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La MaMa Announces 2021-2022 Season

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The season will feature new works by: MARTHA CLARKE, PAUL LAZAR, TIMOTHY WHITE EAGLE, SPIDERWOMAN THEATER, TALVIN WILKS, BABA ISRAEL and more!

La MaMa Announces 2021-2022 Season

This 2021-22 season builds on La MaMa's six decades as a creative seedbed for bold artistic expression and an inclusive home for experimental theatre-makers. The Tony Award-winning theatre has announced a fresh season of work - on its various stages in the East Village - that explores new rituals of our time from a multiplicity of perspectives and speaks to the epic changes of the 21st century.

The world-renowned company's 60th season features two works by Indigenous theater artists Timothy White Eagle, and Spiderwoman Theater's adaptation of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, the first new dance theatre opus in a decade by Martha Clarke (THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS), along with premieres of the late Elizabeth Swados' reimagined musical composition THE BEAUTIFUL LADY directed by Anne Bogart, Paul Lazar's multi-media movement tribute to John Cage, and BALKAN BORDELLO, a collaboration between theatremakers in Kosovo and the U.S. that stacks up Aeschylus and democracy in the post-Trump era, according to Artistic Director Mia Yoo.

Also featured in the season will be:

- A FEW DEEP BREATHS, a compilation of work by Haruna Lee, Chuck Mee, Adrienne Kennedy, Robert Patrick, Eric Ehn, Huntrezz Janos, and Christopher Rivas-presented by CultureHub and La MaMa (Oct 27 - Oct 30)

-the La MaMa debut of Stephen Petronio Dance Company (Nov 18 - 28)

-John Sims' multi-media project RECOLORATION PROCLAMATION which explores the complexity of identity, cultural appropriation, and visual terrorism through Confederate iconography and African-American culture (Dec 2 - 5)

-the premiere of James E. Reynolds' HISTORY/OURSTORY: THE TRAIL TO TULSA, marking the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre (Dec 9 - 12)

-EXPERIMENTS IN DIGITAL STORYTELLING INITIATIVE featuring three axes live-a digital collaboration across distance between Seoul and New York. .

-In January, Talvin Wilks and Baba Israel's CANNABIS: A VIPER'S VAUDEVILLE will debut as a co-presentation between La MaMa, HERE and Prototype.

The 60th season will celebrate the re-opening of La MaMa's flagship theatre at 74A East 4 Street following a $24 million, 3-year state-of-the-art multi-million dollar renovation. Performances on 74A's stages will resume in January 2022. La MaMa founder Ellen Stewart opened the doors at 74A to audiences and a bevy of avant-garde artists in 1961, thus establishing La MaMa as one of the world's leading homes for experimental theatre, a stature the organization maintains 60 years later.

About the manner in which La MaMa continued to thrive in the face of the pandemic and lockdown, Ms. Yoo states, "In this past year, we've been examining how our existing systems and structures function. Who has the power? What is our human obligation and responsibility? Do we need new rituals to bring us together? As we reimagine new ways forward, the artist's voice must be part of the change that is so necessary. How can La MaMa create more impact and access around the incredible work that is being generated in this moment? This is our major focus at La MaMa."

An abbreviated list of La MaMa productions for the 2021-22 season follows:

The season will kick off in September 27-October 24 with:

The LA MAMA PUPPET SERIES

A biannual festival of new contemporary puppet theatre by American and International Artists curated by Denise Greber. Premieres by the Loco 7 Dance Theatre Company, Tom Lee, Lady Xok, Kevin Augustine, Shoshana Bass, Charlotte Lily Gaspard, and Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkins are featured in the festival, being performed live, in-person at La MaMa's Ellen Stewart and Downstairs Theatres (66 E. 4 St.). At the La MaMa Galleria (47 Great Jones St.), as part of the festival THE Jim Henson FOUNDATION PRESENTS: AMERICAN PUPPET THEATER TODAY: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF Richard Termine.

THE INDIGO ROOM

By Timothy White Eagle - November 11 - 21 at the Downstairs Theatre. An immersive, part-improvisational, part-ritualistic new work by the well-known Seattle-based Indigenous artist. THE INDIGO ROOM asks us to consider life anew after the isolation of the pandemic.

CANNABIS! A VIPER VAUDEVILLE

January 6-16 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre. A co-presentation by La MaMa, HERE, and Prototype, this theatrical concert explores the history of cannabis in music, dance, and spoken word. Composed by Grace Galu, libretto and co-direction by Baba Israel, dramaturgy and co-direction by Talvin Wilks.

GOD'S FOOL

By Martha Clarke - January 20 - February 10 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre. The iconoclastic creator of the form-changing dance theatre works THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS and VIENNA: LUSTHAUS returns with her first new full-length work in a decade. Written by Ms. Clarke and poet Fanny Howe, GOD'S FOOL is an interpretation of the ancient story of St. Francis of Assisi and his singular life as a man of privilege who chose community over self and lived among the poor, lepers, and others disenfranchised by society. With a cast featuring John Kelly, George de la Pena, Adesola Osakalumi, and Patrick Andrews.

CAGE SHUFFLE: A DIGITAL DUET

By Paul Lazar - February 13 - 27 at the Downstairs Theatre. Paul Lazar speaks a series of one-minute stories by John Cage from his 1963 score INDETERMINACY, while simultaneously performing a complex choreographic score by Annie-B Parson. The stories are spoken in random order with no predetermined relationship to the dancing, yet chance serves up its inevitable and uncanny connection between text and movement.

MISDEMEANOR DREAM

By Spiderwoman Theater - March 3 - 20 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre. A cast of 20 Indigenous performers take on Shakespeare in this Native adaptation of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM directed by Muriel Miguel.

LOOK OUT SH!^HEAD, Episode

By Object Collection - Jan 27 - Feb 6 at the Downstairs Theatre. Based on the legendary French director Eric Rohmer's 1980s film cycle COMEDIES ET PROVERBES about love and desire. Directed by Kara Feely and text composed by Travis Just.

A GRAND PANORAMA

By Theodora Skipitares - February 14 - March 6 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre. Renowned puppet creator Skipitares-known for her large-scale puppet likenesses of human figures-examines Frederick Douglass and his passion for 19th-century art forms, including the early practices of photography. Featuring a cast of professional performers and students from a public high school in Brooklyn.

LEMON GIRLS or ART FOR THE ARTLESS

By Talking Band - March 10 - 27 at the Downstairs Theatre. Written by Ellen Maddow and directed by Paul Zimet, this new work is a comedic celebration of older women-and those who will one day become older women. The cast includes Michael Lynch Ellen Maddow, Lizzie Olesker, Tina Shepard, Louise Smith, and Jack Wetherall.

BALKAN BORDELLO

A new large-scale work by Kosovo's Qendra Multimedia and La MaMa's Great Jones Repertory Company - March 31 - April 10 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre. With a new English translation and an American cast, Aeschylus's Greek epic gets an update with an American context about the fragility of democracy in the post-Trump presidency.

THE DRAG SEED

By David Cerda, performed by HELL IN A HANDBAG under the direction of Cheryl Snodgrass - March 31 - April 10 in the Downstairs Theatre. An 11-year-old is determined to become the next drag superstar, and with the help of their mother, young Carson enters the competition at The Josephine Baker Rainbow Academy for Gifted Students. This NY Premiere follows the play's acclaimed debut in Chicago.

LA MAMA MOVES

April 11 - May 1 in all La MaMa venues.

THE BEAUTIFUL LADY

By Elizabeth Swados, directed by Anne Bogart - May 12 - June 5 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre. Originally announced for the 2019 spring season, which was Covid-cancelled, this new production of Swados' 1980s composition has a libretto by Paul Schmidt. The late composer has adapted the words of the Futurist Russian poets from the times of the 1917 Russian revolution into a complex musical score that depicts the events that changed the world. Ms. Swados' longtime collaborator Kris Kukul (BEETLEJUICE) is musical director.

While the theme of the 59th season, "Breaking It Open" became one of research and development-along with online performances-due to the pandemic, Ms. Yoo states that the 60th season is about "Radical Access," with "multiple points of entry" to the art with continued form-exploring work in the digital realm. In 2009, La MaMa with the Seoul Institute of the Arts founded CultureHub, a global art and technology network. The digital cabaret show, DOWNTOWN VARIETY, will continue and highlights of the season will be available for streaming through the partnership with CultureHub. Residencies and workshops will develop new work that exist in both the virtual and physical space for artists and audiences.

All staff, artists and audiences must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to be at La MaMa and to attend performances. Masks are required to be worn by audience members at all times.

For performance and season information, visit www.lamama.org

Photo credit: Paula Court


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