F. Murray Abraham and Andrei Serban Hold Discussion at La Mama, April 23
La Mama will continue its MONDAY NIGHTS AT LA MAMA series, a signature program of the company's 50th anniversary Homecoming season, on Monday, April 23 at 8 p.m. at the Ellen Stewart Theater (66 E. 4 St.) with an evening featuring two of La MaMa's most celebrated artists in conversation -- director Andrei Serban and actor F. Murray Abraham.
Mr. Abraham and Mr. Serban will discuss the actor-director relationship as well as their work and careers at La MaMa and beyond, including the landmark 1983 La MaMa production of Chekhov's UNCLE VANYA, directed by Mr. Serban with a cast that featured Mr. Abraham along with Joe Chaiken, founder of the groundbreaking Open Theater.
With its new MONDAY NIGHTS AT LA MAMA series, La MaMa is excited to welcome home alumni who have been instrumental in shaping the legacy of La MaMa. On select Mondays throughout the season, the theatre hosts performances and intimate conversations by some of art's greatest innovators, whose commitment and dedication are helping ensure that La MaMa remains an artistic home for future artists as it has been for them. The series kicked off last year with Elizabeth Swados' acclaimed composition "The La MaMa Cantata" followed by "Meredith Monk in Conversation" and a night of music with veteran musicians Peter Gordon and Kit Fitzgerald in a jam session with Bjork percussionist MANU DELAGO and the 24-member Bjork choir Graduale Nobilil.
An upcoming Monday night program (date TBA) will feature Julie Taymor.
Tickets to MONDAY NIGHTS AT LA MAMA are $25 ($20 students/seniors) and can be purchased by calling 212 475 7710 or online at www.lamama.org.
Andrei Serban studied at the Theatre Institute in Romania. As a young director, he was invited by Ellen Stewart to La MaMa, where he directed Fragments of a Greek Trilogy, which has been performed worldwide at many festivals and has been revived many times. Great Jones Company was created initially for Andrei and Liz Swados to develop new projects such as : Good Woman of Setzuan, As you like it and Uncle Vanya, all being considered landmarks in the history of La Mama. At New York's Lincoln Center he directed The Cherry Orchard, and Agamemnon. He has directed at the Public Theatre, Yale Repertory, the Guthrie, Circle in the Square, and Delacorte, the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, at the Royal National Theatre in London, Shiki Theatre in Tokyo, Schauspielhaus Bochum, and the Comedie Francaise in Paris, among others. He acted as general director of the Romanian National Theatre and has staged opera productions all over the world from the Metropolitan to Royal Opera House, Garnier and Bastille in Paris, from Vienna to San Francisco.
His awards include the highest Romanian national order – the „Romanian Star”- , as well as the „Life Achievement Award”, the Eliott Norton Award in Boston, the George Abbott Award in New York, the Robert Brustein Award (2009), plus Obie and Tony nominations; he is also Doctor Honoris Causa of several Universities.
He has taught at schools worldwide, including the Yale School of Drama, Harvard, Le Conservatoire de Paris, UCSD, and he is a tenurred professor in theatre at Columbia University. Ed Menta wrote a book about Serban’s involvement in the American Theatre, The Magic World Behind the Curtain. Andrei Serban’s autobiography, a bestseller in his native Romania, was also translated in Hungarian, and a large photographic album of his theatre and opera career was published by the Romanian Cultural Institute of New York.
An accomplished actor on both stage and screen, Mr. Abraham won the Oscar for his performance in AMADEUS. He has focused on stage work throughout his career, giving notable performances as Pozzo in Mike Nichols' production of WAITING FOR GODOT, Malvolio in TWELFTH NIGHT for NY Shakespeare Festival, and Shylock in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE for Theatre for a New Audience. His many other theatre credits include ANGELS IN AMERICA, THE RITZ, TRIUMPH OF LOVE, TEIBELE AND HER DEMON, OTHELLO, LANDSCAPE OF THE BODY, RICHARD II, KING LEAR, THE FANTASTICKS, THE JEW OF MALTA, A LIFE IN THE THEATRE, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.
He won the Obie Award in 1984 for his performance in UNCLE VANYA directed by Mr. Serban at La MaMa.
His many film credits include SERPICO, SCARFACE, THE NAME OF THE ROSE, THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE, THE SUNSHINE BOYS, ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, THE RITZ,and THE BIG FIX. In addition to having won the Best Actor Oscar in AMADEUS, he wonthe Golden Globe and LA Film Critics Awards for his portrayal of Antonio Salieri.
La MaMa is a remarkable arts institution with a world-wide reputation for producing cutting-edge work in theater, dance, performance art, and music. Founded in 1961 by theater pioneer and legend, Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has produced and presented more than 3,000 theatrical productions to date and is a vital part of the fabric of cultural life in New York City and around the world.
La MaMa provides a supportive home for artists and takes risks on unknown work. Artists such as Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Harvey Fierstein, Blue Man Group, David and Amy Sedaris, -and others whose names you haven't heard of yet - began their careers at La MaMa. International artists introduced to America by La MaMa include Tadeusz Kantor, Andrei Serban, Kazuo Ohno and, more recently, the acclaimed Belarus Free Theatre.La MaMa has been honored with more than 30 OBIE Awards, dozens of Drama Desk and Bessie Awards, and, in 2006, Ellen Stewart was recognized with a special TONY Award for "Excellence in the Theatre."