theatre Commons. Watch live performances and events for FREE around the world in the comfort and safety of your home. 


Thank you,
La MaMa

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Opening Night: Fandango For Butterflies (and Coyotes)

Tony Shalhoub, Anne Hamburger and Brooke Adams 

Post-Opening Reception

Silvia Dionicio with the cast and audience members

Jen Anaya (center)

The cast and audience at the post-show fandango

 All photos by Theo Cote
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La MaMa presents


An En Garde Arts Production 

Directed by José Zayas 
Written by Andrea Thome 
Music by Sinuhé Padilla

February 6 - 15, 2020     

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

Thursday, February 6, 2020

New La MaMa Podcast: Albert Poland

In the new episode of the La MaMa Podcast,  La MaMa Director of Audience Development John Issendorf speaks with Albert Poland, whose memoir STAGES looks at his life and 43 year career in NYC theater.



ALBERT POLAND, in his 43 year career in the New York theatre, served as general manager for more than 90 productions including The Homecoming, Talk Radio, Glengarry Glen Ross (Tony Award, Best Revival), Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Tony Award, Best Revival), and Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, Dirty Blonde, The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Tony Award, Best Play), The Grapes of Wrath (Tony Award, Best Play), As Is (Drama Desk Award, Best Play), The Price, the original productions of Little Shop of Horrors (Drama Critics, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Best Musical), Steel Magnolias, and One Mo’ Time as well as Bill W. and Dr. Bob, Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Drama Desk, Best Play), Uta Hagen in Mrs. Klein, Eileen Heckart in The Waverly Gallery, Always Patsy Cline, Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind (Drama Critics, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Best Play), Vanities, David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre, The Neon Woman, Tommy Tune Atop the Village Gate, Let My People Come, Stephen Sondheim’s Marry Me a Little and Tom Lehrer’s Tomfoolery. Mr. Poland operated the Astor Place Theatre from 1977 through 2000, during which time it was host to such long runs as A Coupla White Chicks, The Dining Room, The Foreigner, and Blue Man Group. He is the Co-Editor/Author, with Bruce Mailman, of The Off-Off Broadway Book published in 1972 by Bobbs-Merrill. As a performer, he appeared at Carnegie Hall, La Mama, Judson Poets Theater and the Village Gate. Mr. Poland’s first venture in show business was as the founding president of The Official Judy Garland Fan Fan Club in 1955.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Interview with Andrea Thome of Fandango For Butterflies (and Coyotes)


Playwright Andrea Thome took time out from rehearsals to sit down and talk about her new show, Fandango For Butterflies (and Coyotes) which begins performances on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa.
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La MaMa presents


An En Garde Arts Production 

Directed by José Zayas 
Written by Andrea Thome 
Music by Sinuhé Padilla

February 6 - 15, 2020     

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

Monday, February 3, 2020

6 Questions for Silvia Dionicio of Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes)


Silvia Dionicio is part of the cast of Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes), which begins performances this week in the Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa.  Silvia took time out from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions.  Come join the Fandango beginning February 6, 2020!  There are only 8 performances at La MaMa, so get your tickets now! 

1. What does the word fandango mean to you?
This is actually my first experience with Fandango! Til the beginning of rehearsals I’d never actually been to one. And as of now I’ve been to 3 and I love them. They are a welcoming, warm, fun and a symbol of cultures. And it’s nice to speak mostly if not completely Spanish for once.

2. How do you describe your role in Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes)?
I think my character in this play represents: the “audience” (she’s an “outsider”) she’s never been to a Fandango, she doesn’t really know what it is. Yet she is welcomed with open arms and in a matter of minutes she becomes part of this family! And I think that’s what we are doing! We are opening up to the audience, telling them who we are who Latin Immigrants really are, sharing a little piece of us, our music and our stories.

3. What is the experience of performing in both English and Spanish?
It’s been great to play back and forth with the Spanish and English, in an honest, not forced way! It’s really interesting because rehearsals were the same way, a non stop back and forth of Spanish and English. And it was nothing but heartwarming.

4. How would you describe the music by Sinuhé Padilla in Fandango?
BEAUTIFUL AND HAUNTING! I would literally go home unable to stop singing his lyrics.

5. What have you learned from these stories of undocumented immigrants from Latin America living in New York?
I’ve learned a LOT about how hard the whole process of crossing can be, how scary, how haunting! Is just so shocking and beautiful how far people will go to create a better future for themselves and their family (as well as safety).

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
Oh this is definitely an “Acting Goal” from my bucket list! Plus I get to tell a story that is so close to me with such amazing people!


___



La MaMa presents


An En Garde Arts Production 

Directed by José Zayas 
Written by Andrea Thome 
Music by Sinuhé Padilla

February 6 - 15, 2020     

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

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

6 Questions for Hideki Noda of ONE GREEN BOTTLE


Renowned Japanese theater artist Hideki Noda comes to La MaMa with ONE GREEN BOTTLE.  Hideki wrote, directs and stars in the show that begins performances on February 29, 2020.  Hideki took time out from rehearsals in Japan to answer our 6 Questions about that show and working at La MaMa.


1. What inspired you to write ONE GREEN BOTTLE?
I wrote a sort of portrait of a disconnected family on a self-destructive course. It parallels to a portrait of our society that faces the issue about over consumerism and too much technology in a ‘selfie’ community.

2. What does the title mean?
The song of “One Green Bottle” shows that Ten green bottles hanging on the wall becomes no green bottle by accidentally falling one by one. When I listened to this song for the first time, I thought that it symbolizes our community all over the world. In an environmental way, a spiritual way and a physical way how many bottles are we diminishing form ten bottles to?

3. Who do you play in ONE GREEN BOTTLE?
I play a role of Boo.(the wife of this family)

4. Why is cross-gender casting important to the show?
Male actor can think of a role of female in a family and a society through a role of female he plays. And female actor vice versa.

5. What is the most difficult thing about directing a show you are also acting in? 
For instance, when I’m performing as an actor, I come up with the new idea as a director. I can’t stop the show. Then after the show, I totally forget the fantastic new idea as if you realize that you forget everything after you wake up when you believed you dreamt an amazing dream.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
My legend of the theatre, Shuji Terayama (Japanese director)’s production was performed at La MaMa. I have known the name of La MaMa since I was in my teens. Also, the name of La MaMa has been a legend for a long time. I feel so honored to perform at La MaMa.
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La MaMa in association with
Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and NODA・MAP 
presents 


Written and Directed by Hideki Noda 
English Translation adapted by Will Sharpe 
Featuring: Hideki NodaLilo Baur and Glyn Pritchard 

February 29 - March 8, 2020 

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

Tickets: $35 Adult; $30 Student/Senior Tickets 

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Monday, January 27, 2020

Behind The Scenes at Fandango For Butterflies (and Coyotes)

En Garde Arts' Fandango For Butterflies (and Coyotes) begins performances next week, Thursday, February 6th, at La MaMa.  Take a look behind the scenes during rehearsal for the show and book your tickets now!






All photos by Maria Baranova


_____


La MaMa presents


An En Garde Arts Production 
Directed by José Zayas 
Written by Andrea Thome

On the eve of city-wide ICE raids, a group of immigrants gather in an undisclosed community center in NYC for a fandango. As fear encroaches — fear for family left behind in their home countries, fear for loved ones in the middle of their dangerous journey to New York, fear of leaving the sanctuary of the community center simply just get a bag of ice — a sense of camaraderie builds between the participants. Strangers become friends, friends become family, and the fandango plays on.

The performances will be in English and Spanish with supertitles, making it fully accessible to Spanish and English-speaking audiences. 

February 06 - February 15, 2020


The Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10001

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE


Friday, January 24, 2020

6 Questions: Lilo Baur of ONE GREEN BOTTLE



Lilo Baur comes to La MaMa in  Hideki Noda's ONE GREEN BOTTLE which plays The Ellen Stewart Theatre from February 29 - March 8, 2020.  Lilo is in Tokyo now rehearsing the show, but she took time out to answer our 6 Questions.  

1. Who do you play in ONE GREEN BOTTLE?

I play the part of Bo who is a traditional Japanese theatre master. A man who is full of tradition .

2. You are a new member of the cast, what was it like stepping into the show now?

I know Hideki for 25 years and I trust him as a director. I always wanted to play with him.I never saw the play on stage so we are still exploring during the rehearsal period.

3. What is the 'message' of the show? 

The non communication and the break down of a family, everyone for themselves. What are/were their values. 

4. What is your favorite part of the play?

I don’t have a favorite part because I love the theme of the play ,we are lost without our technophilic devices.

5. What is your favorite social media platform and why? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or something else?

None.

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

La Mama is a venue which is worldwide known. It’s a wonderful opportunity to play in that theatre.


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La MaMa in association with
Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and NODA・MAP 
presents 




Written and Directed by Hideki Noda 
English Translation adapted by Will Sharpe 
Featuring: Hideki NodaLilo Baur and Glyn Pritchard 

February 29 - March 8, 2020 

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

Tickets: $35 Adult; $30 Student/Senior Tickets 

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Karen Malpede's OTHER THAN WE Has Been Published



Karen Malpede's OTHER THAN WE premiered at La MaMa in the Fall of 2019 and we are proud to report that the play has just been published by the Egret Imprint of Laertes Press, a non-profit publisher and performance rights are now available.

Laertes is an independent press committed to literary translation — to the furthering of that particular art. Our aim is also to relay works from far and wide, in any genre, that render the full human weight.

Click here to order an Acting Edition of OTHER THAN WE.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

6 Questions: Glyn Pritchard of ONE GREEN BOTTLE



Actor Glyn Pritchard comes to La MaMa in February in Hideki Noda's ONE GREEN BOTTLE.  The company is currently remounting the show in Tokyo prior to coming to New York, and Glyn took time out from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions about the show, social media and working at La MaMa.  Performances start on Saturday, February 29 in the Ellen Stewart Theatre.  


1. Who do you play in ONE GREEN BOTTLE?

In One Green Bottle I play ‘Pickle’. The daughter of the family.

2. What is it like to remount the show with a new cast member? 

I’ve remounted shows with new cast members before. Including another show with Hideki. I find the beginning of the process quite difficult. Your use to doing the show in a certain way that works, so there’s a “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” sort of feeling.

But of course the new performer bring their own life and interpretation to the part. And once you let go and run with it you discover new things within your own performance and even in the play itself.

3. What is the most difficult part of the play for you? 

The most difficult part of the play for me, and I think this is true of all the plays I’ve done, and especially this show, is the beginning, the first time you step into the play and in front of the audience. You have a small window of time in which to convince the audience(and yourself)that you are that character. You need to feel that you have done that in order to perform the rest of the play with any confidence.

4. What is ONE GREEN BOTTLE about to you? 

To be honest, I’ve never given it much thought. I much prefer people who have seen it to tell me what it’s about. And going on what people have told me, it’s about too many things to give just one of them centre stage.

5. What is your favorite social media platform and why? 

My favourite social media platform is Facebook. I think it’s a generational thing. People around my age tend to go with Facebook as it was one the first one we started using back in the day. Most young people wouldn’t be seen dead on it. Instagram is a very close second. I find it more relaxing. People tend to use it in a positive way. there’s no ranting to be had on it.

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

To my shame, prior to One Green Bottle being invited to perform there, I had not heard of it. Reading about La MaMa and It’s founder Ellen Stewart was a revelation. It’s ethos is everything I believe making Theatre should be. It has echos of The Royal Court Theatre here in London. With its emphasis on writers, and to provide a home where artist can experiment and have, as George Devine the founder put it, “the right to fail”.

And with having read all about all the great artist that have passed through it’s doors, it truly is a great honour for us to have the opportunity to perform there.


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La MaMa in association with 
Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and NODA・MAP 
presents 

ONE GREEN BOTTLE 

Written and Directed by Hideki Noda 
English Translation adapted by Will Sharpe 
Featuring: Hideki Noda, Lilo Baur and Glyn Pritchard 

February 29 - March 8, 2020 

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

Tickets: $35 Adult; $30 Student/Senior Tickets 

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE