La MaMa Announces 2014-15 Season, Includes New Works by La Bute, Peggy Shaw, and a Trio of Environmental TEMPESTS
La MaMa - the world-renowned theatre complex located on East 4th Street in New York City's East Village - will begin its 53rd year this fall with a timely-themed season entitled "LA MAMA EARTH," featuring works that raise awareness of world ecology and social justice both locally and globally.
The centerpiece of "LA MAMA EARTH" will be three diverse, international productions and adaptations of William Shakepeare's THE TEMPEST from the U.S., Korea and Italy.
In announcing the season, La MaMa's Artistic Director Mia Yoo stated the "LA MAMA EARTH" theme materialized as a result of the up-close and personal impact that individuals and entire communities experienced from the widespread devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. "When former Mayor Bloomberg responded to a reporter's question at a press conference with the simple statement, 'The tide is rising,' it struck such a chord with me. La MaMa is honored to have the opportunity to present an American, Korean and Italian production of Shakespeare's bracing play, THE TEMPEST - each of which brings a unique cultural perspective to the enviromental and social crises we all face, and how they are all interrelated and affect each other."
The trio of TEMPESTS will be presented under the collective title "Tempest 3: The Tide is Rising," and is comprised of the following:
- the world-premiere of a new musical adaptation of THE TEMPEST, adapted and directed by Karin Coonrod, with music by La MaMa veteran composer Elizabeth Swados (LA MAMA CANTATA). The international and intergenerational cast will feature Reg. E. Cathay (The Wire and House of Cards) as Prospero, and the 14-year-old star of Broadway's BILLY ELLIOT, Joseph Harrington as Ariel. Director Coonrod notes similarities between Prospero's world and ours today, noting, "Prospero re-enacts power games on an island - just as Manhattan is an island - and it is the non-human Ariel who is fascinated by humanity's power to love and reminds Prospero of his humanity. The play demonstrates a juxtaposition of time present and timelessness - hence, we will begin the play with a pendulum swinging: a signal of impending disaster and a reminder of time moving forward. A warning."October 2-November 2 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4 St.) LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
- the U.S. premiere of Seoul, Korea's Mokwha Repertory Company production of THE TEMPEST, adapted and directed by Tae-Suk Oh. Inspired by a true story from the Korean CHRONICLES OF THE THREE KINGDOMS, this TEMPEST is set in 5th century Korea and infuses Shakespeare's text with elements of traditional Korean folklore. With music played on Korean instruments and performed in richly layered costumes, this mind-bending production explores acts of nature as they are affected by acts of betrayal, love, forgiveness and reconciliation.
November 20-23 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
- the U.S. premiere of NELLA TEMPESTA by Motus Theatre. Italy's provocative and dynamic MOTUS Theatre Company explores questions of freedom, control and power in NELLA TEMPESTA. Reflecting on the turmoil in our society - the impact of Hurricane Sandy, the consequences of the economic crisis and questioning of future landscapes - NELLA TEMPESTA is created from fragments of novels by authors including: Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, Aldous Huxley as well as Shakespeare's The Tempest and Une Tempête by Aimé Césaire. This version of THE TEMPEST imagines the play about a world not as it appears to be ending, but a world on the verge of a new beginning. December 11-21 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
Throughout the "LA MAMA EARTH" season there will be post-show dialogues with environmental experts and human rights activists on a range of subjects from climate change to other relevant ecological and social issues globally. The LA MAMA KIDS series workshops, performances and special events- scheduled for the first and third Saturdays of every month from October to May -- will feature guest artists from "LA MAMA EARTH" season and focus on issues of ecological and social justice.
Other productions highlighting La MaMa's 53rd Fall season include:
- SELMA '65 - This world-premiere is set for the 50th anniversary of the Selma Voting March. Written by Catherine Filloux (KILLING THE BOSS, LEMKIN'S HOUSE), who returns to La MaMa, SELMA '65 is based on the real-life story of Viola Liuzzo, a white civil rights activist who was targeted by the FBI and Ku Klux Klan for her efforts on behalf of African-Americans protesting for the right to vote. The play stars Marietta Hedges and is directed by Eleanor Holdridge. September 25-October 12 in the First Floor Theatre (74 E. 4 St.) LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
- QUEER NY INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL, curated by Zvonimir Dubrovic and Nicky Paraiso, this festival features contemporary performance and visual art that explores and broadens the traditional concept of "queer" in art. Featured will be DUOS with Darkmatter, Untitled Queen and Merrie Cherry, Jack Waters and Peter Cramer. Presented by La MaMa, Queer NY Intl. Arts Festival and Helix Queer Performance Network. September 26-28 in The Club at La MaMa (74 E. 4 St.) LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
- THE ELEPHANT IN EVERY ROOM I ENTER, the world premiere of a new solo performance by Gardiner Comfort about his personal experiences with Tourette Syndrome. October 2-19 in The Club at La MaMa. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
- AdA: AUTHORS DIRECTING AUTHORS. The U.S. premiere of playwrights Neil LaBute and Marco Calvani - who teamed to considerable success two years ago at La MaMa to present AdA: AUTHORS DIRECTING AUTHORS return this year with the addition of fellow playwright Nathalie Fillion to present a triptych of one act plays centering on the theme of desire. In this newest version of AdA, each author will write a new one-act play to be directed by one of the other authors, and all characters will be played by the same three actors. October 16-November 2 in the First Floor Theatre. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
- THE DREAM VAULT CYCLE, the world premier of multi-media performances exploring the evolution of a creative idea and the interpretation of its seed value as it journeys from art form to art form, conceived & directed by Christian De Gré & R. Patrick Alberty. October 24-November 2 in The Club at La MaMa. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
- WHAT TAMMY NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT GETTING OLD AND HAVING SEX, The Concert Tour - Conceived and Directed by Lois Weaver. This world-premiere of SPLIT BRITCHES' newest work has Lois Weaver's alter ego, Tammy WhyNot, a trailer park survivor who gave up a career in country music to become a lesbian performance artist, grappling with the difficult subjects of sex and ageing. This concert performance with songs written and performed by Tammy alongside her back-up singers and dancers with guest appearances by Peggy Shaw and Bette Bourne from the Bloolips. November 6-23 in the First Floor Theatre LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
- DEAD END, DUMMY, a world-premiere by Dick Zigun, the Founder & Artistic Director of Coney Island USA since 1980 and self-proclaimed 'mayor' of Coney Island. Inventor of the Mermaid Parade & godfather of burlesque & sideshow revivals, he is a tattooed author of a dozen weird American plays, including this one about a ventriloquist who, upon the death of vaudeville, sets out to kill Thomas Edison. The cast stars Scott Baker and Carla Rhodes. November 7-16 in The Club at La MaMa. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
- A RIGHT PAIR by Bette Bourne and Paul Shaw (of Bloolips), who have been partners both offstage and on since the late 1970s. This new performance explores some of their favorite scenes, some obscure gems and some things completely new and what it means to be 'A Right Pair' onstage and off. November 21-30 in The Club at La MaMa.
- KING OF HEARTS IS OFF AGAIN This U.S. premiere is performed by the Studium Teatralne, an ensemble theatre in the tradition of Jerzy Grotwoski, based in Warsaw, Poland. Directed by Piotr Borowski - himself a longtime student of Grotwoski - the play is based on a novel by Hannah Krall, a true story about the life of Izolda Regenberg, a young Jewish woman who lived disguised as an Aryan Polish woman in order to rescue her family, trapped in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. November 27-30 at La MaMa's First Floor Theatre. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
- THE SEAGULL - This U.S. premiere production of Chekhov's play is presented by the Serbian National Thatre, directed by Tomi Janezic. Described by international critics as a 'theatrical phenomenon,' this 7-hour production began in 2012 and has become one of the most successful productions in the history of SNT, which dates back to 1861. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT December 4-7 in the Ellen Stewart Theatre.
- IF COLORADO HAD AN OCEAN. The world-premiere of a new play by Mike Gorman, directed by David Bennet and performed by The Forty Hour Club. A poetic drama, OCEAN explores the punk roots of a commercial fisherman and his yearning for an imaginary place. With its rebellious rock and roll spirit, this play is the high energy finale of Mr. Gorman's trilogy THE HONOR AND GLORY OF WHALING.
December 4-21 in the First Floor Theatre. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
--A CHRISTMAS CAROL, OY HANUKKAH, MERRY KWANZAA is a world-premiere adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic "with old world accents and new world inclusiveness" by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre. December 5-14 in The Club at La MaMa. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
- CHRISTMAS IN NICKYLAND - The Club's Programming Director, Nicky Paraiso, serves as the MC for this annual holiday celebration with all-star downtown guests. December 20-21 in The Club at La MaMa. LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
Highlights from the Winter and Spring at La MaMa's 53 Season:
- Internationally-acclaimed BELARUS FREE THEATRE, founded in 2005 by Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin and Vladimir Shcherban under Europe's last surviving dictatorship brings a new work to La MaMa. April 23-May 10 in the Ellen Stewart Theatre. U.S. premiere/Limited Engagement
- THE GOLDEN TOAD by the Obie Award-winning The Talking Band highlights the company's 40th anniversary season. Directed by Paul Zimet and written by Ellen Maddow and Mr. Zimet, with music by Ms. Maddow and Elizabeth Swados. World premiere/Limited Engagement
- THE BEACH OF JOSEPH K. is a world premiere of a new dance-theater work from the Venezuelan company Teatro Dramma International, founded by playwright and director Elia Schneider, a longtime La MaMa artist. March 5-15 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre. World premiere/Limited Engagement
- NEW ZEALAND FESTIVAL will present a performance anthology, WHILE YOU SLEEP, a collaboration between sleep scientist Philippa Gander and performance designer Sam Trubridge. March 19-29 in the Ellen Stewart Theatre. Limited engagement
- LA MAMA MOVES will celebrate its 10th anniversary this season.
- BEAT BOX FESTIVAL - the 5th annual rendition is curated and hosted by Kid Lucky.
- Dan Fishback and The SQUIRTS will be back in January 2015.
- LA MAMA KIDS will start up in the Fall.
- UNDER THE RADAR and PROTOTYPE will be at La MaMa in January.
ABOUT LA MAMA
An integral part of New York City's cultural landscape, La MaMa has a worldwide reputation for producing daring work in theatre, dance, performance art, and music that defies form and transcends boundaries of language, race, and culture. Founded in 1961 by theatre pioneer and legend Ellen Stewart, La MaMa is a global organization with creative partners and dedicated audiences around the world.
La MaMa presents an average of 60-70 productions annually, most of which are world premieres. To date, over 3,500 productions have been presented at La MaMa with artists from more than 70 nations. Honored with more than 30 OBIE Awards, dozens of Drama Desk and Bessie Awards, La MaMa's programming is culturally diverse, cross-disciplinary and draws audiences from all walks of life.
For the second consecutive year, La MaMa will offer its 10@$10 program whereby 10 tickets are made available for every performance in every theatre in advance for ony $10.
For additional information and a full performance schedule, please call La MaMa at
(212) 254 6468 or visit www.lamama.org.