La MaMa Blogs: This Season We Celebrate Ellen's Centennial Year

Thursday, August 15, 2019

This Season We Celebrate Ellen's Centennial Year

This season, we celebrate Ellen’s centennial year – she would have been 100 on November 7, 2019. 

Ellen made her artists feel as if they could conquer the world. She encouraged them to challenge themselves, not just as artists, but as human beings who could transcend limitations. I experienced this as a member of Great Jones Repertory Company performing The Trojan Women all over the world. 

In each place, we experienced the power of the work and the impact it had on the audience. I portrayed Andromache who fell to her death by jumping off the balcony into the arms of my fellow actors, about 15 feet below. Standing at the edge of the balcony, I was terrified. Yet, Ellen always made you feel that you could do anything, and she told me to jump. So I did. I jumped off that balcony for many performances and it never got any easier, but I will never forget the feeling of that moment just before the leap. That experience informed how I work today. Ellen taught me to jump. In turn, I ask La MaMa artists to jump, and we make that leap together. 

As Ellen used to say, ”the is is the was and the was is the is.” That theory of connection throughout time is the cord that binds us together. We hope you will join us throughout the season to celebrate her profound vision and enduring legacy. 


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