La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club is New York’s premier Off Off Broadway venue, celebrating works that push the boundaries of language and culture, and showcasing cutting-edge talent from around the globe. Founded by Ellen Stewart in 1961, the company has grown into a vibrant and vital hub for artists and theatergoers alike, often presenting multiple shows simultaneously. What Ellen Stewart began in a small basement on East 9th Street has grown into an astounding 88,000 square feet of dedicated art space — four performance venues, rehearsal studios, an art gallery, a dormitory for visiting artists, offices, and the La MaMa Archives, documenting the history of Off-Off Broadway. Each season La MaMa presents more than 70 productions and receives approximately 34,000 visits from people of all ages and backgrounds, who attend performances, exhibitions, educational activities, and the La MaMa Archives. 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. Now under the artistic direction of Mia Yoo, cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity are inherent in the work created on our stages. Here, artists find a supportive environment for artistic exploration, and audiences are part of the development of an artist’s work over time.
Open Arts LES 2020 Interview
Ellen had not only a space where artists could follow their creative drive with very little barrier, but also a commitment to international theatre. She very early on saw the importance of not only taking the La Mama artists in New York abroad to tour but also bringing international artists back to New York… It really was a space where the boundaries of theater as an art form were being pushed very, very hard. And now, you know, sixty years later, we’re still here doing that kind of thing. – Sophie Glidden-Lyon
La MaMa offers many artist opportunities: fellowships, residences, workshops, meet-ups, classes nationally and internationally. They offer youth programs through community workshops and classes. La MaMa produces multiple festivals and artistic exhibitions throughout the year. La MaMa hosts CultureHub, a center for art and technology that connects communities around the world. Each of La Mama’s legendary fully equipped theatrical spaces allow producers to build upon our incomparable history of groundbreaking experimental theatre.
For more information on programs and opportunities, visit their website.