About La MaMa


“A multicultural hive of avant-garde drama and performance art. La MaMa is a remarkable springboard
for an impressive roster of promising playwrights, directors and actors.”
–The New York Times
La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. We are a creative home to artists and audiences from around the world, a dynamic hub for risk-taking new performance, and a vital part of New York City’s cultural fabric. La MaMa is a global organization that believes in the power of art to reveal our shared humanity.
Founded in 1961 by theatre legend Ellen Stewart, La MaMa is the only original Off-Off-Broadway venue still in operation. Ellen established La MaMa as a haven for underrepresented artists to experiment with new work, without the pressures of commercial success. Today, we maintain an environment of uncensored creative freedom, where artists of all backgrounds and identities can develop work that pushes the boundaries of what is possible onstage.
To date, La MaMa has supported more than 5,000 productions, featuring 150,000 artists from 70 nations. In 2018, The American Theatre Wing presented La MaMa with the Regional Theatre Tony Award, recognizing us as “the influential company that helped give birth to the Off-Off-Broadway movement.” La MaMa has also been honored with more than 30 Obie Awards, and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards.
“La MaMa has always been a home to rebels and outsiders. It is a place that understands the importance of difference, of diversity, a place that gives a platform to unheard voices from here and abroad.”
-Ping Chong, Director & National Medal of Arts Recipient
Some of the artists nurtured at La MaMa include: Blue Man Group, Ping Chong, Tisa Chang, André De Shields, Olympia Dukakis, Tom Eyen, Harvey Fierstein, Richard Foreman, Philip Glass, Diane Lane, Taylor Mac, Bette Midler, Meredith Monk, Tom O’Horgan, Estelle Parsons, David and Amy Sedaris, Sam Shepard, Elizabeth Swados, Shuji Terayama, Julie Taymor, Robert Wilson, and others. Our international network extends worldwide; La MaMa has presented the U.S. debuts of artists such as Peter Brook, Tan Dun, Tadeusz Kantor, Kazuo Ohno, Andrei Serban, Shuji Terayama, Tokyo Kid Brothers, Duk-Hyung Yoo, and Belarus Free Theatre.
“Artists are welcomed at La MaMa and lovingly encouraged to experiment,” says Artistic Director Mia Yoo. “As we’ve grown over the years, risk-taking and diversity have remained key cultural values.” With 88,000 square feet of dedicated art space in the East Village, La MaMa is a historical cornerstone and modern hub for experimental theatre across disciplines and boundaries.