Great Jones Rep Presents GREAT JONES VARIATIONS At La MaMa 5/27-30

Great Jones Repertory - co-founded by Ellen Stewart in 1972 - will mark its 38th annual season this spring with the premiere of "Great Jones Variations," five short pieces presented during four days May 27 to 30 at La MaMa ETC's newly-minted Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4 St.) in Manhattan. The works that comprise "Great Jones Variations" -- written and performed by members of Great Jones Repertory in the style and form of Ms. Stewart's own work - continues the season-long tribute, "Celebrating Ellen" to La MaMa founder and artistic director Ellen Stewart, who recently turned 90. As well, in November, La MaMa's Annex Theatre was renamed the Ellen Stewart Theatre.

Performances of "Great Jones Variations" are scheduled Thursday, May 27 at 7:30 pm, Friday, May 28 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, May 29 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 30 at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $20 general admission. For performance and ticket information call 212 475 7710 or visit

"Great Jones Variations" are directed by five long-time Great Jones Repertory members: George Drance, Ozzie Rodriguez, Elizabeth Swados, Zishan Ugurlu, and Perry Yung. The pieces are inspired by the theatrical vision of Ellen Stewart where universal human emotions are conveyed through a dynamic collaboration of drama, music, movement, multi-media and spectacle.

La MaMa has been the home of Great Jones Repertory Company for 38 years -- the longest running repertory company in La MaMa's history - and the exclusive home of Ms. Stewart's conceptual, theatrical creations.

Descriptions follow of "Great Jones Variations"

The House of Atreus: 2:00 AM - Directed by Zishan Ugurlu
The Ancient Greeks questioned the true meaning of humanity. Humans who experience sleepwalking are able to perform everyday tasks and activities while remaining in a deep sleep. The House of Atreus: 2:00 AM explores the connection between criminal activities spurred by the unconscious mind and the nature of humanity. How can we awaken and enlighten ourselves in order to create a better world?
Featuring: Michael Lynch (Agamemnon), Matthew Nassar (Orestes), Valois Mickens (Clytemnestra), Kat Yew (Iphigenia), and Allison Hiroto (Iphigenia)

Love Cripple - Directed by Perry Yung
Love Cripple is a sonically driven, physical theater piece performed by Renouard Gee, Kat Yew, and Perry Yung. Through the use of a haunting solo voice, shakuhachi flute and contemporary dance /physical theater, the actors explore the boundaries or obstacles to love.
Featuring: Renouard Gee, Kat Yew, and Perry Yung

Narcissus - Directed by Elizabeth Swados
A musical oratorio exploring the world of egoism the allure of commercial glamour by questioning the very definition of the concept, Narcissus. Liz Swados is one of the three founding members (with Ellen Stewart and Andrei Serban) of Great Jones Repertory.
Featuring: George Drance, Sara Galassini, Onni Johnson, and Valois Mickens

Appointment in Time - Directed by Ozzie Rodriguez
"Theatre is… An Appointment in Time…" Tom O'Horgan
In the world of La MaMa's Great Jones Repertory Company where members are repeatedly called upon to play multiple roles, the backstage disciplines and preparations often create a performance of their own. Appointment in Time, a multi-media piece, is a glimpse at the surreal world of actors backstage as they prepare for their entrances during a performance.
Featuring: Jin Won Lee, Michal Gamily, Renouard Gee, Sara Galassini, Eugene the Poogene,
Shigeko Sara Suga and Ching Valdez-Aran.

Tower of Babel - Directed by George Drance
So much of the work of Ellen and the Great Jones Company has been about communication across boundaries. Where does language help, where does is hinder? Tower of Babel is a study not only in Ellen's vision of communicating with sound, gesture, and symbol that go beyond language, but also in Ellen's methodology: drawing from the particular skills of each performer, working with some of our favorite melodies from Ellen's existing works, and creating a work within the constraints of the "coffee house" allowing simplicity to teach us rather than pinch us.
Featuring: Arthur Adair, George Drance, Onni Johnson, Matt Nasser and Shigeko Sara Suga.

Great Jones Rep technical artists:
Sets: Jun Maeda and Mark Tambella
Lights: Federico Restrepo and Juan Merchan
Sound: Tim Schellenbaum

Great Jones Musicians: Michael Sirotta, Yukio Tsuji, Heather Paauwe and Richard Cohen.

In 1972, The Great Jones Repertory Company was created by Andrei Serban, Elizabeth Swados and Ellen Stewart, who has collaborated on numerous adaptations of classics at La MaMa. In recent years, Ellen Stewart and The Great Jones Repertory Company have presented ASCLEPIUS by Ellen Stewart, a reinterpretation of Carlo Gozzi's THE RAVEN; an original adaptation based on William Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET; and a world-premiere adaptation of the rarely staged Greek saga HERAKLES VIA PHAEDRA, which The New York Times called "theater restored to its ritual communal origins." In 2004, La Mama E.T.C. presented SEVEN -- a month-long festival including the world-premiere of Ms. Stewart's ANTIGONE, performed in repertory with revivals of six productions previously staged by Great Jones Repertory Company. In her New York Times review of ANTIGONE, Margo Jefferson proclaimed: "Ms. Stewart is one of Off-Broadway's great pioneers. And La MaMa is one of the few institutions that unfailingly welcomes theater that is experimental and international."

Under Ellen Stewart's guidance, La Mama E.T.C. enjoys international recognition as the home for theatrical experimentation. La MaMa was the first Off-Off Broadway theatre to support full-time resident companies, and was the first Off-Off company to tour Europe. La MaMa has been honored with numerous OBIE Awards, dozens of Drama Desk Awards, Bessie Awards and Villager Awards. In January 1993, Ellen Stewart was inducted into the "Broadway Theatre Hall of Fame" becoming the first Off-Off-Broadway producer to ever receive this honor. In 2006, Ellen Stewart received a special Tony Award for supporting theatre artists of all nations and cultures in the development, production and presentation of new work. In 2007, she won the Prestigious Praemium Imperiale Arts Award, which is the Noble Prize for the Arts, named by the Japan Art Association.

La MaMa's heritage continues to grow with programs at Ellen Stewart's La MaMa Umbria, an artist residence in Italy, where international understanding is promoted through cultural exchange. La MaMa Umbria has, in the past 20 years, presented over 30 theatre productions as well as workshops, art exhibitions, and conferences.

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