La MaMa Blogs

Monday, December 5, 2022

Paint2Power at La MaMa Galleria

Thank you to the artists, activists, and everyone who joined us on Sunday, December 4 at La MaMa Galleria for Paint2Power!

Thank you to event organizers and partners Julia Haart, Kate Rigg, Heidi Sieck, Nicole Ansari, Shaunna Thomas, Marlene McCarty, Antoinette Cooper, Miriam Haart, BETTY, A'shanti F. Gholar, and Jen Aks, among others.

In the wake of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe V. Wade and the women-led revolution in Iran, catalyzed by Mahsa Amini’s death, hundreds of women came together in community to spread messages of resistance and create a collage of Story Stars on a large-scale mural of Lady Justice by C. Finley. The mural can be viewed on the wall behind the theatre at 19 East 3rd Street, NY, NY.

Photos by Suvin Ahn

Photos by Suvin Ahn

Photos by Suvin Ahn

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

How to Remake A World?


In this moment there is an urgent need to consider the many ways we can remake a world. We must come together, connect, and create a movement that unifies and propels all of us forward toward a more just world.

Please share your ideas through a quick video, an image, text, a sample of your work or all of the above to share with La MaMa's worldwide community on social media and/or our website.


You may submit your response HERE




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TEXT MESSAGE FROM: ROBERT PATRICK


Most people are right- or left-handed.

Most people are right- or left-minded

But for "right" or "left" to be "right" or "wrong" branded

Is like being right- or left-blinded.

People pretend to live up to

The rules (right or left) of their preference,

But the opposite urge they eventually give up to.

Priests end up promiscuous, for reference,

And pot- poets wind up billionaire producers.

Speaking of billionares, that one that followed his dream of Mars-reaching

Got lots of Fed loot to do it, which is sociaism to you, sirs.

Who's got my I Ching?


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Actor John-Andrew Morrison 
(La MaMa Alumnus and Tony Nominee, A Strange Loop)




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Ping Chong, director, choreographer


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La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. La MaMa’s 61st “Remake A World” Season believes in the power of art to bring sustainable change over time and transform our cultural narrative.  At La MaMa, new work is created from a multiplicity of perspectives, experiences, and disciplines, influencing how we think about and experience art. The flexibility of our spaces, specifically the newly reimagined building at 74 East 4th Street (La MaMa’s original permanent home), gives our local and remote communities access to expanded daytime programming. The digital tools embedded in the space allows artists to collaborate remotely, and audiences worldwide to participate in La MaMa’s programming. 

 


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Remembering Peter Brook

Photo of Ellen Stewart and Peter Brook

Peter Brook, the renowned award-winning British director whose non-traditional approaches to classic work reinvented theatre, passed away at the age of 97. For his innovative work, he has won Tony and Emmy awards, as well as a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Le Centre International de Créations Théâtricales at La MaMa, which included performances of
Ubu Roi, L’os, The Ik, and The Conference of the Birds in 1980. These works, performed in both French and English, also traveled through the Middle East and Africa.
Throughout his career, Peter Brook’s influence has had a profound impact on artists and audiences across the globe. His contributions to art at La MaMa and his love for Ellen Stewart will never be forgotten.

Photo by Jean-Guy Lecat of The Ik directed by Peter Brook, featuring Bruce Myers, Natasha Parry, Andreas Katsulas, Malik Bowers, and Miriam Goldschmidt

Photo by Nicolas Treatt of The Ik, Michele Gollison on the left and Miriam Goldschmidt on the right

Photo by David Simmonds of The Conference of the Birds directed by Peter Brook, Bob Lloyd on the left and Jean-Claude Perrin on the right

Photo by Jean-Guy Lecat of The Ik, featuring Andreas Katsulas, Malik Bowers, Natasha Parry, and Bruce Myers

Friday, July 1, 2022

6 Questions with Martha Clarke of GOD'S FOOL



Interview with Martha Clarke, the creator and director of God's Fool about the ancient story of St. Francis of Assisi by Allison Hsu and Cadence Rose

Camera by Pearse Redmond
Edit by Theo Cote

Martha Clarke is an American theater director and choreographer noted for her multidisciplinary approach to theater, dance, and opera. A graduate of Juilliard, she danced with the Anna Sokolow Company before becoming a founding member of Pilobolus Dance Theatre. She has choreographed for Nederlans Dans Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, and The Martha Graham Company, among others. As a director, Ms. Clarke’s original productions include Garden of Earthly DelightsVienna: LusthausMiracolo d’AmoreEndangered SpeciesAn Uncertain HourThe Hunger ArtistBelle EpoqueVers La Flame, Kaos, and Chéri. She directed Alice’s Adventures Underground, a collaboration with Christopher Hampton for the Royal National Theater UK, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream for A.R.T. Opera productions include Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Cosi Fan Tutti for Glimmerglass, and Tan Dun’s Marco Polo and Gluck’s Orfeo and Eurydice for New York City Opera, among many others. She created L’Altra Meta del Cielo for La Scala Ballet (2012). She directed and choreographed Chéri (2013) for the Signature Theatre and The Threepenny Opera (2014) at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York City. Her most recent production, Angel Reapers, a collaboration with Alfred Uhry played at the Signature Theatre as her second production in her five-year residency (2016). Awards: Ms. Clarke is the recipient of a MacArthur fellowship, a Drama Desk Award, two Obie Awards, two Joe A. Callaway awards, the Dance Magazine Award, the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement, and two Lucille Lortel awards. In 2019, she received the Flora Roberts Award from the Dramatists Guild.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

6 Questions for Boxcutter Collective

Photo by Trudi Cohen

The Brooklyn-based Boxcutter Collective was formed by veterans of the world-famous Bread and Puppet Theater. They both make puppet shows to underthrow the rotten empire. Joe Therrien and Sam Wilson are two members of the collective, who will be performing four performances of The Divinity Supply Company this weekend in The Downstairs from June 30–July 2. Tickets can be purchased here.

1. What inspired you to create and perform this specific show, here and now?
 
Joe: Boxcutter had been planning to make a specifically Bread and Puppet/Boxcutter Collective collaborative puppet show since before the pandemic. Peter was very adamant that we not pre-plan our project, but that we get together and see what we make. A lot of the initial work was compositional, just taking Boxcutter puppets and Peter’s puppets and creating short tableau vivants with sound—no text initially. Then, as our brains started organizing and reorganizing short pieces of puppetry, meaning and content began to trickle in and make connections with other pieces, which then inspired new puppet sequences in a continuing cycle of inspiration and evolution. Boxcutter loves to write together, so we did many writing sessions over the course of the project, pieces of which were used, thrown-out, reused and reworked as the process unfolded.
 
Sam: We have been working on this show for a while and the show has evolved with the issues. Making puppet shows is a way that we process the political events of the moment. It is a way that I feel I can engage in the dialogue around specific issues. This show is a table or a sort of envelope to hold the items that we are thinking hard about, are deeply upset and confused by, and are keeping us up at night. It is a show, in part, about how we face this moment.
 
2. How does your work as part of the Boxcutter Collective impact and inform your other creative endeavors?
 
Joe: At this point, 90% of my creative endeavors fall under the umbrella of The Boxcutter Collective. When I am lucky enough to work with other groups, I try to bring Boxcutter’s spirit of joy and freedom in the creative process. It is an exhilarating feeling when we are all connected and our group brain approaches flow state, and there is playfulness and confidence as we barrel forward making a new show. It comes from trust and inspiration in each other, and I try to foster those feelings in all the projects I’m a part of. Boxcutter has also developed some timed writing exercises to create scripts for shows, and I’ve brought these exercises and variations to other groups to help structure some of their creative work, and it has been really interesting to see what from that process is useful or not to other groups.
 
Sam: Being a member of a collective feels like a huge gift to myself as an artist. I have support in different ways for anything I might want to try to do and as a result I say yes to more things.
 
3. What goes into building a show like The Divinity Supply Company?
 
Joe: The biggest factor, in my opinion, was the scheduling of everyone to get together in Vermont for multiple development periods and the added logistics we had to figure out to contend with Covid. Once we all got into the same room—it was paradise! At the Bread and Puppet farm, the resident company let us take over a beautiful indoor rehearsal space for multiple month long residences. Most of the development was during winter times, so one of us would get there extra early and start a fire in the wood stove and make coffee. Then we’d get together and decide what to start with, whether it be puppet experimentation, building, writing, or rehearsing. Peter would usually start the day with us, and then come back in the afternoon—sometimes with new paintings or writing inspired by what we had shown and talked about in the morning. It was a very fun back-and-forth and we threw a lot of spaghetti at the wall and many things were created that did not end up in this version of the show—but having a lot of uninterrupted time together to try things out was very important!
 
Sam: This show was developed over two residencies which were a year apart. There was work on it in between and a shorter version was performed. We don’t start from one place. We start with texts and ideas we are interested in one hand, visuals and puppets that speak to us in another hand, performance and movement themes in one foot, sound in the other foot and then there is also the ongoing discourse of the moment. All those different inputs come in and out of the process until they start to select each other and adhere together into something we can shape.
 
4. What should audiences expect from the performance?
 
Joe: Hmm… puppets? And cut-up cardboard boxes? And bread. Primary colors. Foolish and serious dances. Lots of live music. Endearingly-misguided salesmen. Hucksterism of the finest quality. Surprises! Celebrations of the totally obvious. Bad jokes. And the feeling that you aren’t alone in the madness!
 
Sam: Expect to leave with more questions than answers and some understanding that we are not alone.
 
5. What are your upcoming plans and performances?
 
Joe & Sam: After this show closes, some of us are headed to Glover, VT to be a part of Bread and Puppet’s summer company of puppeteers. Jason Hicks has some new puppet shows he will be performing with his Detroit co-conspirator, Lindsay McCaw through their project, Flying Cardboard Theater. Ali Dineen will be performing live music throughout the rest of the summer in the NYC area. She’s also continuing to work on Saint Joan, an evolving musical project about Joan of Arc, gender non-conforming patron saint of revolution. We will perform Divinity Supply Company again on October 7 at the Puppeteers of America’s festival happening in Coney Island and hope to tour it next year (if you have a theater that wants it, let us know!) Then, after the festival, we shift our focus to another new show we are making that received a Henson Artist Grant called Happyland! Now!! It’s a subversive episodic puppet spectacle rock-operetta we are creating in collaboration with The Jalopy Theater and School of Music in Red Hook, Brooklyn. We’ll perform some of it at the Brooklyn Folk Festival, and then premiere it in November at Jalopy. We are also working on a movie that Tom is directing and has been writing (details are under wraps at the moment). We plan on continuing our work with various grassroots and activist organizations, especially the “No North Brooklyn Pipeline” fight and Sane Energy. We’re also curating puppets on the Jalopy stage including an evening of shows called Cafe des Cheape Artistes in December. And, beyond that, there’s only a few dozen projects in various states of fermentation and fruition that we will be sharing throughout the year. Follow us on Instagram @boxcutter_collective or check out www.boxcuttercollective.org to stay up to date on what we are doing next.
 
6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
 
Joe: I am thrilled that this show gets to premiere at La MaMa! I’ve lived in NYC for 20 years and I have seen so many shows here. The history of this theater in fostering new work for so many years—including the early days of both Bread and Puppet (when it was just around the corner) and La MaMa—is so inspiring. I also appreciate La MaMa’s commitment to accessibility of theater to people who can not necessarily afford the crazy Broadway prices (the 10 tickets for $10 to every performance is amazing!) and the work that is being created and showcased here is coming from such a diverse group of people, many from populations that have historically been marginalized and kept out of the conversation. It’s an incredible and important institution and I’m honored to be a part of it.
 
Sam: I am thrilled to be a La MaMa! When I was growing up in Buffalo New York my parents worked in theater there. We would take trips to NYC to see shows (this was the late '80s and early '90’s). I remember seeing shows at La MaMa and learning that it was an important and exciting place for rule-breaking theater.

Photo by Amelia Castillo

La MaMa presents


June 30 – July 2, 2022

The Downstairs
66 East 4th Street, basement
New York, NY 10003

Thursday at 8PM
Friday at 8PM
Saturday at 3PM
Saturday at 8PM

Tickets:

Adults: $25 in advance; $30 day of show
Students/Seniors: $20 in advance; $25 day of show