La MaMa Blogs: 2022

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



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?


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


Ping Chong, director, choreographer


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 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


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

Monday, June 27, 2022

Remembering Ernest Abuba


We are devastated by the passing of Ernest Abuba, an award-winning actor, director, playwright, performance artist, and teacher whose career spanned over 50 years and who appeared in 100 productions of stage, film, and television.

Ernest Abuba had a deep history here at La MaMa. He and Tisa Chang co-founded Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in 1977 at La MaMa after performing a bilingual adaptation of A Midsummers Night’s Dream for Ellen Stewart. Abuba was also involved with the Third World Institute of Theatre Art Studies (TWITAS) and Native American Theatre Ensemble (NATE), as well as on the board of directors of resident company H.T. Chen & Dancers. The first Asian American to play Sakini in Teahouse of the August Moon and the first Asian American as Macbeth in Shogun Macbeth, he paved the way for Asian Americans in theatre and the arts. His work with Pan Asian Rep, the first and largest professional Asian American theatre company in the U.S., has nurtured thousands of artists and contributed greatly to Asian American and theatre history.

Production photo from A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Tisa Chang and produced at La MaMa in 1974

Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in An American Story at La MaMa in 1980

A portrait of Artaud by Ernest Abuba hanging at the entrance to Ellen Stewart's home

Production photo from Lear Rex at La MaMa in 1998

Photo of Shigeko Suga and Ernest Abuba in Accade Domani at La MaMa in 2003

Photo of Ernest Abuba in Pacific Overtures

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Remembering H.T. Chen

Photo by David Drebin

We are mourning the loss of H.T. Chen, a beloved La MaMa artist who formed the innovative modern dance company H.T. Chen & Dancers in 1978 and established Chen Dance Center in 1979.

Born in Shanghai and raised in Taiwan, Chen worked for several years at La MaMa as an actor, dancer, and choreographer with the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre before turning to presenting his own work. A leading choreographer and performer, Chen was also an arts advocate who served the Asian-American community and the New York City dance community. His work has made a lasting impact on La MaMa’s history and the field of dance, and our thoughts go out to his family, friends, and community of artists. H.T. Chen was a dear friend to La MaMa. His loss is deeply felt.

Photo by Carol Rosegg of dancers (L-R) Hsin-Ya Hou, H.T. Chen (seated), Dian Dong, Fumiko Rose, Dagmar Spain, Rome Quezada, and Jennifer Bishop

Monday, April 25, 2022

6 Questions for Valeria Solomonoff

Photo by John Abbott

Valeria Solomonoff is a wide-ranging innovator who uses her tango roots to reimagine new possibilities of partnering. She is an awarded choreographer born in Argentina and based in New York who conceived and created Confianza collaboratively with performers Rodney Hamilton and Orlando Reyes Ibarra.

There are three performances of Confianza this weekend in the Ellen Stewart Theatre from April 30 to May 2. Tickets can be purchased here.

1. How would you describe your work as a choreographer?

For this work I started with a question and gathered a group of artists that were interested in it. I see myself kind of like a host who both incites and holds together. I host the space for collaboration as collaboration is for me the most rewarding way of working. Everyone is invested and things stay surprising all the time. 

2. Who or what has inspired you?

I’m inspired by our director Orlando Pabotoy, who is a person with the most integrity, humor, and care that one can come across. He has created an atmosphere of love for the process and acceptance of who we are and what we bring to each moment while maintaining a standard of continual growth. I’m also inspired by the differences among us, the dancers, and how we appreciate and respect each other. I’m inspired by the endless possibilities of tango and challenged by the aspiration to one day feel like my body and my mind can find complete expression.  

3. What have you learned from creating and performing new work during a pandemic?

The pandemic made it very clear to me that my motivation to create, be with people I love working with and sharing a common goal, is a need as important as the food on my table. There have been times when everything seemed against us and on those moments, it was clear that it wasn’t mere stubbornness what kept me going; it was an internal joy, like a beautiful secret that runs through the core of my being and makes me get up and sing (much to the annoyance of anyone hearing me, as I’m no singer).

4. What should audiences expect from the performance?

I think the audience will be aware of the theme and will go with us in a little trip. At least that is what I hope because the best part of rehearsal is getting lost in the journey and then come back home to my life. 

5. What are your upcoming plans for the rest of the year?

I look forward creating a piece and working with Mark Morris Dance Group Dance for Parkinson Disease Program. I was awarded the inaugural Lucy Bowen Award for Inclusive Choreography which will give me an opportunity to develop a work based on partnering. I know I have a lot to learn from this wonderful organization and I can’t wait to get started. 

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

Working at La MaMa means I can reach a broad audience and let them experience how tango is much more than what is shown on TV. It means that I can make a statement about how improvisation based on tango dynamic of lead and follow is a technique as solid as ballet and as malleable as theater. I want tango to be understood in a modern context. I want modern dance to include not just tango “moves”, but most importantly, the root of co-creation that is at the core of lead-follow interdependency of tango and that has been the source of our work.

Photo of Valeria Solomonoff and Rodney Hamilton by David Watts Jr.

La MaMa presents

Valetango Company: Confianza (Trust)

April 30 – May 1, 2022

Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 East 4th Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10003

Saturday at 7PM

Sunday at 2PM


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

Monday, April 18, 2022

6 Questions for Pele Bauch

Photo by Stephen Yang

Pele Bauch is an interdisciplinary choreographer who combines dance with theater and weaves mixed media and set design into unique performances. Her recent work focuses on her journey as a "Hapa Haole" Kanaka Maoli (multiracial Native Hawaiian) navigating her lack of knowledge from her birthright culture. In a shared evening with Marina Celander, Pele Bauch presents A.K.A. Ka Inoa (also known as the name), which weaves supple movement, vivid characters, and personal story together with rope and name tags. A.K.A. Ka Inoa unpacks our expectations about racial identity and pushes them against the realities of personal identity, asking: What does it mean to "represent" one's race?

There are three performances of Shared Evening: Pele Bauch + Marina Celander in The Downstairs from April 22–24. Tickets can be purchased here.

1. How would you describe your work as a choreographer?

Dance with stuff. I always choreograph with everyday objects.

This time, a few thousand name tags litter the floor, encircled by about 60 paper bags that fill the
rest of the space. It’s visceral - with a moving expressive body. Then the objects bring a whole
story with them, and create context. So choreographing the interaction between body and
objects allows me to mold a visual experience. What does it mean to be named something? To
be labeled something? By working with name tags and paper bags, etc. I can move through
these questions and explore different experiences.

2. Who and what has inspired you?

Art is communion. Dance is my connection to fellow human beings and to my innermost self.
That’s what drives me.

3. What have you learned from creating and performing new work during a pandemic?

Creativity in all its forms is so vital. For one person it may be cooking a new meal, for me it’s
choreography. We need creativity, fun, love, imagination, connection to survive. When I wasn’t
choreographing (when shows were canceled), my experience of the pandemic slowly got darker
and darker until it was suffocating. And when I got back into the studio, everything started to
become more tolerable again. The first time I returned to the theater to see a live performance
after the lockdown, I cried with joy.

4. What should audiences expect from the performance?

Dance, story, paper bags, name tags... Did I mention the 300 feet of rope?

OK, but also. A.K.A. Ka Inoa addresses three audiences. To fellow Indigenous and diasporic
multiracial people who do not have the privilege of an education in their own culture: Many of us
feel lost, ignorant and isolated; we are not alone. To the Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) who
are educated in Hawaiian cultural practices: I seek to be
 seen. To everyone else: I want to
expose this experience so that it is no longer invisible.

5. What are your upcoming plans for the rest of the year?

I am making a new work, commissioned by Women in Motion, called The Distance Process /
Dear Kanaloa
. It explores distance and diaspora using what everyone is using to bridge gaps:
Zoom and Google Translate. I am working with Kealoha Ferreira, a Minnesota-based fellow
Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) dancer. The performance will be for in-person audiences in our
two cities simultaneously connected via live stream projection. Clearly, this is a piece conceived
during the pandemic, but we’re not just zooming because it’s there. It’s a continuation of this
work on diaspora and distance from one’s heritage.

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

It’s a real honor. It means being a part of a contemporary tradition of exploration and

I remember going to a show at La MaMa when I was a teenager (meaning a long time ago) that
centered on Hawai’i. I remember seeing the word “hula'' in the La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival
program description. La MaMa is the perfect venue for A.K.A. Ka Inoa.

Photo of Pele Bauch by Danny Boyd
Photo of Marina Celander courtesy of the artist

La MaMa presents

Shared Evening: Pele Bauch + Marina Celander

April 22 – 24, 2022

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

Friday – Saturday at 8:30PM

Sunday at 4PM


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