50th Anniversary Season
People all over the world ringing bells to celebrate La MaMa’s 50th Anniversary and in honor of Ellen Stewart, who regularly marked the start of performances at La MaMa by ringing a hand bell before welcoming theatre goers.
La MaMa is 50 years old! We want to thank all of you who made La MaMa possible, most of all, Ellen Stewart, who signed a rent slip for $55 on October 18, 1961 for La MaMa’s first space. No one will ever take Ellen’s place, yet we are determined to carry her mission and vision forward.
As Ellen said, “La MaMa is a lot of people, and many persons say, “Well, how does it keep going?” But I know at this moment in every corner of this earth, there are people whose energies and heartbeats, some part of which are directed towards La MaMa. And with that kind of thing holding us up, honey, we don’t sink.”
We hope that you will join us for our 50th Season, Homecomings, to celebrate our birthday and experience the incredible legacy that Ellen Stewart created. We want La MaMa to continue to be La MaMa – a theater for all people, a theater that nurtures its multi-generational family of artists, and a theater that will always provide opportunities for a new generation of artists hungry for the chance to create.
It is up to all of us.
As we look to the next fifty years, Ellen would say, “Just do it baby–be brave.”
Check out the other 50th events here.
On Sunday, October 16th, city officials co-named the block on East 4th Street between Bowery and 2nd Avenue as “Ellen Stewart Way.”
The 50th Anniversary Gala was held in the Ellen Stewart Theatre on Monday, October 17. Sam Shepard received the inaugural Ellen Stewart Award, and the evening featured selections from plays by Wallace Shawn, Harvey Fierstein, Jackie Curtis, and Taylor Mac.
La MaMa’s Great Jones Repertory and Ping Chong & Company partner to create the first revival of Ping Chong’s luminous 1985 dance theatre work ANGELS OF SWEDENBORG. Performed in a heavenly arena of feathers, ANGELS is a hauntingly beautiful and wry meditation on contemporary man caught between longings for material comfort and spiritual enlightenment.
Monday Nights celebrate La MaMa Alumni who have been instrumental in shaping La MaMa’s legacy, and support artistic residencies to ensure that future generations of artists will have a creative home at La MaMa.
The La MaMa 50 Big Bash at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on June 24, 2012