LaMaMa Celebrates Ellen Stewart, 11/9
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by BWW News Desk
On Friday, November 9th at 4:30 pm, La MaMa's staff and family of artists will hold a public birthday celebration of the theatre's late founder Ellen Stewart, who died in January 2011.
People are invited to gather in front of the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4 St.) and join several Ugandan musicians, who will perform a Ugandan hymn followed by drumming by artists from the La MaMa family. The Ugandan theatre artists are in NYC to appear in SOULOGRAPHIE, an epic 17-play cycle by Erik Ehn, which begins performances at La MaMa on Nov. 11. Following the gathering on the steps of the Ellen Stewart Theatre, a reception will be held at the La MaMa Galleria (6 E. 1 St.)
As well as marking the birthday of Ms. Stewart, the Nov. 9 gathering will commemorate her one-world vision of a theatre that defies form and transcends boundaries of language, race and culture. Ms. Stewart -- affectionately known around the world as "Mama" -- firmly believed that theatre has the power to change people and make the world a better place. (Her actual birthday was Nov. 7)
SOULOGRAPHIE is part of La MaMa's 51st season entitled "Beyond Borders," which features works that strive to raise awareness of global issues that affect us all. SOULOGRAPHIE, which begins performances on Nov. 8, gives voice to the disenfranchised and exploited communities around the world, as well as to those who have been victims of targeted violence.
During its 50th anniversary season last year, the City of New York renamed the block of East 4th Street (between Bowery and 2nd Ave.), Ellen Stewart Way in honor of a remarkable woman who defied the odds (and authorities) by opening an theatre in the East Village. To this day, La MaMa is renowned is one of the world's leading institutions for groundbreaking, experimental theatre.
For information about La MaMa and its productions, visit www.lamama.org.