La MaMa Blogs

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Congratulations to Jane Comfort and Company

Congratulations to Jane Comfort and Company! 

Jane Comfort and Company received the 2018 Outstanding Revival Award for the company's 40th Anniversary Retrospective at La MaMa.

Everyone at La MaMa is also pleased and grateful for this sweet, lovely and overdue recognition for an incredible retrospective of a very talented company.

ABOUT THE BESSIESThe Bessies were established by David R. White in 1984 at Dance Theater Workshop to recognize outstanding work in choreography, performance, music composition and visual design. Nominees are chosen by a Selection Committee comprised of artists, presenters, producers, and writers, which this year is comprised of Ronald Alexander, Elise Bernhardt, Diana Byer, Tymberly Canale, Alexis Convento, Leah Cox, Parijat Desai, Maura Donohue, Boo Froebel, Angela Fatou Gittens, Diane Grumet, Brinda Guha, Joseph Hall, Irene Hultman, Celia Ipiotis, Koosil-ja, Matthew Lopez, Matthew Lyons, Lydia Mokdessi, Harold Norris, Craig Peterson, Doug Post, Rajika Puri, Susan Reiter, Ali Rosa Salas, Walter Rutledge, George Emi?lio Sanchez, Andrea Snyder, Carrie Stern, Risa Steinberg, Sally Sommer, Kay Takeda, Catherine Tharin, Muna Tseng, Eleanor K. Wallace, Martin Wechsler, Adrienne Westwood, and William Whitener.

Responsible for setting policy and providing ongoing oversight, the 2018 Bessie Awards Steering Committee is comprised of Cora Cahan, Beverly D'Anne, Lane Harwell, Jeanne Linnes, Stanford Makishi, Nicky Paraiso, Carla Peterson, Paz Tanjuaquio, Laurie Uprichard, and Sylvia Waters.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Story of the Week: Aaron Landsman's Language Reversal

The Language Reversal Process: How can technology be integrated into the aesthetic and artistic process of a theatrical experience?

Language Reversal will feature Serbian theatre collective, Kulturanova, performing in the Ellen Stewart Theater. In August, the realities of US immigration policy and visa denials threatened the show’s timeline, forcing its director Aaron Landsman to re-conceptualize the entire piece. Now, La MaMa will be presenting the collaborative work-in-progress, in partnership with video design from Culturehub that utilizes interactive live-feed video technology from artists and audiences in Novi Sad and New York.

Click here to see the process:

Language Reversal

Presented by La MaMa
with co-commissioning support from ASU Gammage
Written by Aaron Landsman

A Workshop Presentation

October 12th - October 14th, 2018

Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 E 4th Street; 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10003
For tickets and more information: CLICK HERE

Press Roundup for KINK HAUS

Final weekend of KINK HAUS nearly sold out! See what the press are saying about Gunnar Montana's "brutal underground nightclub where no f*cks are given"


“It was just like ‘Rose’s Turn’ from Gypsy,” commented an attendee after the show in response to a brilliantly illuminated “FAGGOT” sign that flashed to the beat of Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For a Hero” during one of the numbers.

By Matthew Wexler. Full post HERE


Their runway intro prepares us for a panoply of “costumes on acid” to come, along with hair colors and makeup that would make a drag queen jealous. How about a queer version of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” backed-up by “Dreamgirls” as envisioned by Ru Paul?  

By Steve Nardoni. Full post HERE


BWW Review: KINK HAÜS at La MaMa is a Rad, Dizzying Spectacle

 "This joyous celebration of queer identities is so uplifting and powerful that you can actually feel the soul and bones of the East Village reverberating its message through the walls of the theater."
By David Clarke. Full article HERE


"Kink Haüs is most successful when it digs deepest and mines the potential of the human body as living art"

By Richard Patterson. Full article HERE


Kinky Glitter Boots

"...the show is a kinetic swirl of movement that grabs you and doesn’t let go"

By Michael Musto. Full read HERE


"The propulsive mix of sound and movement and dazzling exhibition of lighting, costume and prop design is nonstop."

By Dan Dwyer. Full article HERE


" attention-grabbing, joyful gender-romp that is athletically choreographed and a visual smorgasbord ..."

Full read HERE



Tickets HERE

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

74A East 4th Street Ground Breaking Ceremony

"La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club (ETC), the Off Off-Broadway theatre that was the recipient of the 2018 Regional Theatre Tony Award, celebrated the official groundbreaking of its upcoming renovation September 25.

The groundbreaking launches the season with the company’s first-ever capital campaign project: the renovation of their first home, a landmarked building at 74A East 4th Street.

This will mark the first restoration since the building was constructed in 1873. The space is being re-imagined by Beyer, Blinder & Belle which is working with theatre consultants Jean-Guy Lecat and Charcoalblue."

Thank you to everyone who attended the Ground Breaking Ceremony on September 25th:

Jeff Haley, Mary Fulham and Scott Wittman

John Jesurun and John Kelly

Kevin and Josephine Tarrant of the SilverCloud Singers

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

City Council Member Carlina Rivera

Amy Surratt, Alice Griffin and Sophie Glidden Lyon

Joan Rose and Frank Carucci

Ozzie Rodriguez

Click here to get involved in the future of La MaMa!

After more than 50 years of intensive use as theatrical space, by more than 100,000 artists and audiences of all nations, cultures, races, and identities, our building must undergo urgently needed renovations and be made ADA accessible if it is to remain a viable resource for the next generations of artists and audiences.
You, our artists, audience members, and supporters, are at the heart of La MaMa. We hope you will help us to restore and remake this building as a creative home for new artists, new work, and new ideas for decades to come.

Friday, September 28, 2018

6 Questions: Kevin Doyle

1) What is your role in THE AЯTS? 
I conceived of THE AЯTS and the wrote the text. I am co-directing with Mike Carlsen, while also wearing a few other hats.

2) What do you think about "general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public" mentioned in relationship to the NEA? 
I think this sentence actually might be language from the Helms Amendment that was passed to serve as an addendum to the original 1965 NEA/NEH legislation. This language -- at first glance -- seems like a noble sentence, but when you recognize who crafted it, and how it was implemented during the 1990s -- you begin to understand this sentence was wielded as a weapon to not fund artists or works of art that might offend the “beliefs” or “values” of some groups of Americans. This language actually goes against not only the original spirit of the 1965 legislation, but contradicts the law itself and established free speech law. One could argue that our public funding of the arts in America has been living within the confines of this contradiction ever since.

3) What makes an artist or work of art "controversial"? 
Once upon a time, I think just good art had the potential to be controversial -- based upon the rigor or commitment of the artist. Now, I think what makes an artist “controversial” can be attributed to two factors -- 1) The artist’s own PR and marketing team baking the “controversy” into the artist’s profile, persona, and work. -- 2) Right-wing ideologues who continue to attack the arts and culture as a tactic to manufacture controversy in the short-term and distract the public from other policy decisions being made elsewhere in government. I don’t think very highly of either approach these days.

4) Who excites you in the art and performance worlds today? 
What excites me are artists who have departed from MFA Island or PhD Prison and are actually making work that sacrifices this weird pursuit for “aesthetic purity” -- and instead are actually taking a chance to engage in an honest examination of some of the underlying structures of our world. (To paraphrase the late David Wojnarowicz.) We have been living with these underlying structures for a long time -- and they’ve been fucking us over gradually in unseen ways, or manifesting suddenly in sharp and brutal bursts. What excites me are artists who are making work not just for an audience of their peers, but are attempting to reach audiences who do not regularly attend theatre, dance, or exhibitions. I think the Swiss director, Milo Rau, has been leading the way in this. The work of choreographer Amanda Pina comes to mind, as does Quebecois theatre company, Les nuages en pantalon -- who have a show running in Montreal right now --  L’art de la chute -- which I suspect confronts the incestuous nature of the art market and the financial crisis in ways I could only dream of. The Bangladeshi photographer and labor rights activist Taslima Akhter -- she is the real deal. I am stunned by what she is accomplishing via the blending of her photographs and activism. It’s astonishing. She just had a major exhibit in New York at the Magnum Foundation. The Norwegian choreographer, Ingri Fiksdal, always excites me. Every time I see her work -- I can’t take it.

I am genuinely excited by the actors and artists I am working with on THE AЯTS. There are some major people working on this project -- and my god -- it is totally a joy to watch them work. I think these actors are each delivering breakout performances. And to see Mike Carlsen grow as a director, to hear how Jesse’s music rises to the occasion, for example -- this is exciting shit for me. I love it.      
5) What have you learned from working on THE AЯTS? 
I learned that many segments of the “Presenter Class” and the “Funder Class” in New York City and across the United States harbor real disdain for the National Endowment for the Arts. For them, I think, that ship has sailed and will never return. The levels of condescension I’ve received on applications during the last several years would make your head spin. There is literally an entire industry devoted to chasing down private philanthropy these days. Every dramaturg I knew in grad school, doesn’t work in theatre anymore -- they work in Development writing grants or soliciting donors. I’ve learned a hard lesson that segments of the arts and theatre establishments are perfectly happy with the way things are.

I’ve learned that we do not know our own arts funding history in the United States. I’ve learned that we are not living within the arts funding system that was intended by the authors of the original 1965 legislation.

6) What does working at La MaMa mean to you? 
I was not raised in an arts family. We never went to the theatre. Even though I grew up in New York. I only learned about theatre by reading plays on my own. Eventually, I figured out that I could actually go see the things I was reading performed live on stage. But I couldn’t find any listings for the playwrights I liked. The only name I recognized was “Kafka” in a listing for a puppet-theatre production of The Metamorphosis that was playing at La MaMa. So I came to see that. I think this was 1994 or 1995. I don’t know. It was literally the first thing I saw downtown and it was at La MaMa. I remember Ellen Stewart making the pre-show speech on that show and saying the words -- “La MaMa!” -- and I was like: “Where am I?” But it was a great feeling. Not knowing where I was. Not knowing what was going to happen next.

So for me -- I actually cannot believe that something I worked on is here. My college professor came the other night to see THE AЯTS -- and I said to her, “Lenora -- I’m at La MaMa?” It’s pretty cool. And I’m grateful for the opportunity.

La MaMa presents


Sponsored By Nobody 
Written & Directed by Kevin Doyle 
Co-Directed by Mike Carlsen

September 13th - September 30th, 2018
$25 Adult Tickets; $20 Students/Seniors; $10 Tickets

Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 E 4th Street; 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10003
For tickets and more information: CLICK HERE