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SHAKESPEARE'S SISTER, Puppet Series, A SEASON IN THE CONGO and More Set for La MaMa's Fall 2013 Season

Two years into its second half-century, La MaMa, under the artistic direction of Mia Yoo, continues the omnivorous work of its founder, the late Ellen Stewart. The institution's fall 2013 season is a mixture of established artists and forms La MaMa has long supported (Lee Breuer, Dario D'Ambrosi, puppetry) and celebrated artists and programs new to La MaMa (Irina Brook, Chiori Miyagawa and Alice Reagan, Pascal Rambert, Maureen Fleming, Dan Fishback and Max Steele, and many others). Show-by-show descriptions are below.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at, 212-475-7710, or in person at the box office. This fall, La MaMa is introducing a new initiative, 10@$10, through which ten $10 tickets will be available to every performance on a first-come, first-served basis. In continuing tough economic times, La MaMa wants to make it possible for anyone to see live shows for less than the price of a movie ticket. Specifically, La MaMa aims to ensure artists can see each other's work, and to foster young audiences experiencing daring performances.


La MaMa Presents
Shakespeare's Sister (or La Vie Matérielle) (New York Premiere)
Irina's Dreamtheatre (France)
Directed by Irina Brook
September 20-October 6
Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 East 4th Street)

Irina Brook continues her father Peter's tradition at La MaMa with Shakespeare's Sister (or La Vie Matérielle), which adapts Virginia Woolf's A Room Of One's Own and Marguerite Duras' La Vie Matérielle. The work is set at a fantasy dinner party, where five women prepare the cuisine while singing, dancing and discussing their place in the world.

This New York Premiere production features a diverse ensemble including OBIE-winner Winsome Brown as Virginia Woolf, former French Vogue editor Joan Juliet Buck as Maugerite Duras, actress Nicole Ansari, concert violin soloist Yibin Li, and British singer/songwriter Sadie Jemmett.

I Came to Look for You on Tuesday (World Premiere)
Written by Chiori Miyagawa
Directed by Alice Reagan
Produced by Re/Union Company
September 26-October 13
First Floor Theatre (74 East 4th Street)

At the time of the Japan earthquake in March 2011, New York City-based playwright Chiori Miyagawa, whose family was affected by the disaster, saw a photo of an evacuation center wall, covered with handmade messages seeking contact with missing family members and friends. This image moved her, and she began thinking about the concept of reunion, especially following a natural disaster or war. That summer, setting out to create a play on the topic, Miyagawa and director Alice Reagan held salons in which artists and others shared their own reunion stories. Based on these meetings and on additional research, Miyagawa wrote I Came to Look for You on Tuesday.

I Came to Look for You on Tuesday is a surprising and mythical story, by turns poignant and humorous, about our need to reconnect. The play follows Maia, aged six to fifty, whose life was saved as a baby by her mother's sacrifice in a tsunami. Reunion with her mother is impossible, and her journey comes to be about emotionally reuniting with her father, who was destroyed by the loss of his wife. Over the course of the play, the audience encounters 20 characters who long to find some aspect of what they have lost in times of natural disaster or war-events that are entirely out of their control, yet change their lives forever.

A Series of One: A Solo Performance Series
September 27-October 13
The Club Theatre (74 East 4th Street)

A Series of One is a new platform for unconventional solo performances making its debut at La MaMa. The series will feature courageous artists from New York to the Netherlands who exemplify the DIY spirit, continuing to create adventurous and engaging art that allows audiences to experience the dynamism of a single performer-with no distractions. Among those performing will be Vickie Tanner, Brigham Mosley, Max Steele, Greg Zuccolo, DawN Crandell and more.

A (micro) history of world economics, danced (U.S. Premiere)
Co-presented by La MaMa, Performance Space 122 and French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF)
as part of the 2013 Crossing the Line Festival
Created and Directed by Pascal Rambert
In collaboration with Éric Méchoulan
October 11-13
Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 East 4th Street)

Performers: Clémentine Baert, Cécile Musitelli, Virginie Vaillant
Additional Text by Montaigne, Mallarmé
Music by Alexandre Meyer
Set and Lighting Design by Pascal Rambert

In this acclaimed production, French playwright/director Pascal Rambert investigates our collective economic history. Originally created during the height of the European economic crisis, this large-scale performance piece is based on the life experiences of New Yorkers, recruited by Rambert to discuss and explore the economy's effects on their lives in writing workshops leading up to the performance. Joined by professional dancers, the workshop participants recreate their daily actions on stage in a performance of raw bodies, accompanied by a professional choir and a spoken economic history provided by economist Eric Méchoulan of the University of Montréal.

B. MADONNA (New York Premiere)
By Maureen Fleming
Text by David Henry Hwang
Music by Philip Glass, performed by pianist Bruce Brubaker
Video by Christopher Odo
October 17 - November 3
Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 East 4th Street)
Please note: This performance contains nudity.

Internationally acclaimed performer Maureen Fleming brings her contemporary unveiling of the myth of Persephone to the stage of the Ellen Stewart Theatre. With text by Tony Award-winner David Henry Hwang, music by Philip Glass performed live by pianist Bruce Brubaker, this beautiful, multimedia meditation on "miracles" juxtaposes Fleming's new and repertory works with three-dimensional video projections designed by longtime Fleming collaborator Christopher Odo. Fleming created, choreographed and performs the work, which is inspired in part by La MaMa founder Ellen Stewart.

Born in Japan to American parents, Maureen Fleming brings the discipline of a classicist and the imagination of an iconoclast to her unique interpretation of butoh. Fleming is inspired by butoh conventions, but she is concerned with eros, alchemy and spirituality rather than social dissolution. Her choreography emphasizes aligning the body's spiritual center, and also uses the female body as a symbol for the earth's cycles of regeneration. Fleming studied extensively in Japan with Kazuo Ohno, the co-founder of this minimalist art form. She went on to perform with his son, Yoshito Ohno, and to tour internationally with performance artist and choreographer Min Tanaka. Fleming continued her training in the United States as a scholarship student under the Cecchetti master Margaret Craske. Since 1994, she has conducted workshops at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and was recently a guest artist at The Juilliard School. She has gained international recognition on five continents for her singular form of multimedia performance at such venues as Italy's Spoleto Festival, Japan's Butoh Festival, Mexico's Jose Limon Dance Festival, Iceland's Reykjavik Arts Festival, Colombia's International Danza Contemporanea, France's International Mime Festival and Korea's Seoul Performing Arts Festival, among others.

The Schizophrenic Hamlet (U.S. Premiere)
Dario D'Ambrosi and Teatro Patologico
October 17 - November 3, 2013
First Floor Theatre (74 East 4th Street)

Italy's Dario D'Ambrosi and his Teatro Patologico explore what D'Ambrosi calls "the pathological side of Hamlet." Expect a remarkable journey into the psyche of Shakespeare's well-known characters. Reviewing the Italian provocateur's A Kingdom for My Horse, a riff on Richard III, Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote, "Mr. D'Ambrosi taps right into primal terrain most of us avoid exploring." Here he does so with Hamlet.

Makina Total Free
Omni Zona Franca
October 18-20
The Club Theatre (74 East 4th Street)

Amaury Pacheco, David D Omni and Luis Eligio D Omni are Omni Zona Franca, a multi-disciplinary Cuban artist collective that, since its formation in 1997, has freely shifted between forms of performance, music, poetry, spoken word, rap, visual art, graffiti video, and dance to embrace art as everyday life. La MaMa and AS220 are partnering to bring Omni Zona Franca from Havana to New York.

Queer New York International Arts Festival/New Music Series 2013
October 25-November 3
The Club Theatre (74 East 4th Street)

The QNYIF 2013/New Music Series is is an integral component of the anticipated Queer NY International Arts Festival 2013 (Co-Artistic Directors: Zvonimir Dobrovi? and André von Ah). The New York Times has called it "tantalizing" and "a performance and visual art feast."

La MaMa Club curator Nicky Paraiso has organized this star-studded event, which showcases the hottest, edgiest queer music and cabaret performers in New York's downtown performance scene. The lineup already includes individual shows by M Lamar, Molly Pope, and Nath Ann Carrera, with Special Guest Star MCs Dan Fishback and Max Steele at particular performances. Additional artists will be posted on the La MaMa website this fall.

La MaMa and St. Ann's Warehouse Present
Lee Breuer's La Divina Caricatura Part 1, The Shaggy Dog (World Premiere)
Music by Lincoln Schleifer
Puppetry by Jessica Scott
Video by Eamonn Farrell
Produced by piece by piece productions, Mabou Mines and Dovetail Productions
December 6-22
Ellen Stewart Theatre (74 East 4th Street)
This production is not recommended for children under the age of 14.

Co-presenters St. Ann's Warehouse and La MaMa, and producers piece by piece productions, Mabou Mines and Dovetail Productions-all ardent and longtime supporters of "bad boy of avant-garde theater" (Village Voice) -unite for the World Premiere of Breuer's epic magnum opus La Divina Caricatura. The mixed-media pop-opera completes Breuer's Animations series and draws on material that stretches all the way back to Breuer's doo-wop opera Sister Suzie Cinema, first conceived as a poem in 1975.

At the center of La Divina Caricatura is an unlikely lead character: a dog named Rose, who is making a Dantean pilgrimage to love and, hopefully, Paradiso.

Lincoln Schleifer's music and arrangements-for lead singer Bernardine Mitchell as Rose the dog, a live band; a quartet of male soul singers (J.D. Steele, Ben Odom, Gene Stewart and Fred Steele); a trio of female backup singers (Maxine Brown, Beverly Crosby and Sherryl Marshall); and members of the cast-incorporates the work of Bob Telson and John Margolis and covers a stunning array of styles, from 1950s doo-wop and 1960s soul to Argentinian tango, raga, reggae, rap, Gregorian chant and French folk tunes.

The cast, joining a massive ensemble of Bunraku puppeteers, features actors John Margolis (John), Ruth Maleczech, Maude Mitchell and Greg Mehrten.

Since he first saw the Osaka Bunraku in Paris in 1968, Breuer has wanted to introduce an Americanized, deconstructed version of the elaborate musical puppet theater to Western audiences. The puppets in La Divina Caricatura are by some of the country's best designers: Julie Archer, Jessica Scott, Eric Novak and Emily DeCola. (Basil Twist's Warrior Ant appears in Parts II and III.)

La Divina Caricatura draws upon previous Breuer / Mabou Mines works including the original Shaggy Dog Animation, Sister Susie Cinema, Prelude to Death in Venice, An Epidog, Summa Drammatica, Porco Morto, Ecco Porco and The Warrior Ant. There are echoes of still other Breuer creations, from The Gospel at Colonus to Mabou Mines Dollhouse.

November 7-24
At the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 East 4th Street), the First Floor Theatre (74 East 4th Street)
and the Club Theatre (74 East 4th Street)

In 1962, when Ellen Stewart invited puppet artists from Korea, La MaMa began its love affair with all things puppetry. The form has been an integral part of La MaMa's artistic vision ever since. La MaMa celebrates the best of puppetry for three weeks, when seven productions occupy all three of its theaters. Denise Greber curates the series with an eye for theatergoers of all ages.

Echo in Camera (World Premiere)
Conceived, Designed and Directed by Roman Paska
November 8-17
Ellen Stewart Theatre

Internationally acclaimed artist Roman Paska returns to the New York stage with Echo in Camera. The work explores the relationships between hearing, understanding and identity in a "little mental drama" that recasts the Orpheus legend as an interior journey, tracing the descent of a divided puppet protagonist through a netherworld of his own imagination to retrieve a missing other.

Are They Edible
Created by Jeanette Yew
November 7-10
The Club Theatre

Are They Edible? is a multi-sensory puppetry performance inspired by Homer's epics The Iliad and The Odyssey. It takes place in an interactive setting in which food consumption is used as a way to engage the audience in a tactile discourse on the relationship between war, heroes and hunger (or the urge to consume). Throughout the piece, the audience enjoys the perspective of the gods, with a birds-eye view of the scope of atrocities, and with the eerie sense that this is all constructed for their enjoyment.

The Orphan Circus
Les Sages Fous (Trois-Rivieres, Quebec)
Directed and Designed by South Miller
November 7-10
First Floor Theatre

In The Orphan Circus, two junk peddlers create a small circus of visual tableaux to evoke the life of a cabaret troupe of derelicts and misfits, objects and puppets, led by the mysterious impresario Monsieur P. T. Issimo. In The Shadows of the mainstream entertainment industry, this little circus is a victory of the poor and the small, a place where the gruesome become beauties and even impossible love can be fulfilled.

The God Projekt
Lone Wolf Tribe
Written and Co-directed by Kevin Augustine & Edward Einhorn
The Club Theatre
November 14-24

The God Projekt is an interdisciplinary, minimalist extravaganza on religion and secular morality that investigates the historical legacy of monotheism. God (played by Augustine in a full-body "old age" silicone prosthetic) joins a cast of highly realistic, hand-carved puppets inspired by 18th century wax anatomical figures and Old Testament animals and characters to deliver a dynamic interpretation of a deep, contradictory and ambiguous Almighty.

La Capra Ballerina (Italy)
Conceived and Performed by Laura Bartolomei
November 21-24
First Floor Theatre

A little girl goes to sleep and embarks on a journey within her dreams and nightmares: flying among fish with human faces; playing with light and shadow; the death of her cat; falling into water and meeting her own death. The non-linear narrative is composed like a slow dance, sustained by the electronic musical score by Stefano Zazzera and the wrist puppet technique developed by the great Russian master Vladimir Zakharov.

La MaMa Puppet Slam
Curated by Jane Catherine Shaw
November 15
First Floor Theatre

The La MaMa Puppet Slam is a one-night only puppet mashup featuring contemporary short-form puppet and object theatre.


WonderSpark Puppets
Performed by Chad Williams
Goldilocks & The Three Bears (November 16) and The Three Little Pigs (November 17)
First Floor Theatre
Suggested for ages 2-5

Goldilocks is a naughty little girl who does anything she wants - but what will happen when she breaks into the Three Bears' house? Lots of laughter and sing-a-longs! The well known story about one girl, three bears, finding friends and learning responsibility.

Three Little Pigs build their houses of hay, sticks and bricks, but will they withstand the Big Bad Wolf? The classic tale retold with hilarious puppet pigs and a silly wolf-with an emphasis on "being prepared."

Squirrel Stole My Underpants
Created & performed by Bonnie Duncan
Music by BrenDan Burns & Tony Leva
Directed by Dan Milstein
November 16-17
First Floor Theatre
Suggested for ages 5+

Squirrel Stole My Underpants is a poignantly silly adventure tale for families. Sylvie is sent to the backyard to hang up the laundry. The moment her back is turned, a mischievous squirrel steals her favorite piece of clothing and runs off. When Sylvie gives chase, an entire world emerges from her laundry basket, and curious characters show her the way through mysterious lands. Will our lonely heroine rescue her underpants and discover the magic within herself?


Maria Celeste (Galileo): To My Father
A work-in-progress by Pioneers Go East Collective
Conceived and directed by Gian Marco Lo Forte
November 29-December 1
The Club Theatre (74 East 4th Street)

Maria Celeste (Galileo) explores Maria Celeste's life as a cloistered nun and reflects upon her deep emotional attachment to her father, the scientist Galileo, and her eagerness to be a part of his discoveries. An interactive opera and performance installation with live video and projected art inspired by the solar system, the work immerses us in a mysterious dreamlike realm where we intimately experience motion, imagery, sounds and visual and dramatic tensions between the world of the nun and the world of Galileo.

The Republic (World Premiere)
By Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre
Written and Directed by Vít Ho?ejš
November 29-December 15
First Floor Theatre (74 East 4th Street)

Was Socrates executed by a vigilant Athenian "department of homeland security?"

Incorporating traditional Czech marionettes, found objects and shadow puppets, the interdisciplinary performance The Republic adapts the Plato text of the same name, incorporating elements of the Crito and Phaedo dialogues. In the 5th century B.C., as now, political movements led by demagogues and sophists crush the voice of reason.

Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre brings to the new work the artistry that The New York Times, reviewing the company's Golem, described this way: "The synergy these forces create is superbly imaginative... but its visual illusions feel far more magical than anything you'll see in a Broadway blockbuster."

The Third Policeman (World Premiere)
Nomad Theatrical Company
December 6-15
The Club Theatre (74 East 4th Street)

The New Yorker has called the novelist Flann O'Brien "one of the great comic geniuses, and one of the most inspired literary minds, of the twentieth century." Newsweek has described his work "frenetic, dazzling, unconscionably funny."

As only they can, Nomad Theatrical Company, under the artistic direction of Grant Neale, adapts O'Brien's comic novel The Third Policeman for the stage, bringing to the already rich work the company's singular brand of physical and perspective-bending theater to create a thrilling phantasmagorical journey.

A Season in the Congo
Written by Aimé Césaire
Directed by Rico Speight
December 19-22
First Floor Theatre (74 East 4th Street)

A Season in the Congo is Rico Speight's homage to Aimé Césaire in celebration of the seminal thinker and writer's centenary. In this work, Césaire, the "poet leader that lights the fire of Africa," chronicles the rise and fall of the first Prime Minister (Lumumba) of the newly independent Republic of Congo in 1960.

La MaMa is a remarkable arts institution with a worldwide reputation for producing daring work in theater, dance, performance art, and music. Founded in 1961 by theater pioneer Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has produced and presented more than 3,300 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 other luminaries 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 Theater.

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