La MaMa Fills 57th Season with Over 50 Premieres
On the heels of having won the 2018 Regional Theater Tony Award, La Mama Experimental Theatre Club (ETC) announces its 57th season of productions, according to Mia Yoo, the company's artistic director. The season includes over 50 U.S., NYC and world premiere productions. The season's offerings will take place at the Ellen Stewart Theatre and The Downstairs (66 E. 4 St.), and at La MaMa Galleria (47 Great Jones Street) in the East Village.
The 2018-19 LA MAMA season will feature artists from around the globe as they present new works exploring such themes as the National Endowment for the Arts, the poetry of Irish great William Butler Yeats, a month-long Puppet Series highlighting the creations of female puppet artists, the legends and lore of Asian Moms, a re-imagination of the 1969 walk on the moon performed by a cast of actors from Palestine, a 50th anniversary celebration of Stonewall, and a fictional tale that depicts the first gay marriage in Kosovo (an event that has yet to take place in real time).
LA MAMA's 57th season will have its official kick off on September 25 with a ground-breaking for the company's first-ever capital campaign project: the renovation of LA MAMA's first home in the iconic, landmarked building at 74A East 4 St. The renovation project - titled "Restore A Building/Remake a World" - will result in a dramatic overhaul of the legendary space where the company's late, beloved founder Ellen Stewart established La MaMa ETC along with a wild and woolly band of theater artists - from Sam Shepard, Danny DeVito and Better Midler to Patti Smith, Tom O'Horgan, Elizabeth Swados, et.al. - primed to test the norms of traditional Western theatre, thus giving birth to the off-off-Broadway movement in the 1960's.
Ms. Yoo - who was joined on stage by board president Frank Carucci along with members of the La MaMa company to accept the Regional Tony on the June 8 telecast - says of the upcoming season, "At this moment, with the excitement of the Tony Award recognition and the renovation of our landmark building, we are compelled to broaden the impact of artists' work in our lives. In this season, we are going "OUTSIDE THE BOX" and looking at how to go beyond the literal four walls of the buildings we occupy." The 57th Season includes sidewalk shows, international tours, creative exchanges, livestreaming and talkbacks via the internet, and a new La MaMa podcast that explores how cultural spaces affect a city.
For four weeks (November 1 - 25, 2018), La MaMa's Puppet Series presents work from artists around the world including Germany, Brazil, Netherlands, Japan, Colombia, China, Belgium, and the USA. This festival highlights interdisciplinary works from female artists while examining contemporary issues of cultural identity, Black Lives Matter, the refugee crisis in Europe, and the disability experience. The festival will also feature family events, the annual Puppet Slam, La MaMa Coffeehouse Chronicles and Jump Start, a weekend of works in progress.
La MaMa has named Mike Gorman its 2018-2019 Playwright in Residence. In addition to presenting his play Chasing the New White Whale this fall, La MaMa will present a season of workshops and play readings lead by Mr. Gorman, who will also spearhead a cohort of young playwrights and theater makers in examining unconventional plays from La MaMa's Archive.
57th Season Highlights Include:
THE A?TS. Sponsored By Nobody's, THE A?TS investigates the origins of the National Endowment for the Arts, then contrasts this history within America's contemporary realities of public funding of the arts. Written & Directed by Kevin Doyle (World Premiere:September 13 - 30, 2018)
KINK HAÜS. Philadelphia's Gunnar Montana creates KINK HAÜS, a brutal underground nightclub depicting the wild, powerful, and sometimes hilarious sexual journey inside us all. Leave your inhibitions at home. Presented in association with Howl Arts. (New York Premiere: September 20 - October 7, 2018)
WILDFLOWERS. Coalescing Maureen Fleming's uniquely choreographed form of interdisciplinary visual theater Wildflowers, a feminine genesis, is a sensuous celebration of the feminine archetype, inspired by the lush symbolism of Irish poet William Butler Yeats. In a series of vision poems, Wildflowers features live music by Irish composer/violinist Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Uillean piper James Mahon with pianist Bruce Brubaker performing the music of Philip Glass. (World Premiere; Presented in partnership with Irish Arts Center: October 18 - 1, 2018)
CHASING THE NEW WHITE WHALE. In an epic delusion following a fateful encounter with heroin, legendary New England fishing captain Robby Foerster becomes "Ahab" as he attempts to kill the "New White Whale" in La MaMa's 20180-2019 Playwright in Residence Mike Gorman's Chasing the New White Whale, directed by Arthur Adair. (November 22 - December 9, 2018)
ZOMBIE ASIAN MOMS by Kate Rigg and Lyris Hung, the duo who perform as Slanty Eyed Mama return to La MaMa with this mashup of comedy, hip hop, spoken word, video installation and oral history unearthing the legends and lore, insane rituals and indefatigable parenting practices of Asian Mom-ness. Music by Slanty Eyed Mama and comedy by Kate Rigg. (World Premiere: December 2018)
TERRA MIA. Italy's Ondadurto Teatro bring Terra Mia to La MaMa, an irreverent look at the exodus of a prospective human race seeking a future elsewhere. The quest for an identity that can be completely invented unfolds as a game of carnage in a physical and visual spectacle that packs an emotional punch. Marco Paciotti and Elena Sbardella direct. (New York Premiere: December 13 - 16, 2018)
ROCK. In 1969 a young man in a small West Bank Village watches the Americans land on the moon. Shouldn't Palestine, land of prophets, also have a stake in the moon? Remote Theatre Project's ROCK is written and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi, and created with actors from Palestine. Post-performance talk-backs after each show will be live-streamed on interactive platforms with Palestinian communities worldwide. (World Premiere: January 2019)
CITY OF NO ILLUSIONS. A funeral home at the edge of our country, a borderland between the living and the dead, becomes a refuge for two asylum seekers. A new work from the multiple OBIE award-winning Talking Band: written and directed by Paul Zimet, with music by Ellen Maddow. (World Premiere: February 2019)
55 SHADES OF GAY is a fictional story about the first gay marriage in Kosovo, which as of now has not taken place. The play follows a same-sex couple applying for a marriage license in a homophobic provincial town. Written by Jeton Neziraj, the play delves into what it means to be young and gay in this new nation where despite laws legalizing gay marriage, coming out as gay is a perilous choice. (New York Premiere: March 2019)NOW MY HAND IS READY FOR MY HEART: INTIMATE HISTORIES. Nicky Paraiso's deep exploration of an artist's life, investigating aging, identity, sexuality, class and race and a celebration of a particular artistic community as it grows older and continues to make work, both individually and with each other. Esteemed choreographer/dancers Jonathan Gonzalez, Lance Gries, Jon Kinzel, Jodi Melnick & Vicky Shick collaborate and perform with Nicky. (World Premiere: March 2019)
STONEWALL 50 CELEBRATION PERFORMANCES
GLOBAL GAY. The U.S. premiere of Global Gay dramatizes the plight of queer people around the world as they claim their human rights in the face of authoritarian regimes and homophobic cultural norms. Paris-based director and designer Salvino Raco have crafted a provocative narrative that challenges audiences to abandon their complacency and squarely confront the issues faced by many millions of LGBTQ people outside of Europe and North America. (New York Premiere: June 2019)
THE BEARDED LADIES CABARET IN MY DINNER WITH DITO: A HOW TO BE QUEER CABARET. Dito Van Reigersberg (Martha Graham Cracker), K. Elizabeth Stevens and John Jarboe delve heel first into gay iconography, exploring and exploding subjective stereotypes of what it means to be gay. Expect drag, table dancing, power ballads, gender deconstruction, and more. (World Premiere:June 2019)
LA MAMA'S SQUIRTS: NEW VOICE IN QUEER PERFORMANCE: La MaMa curates some of the most exciting voices from New York City's queer performance world, across the generations to pose questions, honor legacies and ignite the present.
The 57th Season also includes FOLLOWING THE MILKY WAY by Yara Arts Group, PRISM (presented as part of the Protoype Festival), DYING IN BOULDER a new play by Linda Faigao-Hall, as well as the annual favorites like INDIAN MARKET AND SOCIAL, East Village Dance's THE SHELL-SHOCKED NUT and the contemporary dance festival, La MaMa Moves! Additional programming will be announced throughout the season.
MEMBERSHIPS. La MaMa continues its popular Experimental Theatre Club Memberships, offering $10 Tickets to all shows and other perks to members for the full season. Memberships start at $57.
La MaMa's wildly popular family series LA MAMA KIDS returns this season with a line-up of productions and workshops from artists including family shows and workshops throughout the season by artists such as Jane Catherine Shaw, Federico Restrepo, Potri Ranka Manis and CultureHub.
La MaMa's COFFEEHOUSE CHRONICLES, the Saturday afternoon educational performance series exploring the history and development of Off-Off Broadway, continues this season.
CULTUREHUB the art and technology incubator, founded by La MaMa and Seoul Institute of the Arts, return with their CoLab series, an intensive educational summer program offered to local teens. As well as ARTCADE CON, an interactive exhibit of independent video game art; and distance workshops.
POETRY ELECTRIC La MaMa's popular poetry reading series will return this season with timely words and solo performances with a focus on equality, justice, diversity, inclusion, and acceptance.
La MaMa's ongoing EXPERIMENTS PLAY READING SERIES, returns this season. Experiments: 19, entitled "Class Acts" will present new works inspired by classical texts. Each month, we will select an up-and-coming playwright who has re-imagined Shakespeare, a Greek tragedy or any number of classical texts to create a new, vibrant work that speaks to us today.
MAMA ARCHIVES. La MaMa Archives continues to expand access to archival video footage that document the work performed on La MaMa stages. The digital collection can be accessed at http://catalog.lamama.org. This season, La MaMa offers public tours of the La MaMa Archives the first Thursday of every month. For more information visit www.lamama.org/programs/archives
For more information about La MaMa's 57th season, visit http://lamama.org/
Tickets for all shows through January 2019 go on sale July 1, 2018, including La MaMa 10@$10 tickets for all performances.
La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. La MaMa's vision of nurturing new artists and new work remains as strong today as it was when Ellen Stewart first opened the doors in 1961. La MaMa has presented more than 5,000 productions by 150,000 artists of all nations, cultures, races and identities. Cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity are inherent in the work created on our stages. Here, artists find a supportive environment for artistic exploration, and audiences are part of the development of an artist's work over time.
A recipient of the 2018 Regional Theater Tony Award, and more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, La MaMa has been a creative home for thousands of artists, many of whom have made lasting contributions to the arts, including Blue Man Group, Ping Chong, André DeShields, Adrienne Kennedy, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, Warren Leight, Michael Mayer, Tadeusz Kantor, Bette Midler, Meredith Monk, Peter Brook, David and Amy Sedaris, Julie Taymor, Kazuo Ohno, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
Photo: Following The Milky Way, Marina Celander
Photo by: Waldemart Klyuzko