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World Premiere of Martha Clarke's GOD'S FOOL to be Presented at La MaMa in June

World Premiere of Martha Clarke's GOD'S FOOL to be Presented at La MaMa in June

GOD’S FOOL is the centuries-old story of St. Francis of Assisi and his devotion to community and all living beings. 

World Premiere of Martha Clarke's GOD'S FOOL to be Presented at La MaMa in June


Two legends in experimental theater - the iconic writer/director Martha Clarke and the Tony Award-winning La MaMa ETC - will collaborate for the first time when La MaMa presents the world premiere of Ms. Clarke's newest full-length work, GOD'S FOOL at the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4 St.), previewing June 12 - June 15, prior to a June 16th opening, it has been announced by Mia Yoo, La MaMa's artistic director.

More than five years in the making, GOD'S FOOL is created and directed by Martha Clarke, with a text co-authored by the renowned poet Fanny Howe, and production design by Robert Israel. The cast of GOD'S FOOL features John Kelly, George de la Pena, Patrick Andrews, James A. Pierce III and Luca Fontaine, Ingrid Kapteyn, Rico LeBron, Evan Copeland. Arthur Solari is music director.

GOD'S FOOL is the centuries-old story of St. Francis of Assisi and his devotion to community and all living beings. Francis was born into a prosperous family in the late 12th century in Italy, yet he chose to live among the impoverished in his search for spiritual enlightenment. He became increasingly drawn into nature, believing it to be the mirror of God. Nine hundred years later - in the current era of income inequality, extreme intolerance, climate change and wildlife extinction - there seems a need as much as ever for St. Francis's message of radical love.

The show's a cappella score, incorporated into an impressionistic narrative, is derived from music spanning a period of 800 years and includes Hildegard Von Bingen, Gustav Mahler, John Cage as well as liturgic and spiritual hymns. GOD'S FOOL is inspired by medieval frescos, traditional animal masquerades and the Italian Renaissance painting of Giotto - and the dozen biographies of Francis that Ms. Clarke read during her research.

Martha Clarke's 50-year career includes having created such ground-breaking, multidisciplinary works for the stage as THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS, VIENNA LUSTHAUS, ENDANGERED SPECIES, THE MAGIC FLUTE, ALICE'S ADVENTURES UNDERGROUND, MIRACOLO D'AMORE, ANGEL REAPERS and many more. She is a co-founder of Crowsnest and Pilobolus Dance Theatre and throughout her career has staged works for Nederlans Dans Theater, American Ballet Theatre, and The Martha Graham Company.

Fanny Howe is an American poet, short story writer and novelist whose body of work began in the 1960's. Her novels include LIVES OF THE SPIRIT/GLASSTOWN: WHERE SOMETHING GOT BROKEN in 2005. She's written numerous books of poetry and received the 2009 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Robert Israel is a set and costume designer for opera and theater whose work has been seen at Lincoln Center Theater and Metropolitan Opera. Masks by Margie Jervis.

John Kelly is the recipient of two Bessie Awards and two Obie Awards, having appeared at leading performance venues around New York and across the country, since 1985, most notably with works in which he channels Joni Mitchell.

George de la Pena is a dancer and actor whose career includes American Ballet Theatre, in the title role in the film NIJINSKY, and on Broadway in WOMAN OF THE YEAR and ON YOUR TOES.

Patrick Andrews toured in the Broadway production of FOSSE and has appeared extensively on stages in Chicago: Goodman, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in a wide variety dramatic and musical works including THE NORMAL HEART and THE BOOK THIEF.

James A. Pierce III was a member of Ailey II and has danced with Ballet Hispanico and Martha Graham Dance Company, along with having performed on Broadway in LION KING and at Papermill Playhouse in ON THE TOWN. James is an AUDELCO Award Winner.

GOD'S FOOL will perform Sunday June 12 - Saturday, July 2, 2022. Evening performances at 7PM and Sunday matinees at 2PM - check website for exact performance schedule. Tickets are $30/adults and $25/seniors-students. June 12 and 13 are Pay-What-You-Can Previews starting at $10. To purchase tickets, visit

About Martha Clarke

Martha Clarke is an American theater director and choreographer noted for her multi-disciplinary 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 Delights, Vienna: Lusthaus, Miracolo d’Amore, Endangered Species, An Uncertain Hour, The Hunger Artist, Belle Epoque, Vers 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.

About La MaMa

La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. La MaMa's historic 60th Season is committed to Radical Access, access that includes physical and economic accessibility, opportunity, representation, and relevance. La MaMa celebrates 60 years with the reopening of its first permanent home at 74A East 4th Street after extensive renovation ensuring new generations of artists a space to create work and change how we think about and experience art and ultimately transform our cultural narrative. 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 and has presented more than 5,000 productions by 150,000 artists of all nations, cultures, races, and identities.

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, Charlotte Braithwaite, Ping Chong, André De Shields, Adrienne Kennedy, Haruna Lee, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, Warren Leight, Michael Mayer, Tadeusz Kantor, Bette Midler, Meredith Monk, Peter Brook, David and Amy Sedaris, Julie Taymor, Dane Terry, Kazuo Ohno, Michael K. Williams, Marc Shaiman, and Scott Wittman.


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