La Mama E.T.C.

Todays Date: 07/02/22
Last Update: 02/20/13 07:33:16 AM
Address: 74A E. 4th Street
New York, NY    10003

History of Productions View Current and Upcoming

After An Earlier Incident (a Dyschronic Romeo & Juliet)  | Open: 03/08/13 Close: 03/17/13
La MaMa E.T.C. in association with Monk Parrots presents the world premiere of

“(The intrepid) Monk Parrots and their work are, thankfully, here to stay.” – Theatre Reviews Limited

Hailed as “young artists revolutionaries” by New York Theatre Wire, Monk Parrots forthcoming world premiere, After An Earlier Incident (A Dyschronic Romeo & Juliet), builds upon the company’s brand of concept-driven performance works – Here I Go (2012) and Gay Rodeo By-Laws (2011).

Taking a cue from philosopher Jacques Derrida, After an Earlier Incident blends various Romeo & Juliet tellings (Mariotto and Gianozza, Pyramus and Thisbe, et al.) with hypnagogic music, choreography, text, and visual art to explore the concept of “hauntology”, i.e. the past inside the present. With contributions by playwright David Todd, director-designer Luke Leonard, associate director Joey LePage, co-designer Marie Yokoyama, costume designer Alison Heryer, sound designer Michael Howell, and, properties designer Allee Ilardi-Lowy, the piece searches for a way to move forward in order to become unstuck in history.

The cast includes Jessie Dean, April Evans, Morgan Hooper, Michael Howell and Joey LePage.  Mariah Ilardi-Lowy serves as the stage manager.

About the Company: Monk Parrots

Monk Parrots, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit performing arts organization founded in New York City that encourages creative approaches to theatre-making and builds repertory performance works that cross artistic boundaries.  Every project is unique and benefits from a revolving ensemble of professional and amateur collaborators, yet each production shares the same core values that attempt the impossible and advance the art of theatre.

The company derives its name from Monk Parakeets, specifically the ones that have found their way into the Northeastern United States via overturned delivery trucks and other legends.  Unlike most exotic birds they can survive basically anywhere by working together and adjusting to unusual climates.  They symbolize intelligence, endurance, adaptation, and collaboration.

Inspired by other fine arts, such as, painting, installation, and sculpture, we aim to create work with a lasting impression that explores theatre and performance in a multidisciplinary way. Monk Parrots contributes to culture through presentations of time-based artworks and provides opportunities to artists.

Five Days In March  | Open: 05/06/10 Close: 05/23/10
"Five Days in March" by Toshiki Okada is set in the days before the U.S. began its war against Iraq in March 2003. Two Japanese urban hipsters meet at a post-rock show and get swept up into a one-night stand that turns into five days’ continuous sex. Oblivious to the imminent invasion of Iraq, the slackers obsess over the details of their love affair, perfectly capturing the irony and impotency of Generation Y in Japan today.

The story unfolds through actors who slip in and out of character while casually narrating and playing out scenes. The play, a winner of the prestigious Kishida Kunio Drama Award, is at once anticlimactic and devastating. Such ground-breaking and modern works by Okada's chelfitsch Theater Company (always spelled with a small "c") have made them the most talked-about theater company in Japan. They are characterized by seemingly insubstantial narrative accompanied by exaggerated fidgeting gestures-turned-choreography

Witness Relocation, under the direction of Daniel Safer, will create an American version of this story using an English translation by Aya Ogawa, making it resonate for an American audience by applying their unique, pop-culture dance/theater methodology to it. Witness Relocation’s productions combine dance and theater with the energy of a rock show, exploding contemporary culture into intensely physical, outrageous, poetic, and sometimes brutal performances in order to question the assumptions of the modern day experience.

This unique fusion of forms connects Witness Relocation to Okada and his chelfitsch company: both are known for crossing and combining disciplines and for being equally adept at theater and dance. The New York Times wrote that Witness Relocation’s work “aggressively blurs genres and makes high-low culture distinctions obsolete.” This production of "Five Days In March" will be no exception.

Brazil Nuts  | Open: 05/07/10 Close: 05/23/10
In BRAZIL NUTS, two lesbians walk into a bar. One of them marries a go-go boy. All three get drop-kicked into the Bermuda triangle of U.S. Immigration. This new comedy details the experiences of Fabiana, a Brazilian and die-hard soccer fan who has over-stayed her student visa; Jackie, her girlfriend who works as a dog-walker, office temp, and cater-waiter when she’s not writing her thesis on Third World Atrocities Today (T.W.A.T.); and Ron, Fabiana’s well-endowed go-go boy husband — a decent guy for a complete narcissist.


written by Susan Jeremy and Mary Fulham

set by Gian Marco Lo Forte

costumes by Ramona Ponce

sound by Tim Schellenbaum

directed by Mary Fulham


Post Modern Living  | Open: 04/16/10 Close: 05/02/10
Playwright/performer Richard Sheinmel premieres POST MODERN LIVING at La MaMa beginning April 16. The production marks the latest installment of Sheinmel’s Modern Living play cycle, which began in 2006 at La MaMa. Much like Armistead Maupin’s Tales of The City novels follows the exploits of Michael Tolliver, this series of related plays center on Mitch, a gay “downtown” New York performance artist, as he writes plays about his life. Directed by Jason Jacobs (Theatre Askew), the production features original songs by Clay Zambo. Opening night is set for April 18.


POST MODERN LIVING presents two inter-related tales. The first half follows a day in the life of Mitch and Chester, a committed couple in a long time relationship. It is a boy-meets-boy story of promiscuity, first dates, self-imposed celibacy, and true love. The second half takes place on Mother’s Day, as Mitch helps his mom with her garden. She recounts the story of how she discovered her breast cancer, the doctor who saved her life, and how her illness has re-affirmed her faith.

The production team includes John McDermott (sets), Jennifer Caprio (costumes), Tim Schellenbaum (sound), New York Innovative Theater Award nominee Timothy M. Walsh (lighting), and Monica Minoui (hair), Scott Ethier (Musical Director), Gabriel Luce (bass), and Daniel Acquisto (drums).

The Gilded Red Cage  | Open: 03/13/10 Close: 03/14/10
The Gilded Red Cage examines the human aspects of life under socialism and how they changed after the Velvet revolution in 1989 with a charming mix of humor, irony and sadness.
· The Gilded Red Cage Part I: Hana’s Shame portrays the intimate internal dialogue of a woman in love whose young life spans the socialist and post-socialist periods in Slovakia. She learns to come to terms with one fact - the main figures in her life at once love her and destroy her.
· The Gilded Red Cage Part II: The Canary who Ate the Cat captures the contradictions of socialist life via an endearing chameleon-turncoat-survivor who promises everything, yet delivers nothing…and still be beloved.

Performed by Katarina Morhacova and Silvester Lavrik

Seoul Factory for the Performing Arts (SFPA), led by Artistic Director Hyoung-Taek Limb, makes its La MaMa debut January 7 to 24, 2010 with "Medea and its Double," which interprets Euripides' Medea as two characters with different mentalities, torn between two minds as a mother and a lover. The work won the Best Director award at the 2007 Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre.

The piece is based on the play by Euripides and has been adapted and directed by Hyoung-Taek Limb. It will be performed in Korean with English subtitles (which are hardly necessary, because the narrative is easily understood by all audiences.) There are six actors and two singers, all Korean.

Seoul Factory for the Performing Arts calls itself an institution "where the spirits of lovers, lunatics and poets encounter." It primarily adapts classical western theater for Korean and foreign audiences. This production creates a new style by combining not only Korean voices and martial arts, but also techniques of the Beijing Opera and Indian Odissi tradition with classic theater. The performance utilizes daily sounds and voice work derived from the Korean traditional Korean one-person opera ‘pansori’ and traditional folk song.

SFPA was founded as ‘Seoul Acting Lab’ in March of 2000 to train actors. Artistic Director Hyoung-Taek Limb trains performers based on the essence of performing arts, so called “physical contact” derived from Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints, Grotowski, Yoga, and Korean Traditional Mask Dance. He re-interprets classical works of art and develops training methods that are best suited for Korean emotions and sentiments. SFPA also offers workshops that focus on cultural exchange between Eastern and Western performing arts.

"Medea and its Double" debuted in Sinaia, Romania in July, 2006 and has been performed at Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theater (2007, winner: Best Directing award), Chennai, India (2009),
Santiago, Chile (2009) and three times in Korea, at Miryang Summer Performing Arts Festival (2007), ArKo Arts Theater (2008) and Seoul Performing Arts Festival (2009).

Dmitru Corneilu (Romania), Chairman of UNESCO (2007), wrote that the show was an "amazing orchestration of traditional and contemporary voices of actors." Daily News (Egypt) wrote, "Director Hyoung-Taek Limb brilliantly succeeds in making Korean culture the perfect home for Greek tragedy. The sheer power of an inventive theater director’s singular vision can transcend any barrier chained to the world's oldest form of entertainment."

Hyoung-Taek Limb was born in Seoul, Korea and began his training while in college, focusing on how to combine Western and Asian theater disciplines. With the goal of further exploration, he moved to New York and continued his work under the guidance of Andrei Serban and Anne Bogart at Columbia University, where he earned an MFA in Directing. He also assisted Andrei Serban for his La MaMa production of "Love, the Greatest Enchantment" and "La Dispute."

Limb worked as a movement instructor at Schauspielhaus in Bochum, Germany and then founded a NYC theatre company, LITE (Laboratory for international Theatre Exchange, Inc.), with actors and directors mostly from Columbia University in 1994. Moving back to Seoul in 2000, Limb directed "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which received national recognition in Korea for its unique combination of traditional and modern, as well as Eastern and Western aesthetics. Limb is also a professor at Seoul Institute of the Arts. His other notable productions include "Slowness" by Milan Kundera (2003), "Three Sisters-Lost In Time" (NYC, Connnelly Theater, 2004) and "The Cherry Orchard-Comedy Nostalgia" (2007) and "New Birds" (2009). For 2010, he is preparing a new adaptation of "The Idiot" by Dostoevsky.

The two Medeas are played by Kyoung Lee and See-yeon Koo. The cast also includes Do-yup Lee (as Jason), Kyu-hwa Choi (as Aigeus/Tutor/Clown), Da-il Lee (as Creon/Clown), Su-yeon Lee (as Nanny/Clown) and two singers, Min-jung Kim and Yeon-ju Cho.

Haggaddah  | Open: 03/19/09 Close: 03/29/09
Witness Relocation (, whom Performing Arts Journal dubbed "a dance-theater anarchist's utopia," will perform "Haggaddah," a work based on the Passover Seder, March 19 to 29 in La MaMa's Annex Theater. The project will link post-modern dance, narrative storytelling, rock concerts, lectures, and dramatic scenes into a vibrant artistic rendering of one of the world’s most ancient holidays, presenting the story in a way that anyone from any culture can get inside it.

Audiences will be seated at a 50 foot long table, with the show happening on and around it. The traditional Seder is a ritual telling of the Exodus from Egypt on an intimate scale. This show examines the ritual in a large, post-modern context. There will be a spectacle combining dance, theater, music and design to immerse the audience in an intense re-envisioning of both the story and the act of coming together to tell it.

Though the word Seder literally means "order" in Hebrew, Dan Safer's retelling of the Haggaddah will rely more on chaos with the potential for order to arise from it. There will be a montage of forms, including (but not limited to) narrative storytelling, rock concerts, lecture/demonstration·and dramatic scenes. Safer promises "an all out, dance/theater/spectacle, full of sex, violence, blood, guts, avenging angels, oceans splitting in half, slavery, plagues, etc." He adds, "Lots of times the Seder can be incredibly dull, but its story kicks ass.

Tonight: Lola Blau  | Open: 03/13/09 Close: 03/22/09
The musical opens with Lola Blau as a Jewish singer trying to find work in Nazi-occupied Vienna. Escaping to the United States, she is obliged to sing in seedy nightclubs before achieving fame. After the war, she returns, with some trepidation, to Vienna. Her story is told in a nearly continuous flow of Kurt Weill-style numbers, each cleverly evoking a mood, a period or environment in wickedly accurate parody and pastiche. There are about twenty chansons, during which are projected historical images like Hitler on pedistals, splattered 'Juden' signs and body-littered battlefields. In Lola's return concert, she slyly condemns all those who failed to notice the disappearance of six million Jews and confronts the audience with its prejudices. She dares the audience to share Kreisler's disgust at Austria's posing as a victim of Nazism rather than as a collaborator.

Lola's pride at having survived--and her guilt at having left Europe--are neatly and poignantly captured in the play, which juxtaposes images of war with snippets of contemporaneous American culture, like "The Good Ship Lollypop" and "Chattanooga Choo Choo." Her return to Vienna turns the city inside out, with brilliant songs about collaborators ("Frau Schmidt), the entrenched plutocrat impresarios ("Herr Director") and a sardonic sendup of "Thank God for Hollywood" sung to Mozart's Piano Sonata in C major.

Kreisler's story actually eclipses Lola's (he admits that everything he does is somewhat autobiographical). He was born in Austria in 1922 and took refuge in the U.S. during WWII, struggling to establish himself among such Jewish expatriates as Arnold Schönberg and Friedrich Holländer. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, working in anti-Nazi intelligence and as a translator at the Nuremberg trials. Although he returned to Europe in 1955, Kreisler has retained his American citizenship. His dark humor and uncompromising criticism of society and politics have caused him many difficulties, including appearance prohibitions in radio and television. Now in his eighties, he lives in Basel with his wife, cabaret artist Barbara Peters.

The show's popularity on the continent is partly explained by Europe's continuing obsession with the Holocaust. British audiences have also found it marvelously illuminating. Reviewing a 1995 production with East German actress Esther Zsieschow at The Old Red Lion, Islington (London), critic Graham Hassell wrote in "What's On" that the piece found an "appreciative audience, who like me, discovered new and sad facts about post war anti-Semitism and denial or ignorance of the Holocaust in Austria and the UK. It is perhaps a shame that few or none of them were of the generation of young people here in the UK that is credited with knowing nothing about the Holocaust or the significance of Auschwitz. And that's despite current emphasis on Holocaust studies in schools, the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the institution of National Holocaust Memorial Day."

Shekinah  | Open: 03/05/09 Close: 03/22/09
"Shekinah,"  revolves around the tragic, humorous and desperate lives of Post-World War I spiritualists. People who lost loved-ones to WWI or a child to polio made especially easy prey for these practitioners of mystic bunkum, who would abuse the desperate and those whose desperation made them blind. La MaMa E.T.C. will present the play in its First Floor Theater March 5 to 22, directed by Peter S. Case.

Spiritualism has always been a desperate leap of faith and a refuge for the grieving. For those with the skill and cunning to spin silk out of suffering, it was an irresistible opportunity. Much of "Shekinah" involves a trio of such charlatans: a woman named Billie Dove, whose talent as a medium is legendary, and two male cohorts in crime, Henry, a cantankerous old vaudevillian, and Wesley, his young protégé-turned-murderer.

The setting is 1919 Chicago. Billie and Henry have been on the con for a long time when they meet the ultimate mark: a wealthy doctor clinging to his belief in ghosts as his last hope to be a father to his dead son. The craft and mendacity of the threesome are matched against the intelligence and rational humanity of the doctor, who invites Billie Dove to live in his home and channel his ten-year-old son. Abandoning her accomplices, Billie ends up playing governess and caretaker to a thought, a wisp of air and lingering love.

The production will use many of the simple yet effective tricks of the period to reproduce the séance magic performed by sham mediums in the 1920's in the "spook racket." The title of the play is a Hebrew word meaning a symbol or manifestation of God on earth. The title specifically relates to Billie Dove and her ability to convince all those around her, even the skeptical, that she is a vessel for the divine. It also recalls the title of one of the first spiritualist newspapers, which was published in the 1850s.

Coming, Aphrodite!  | Open: 02/20/09 Close: 03/08/09
COMING, APHRODITE! is a love story about a man, a woman, and a dog that explores the pursuit of art and the nature of success. A painter, Don Hedger and his dog, Caesar, live in a one-room apartment. Their daily life is upended when Eden Bower, an aspiring actress who likes to sing show tunes and exercise in the nude, moves in next door.

A musical adaptation of a novella by Willa Cather

"Still the River Flows: Celebrations of Winter Rituals from the Carpathian Mountains" is a multidisciplinary event by Yara Arts Group featuring traditional winter song singers and musicians from the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe. Sections of a nativity puppet play from the 18th century with traditional music by arranged by Julian Kytasty will be performed as well as solstice songs from other countries sung by Svitanya, an Eastern European Women's Vocal Ensemble. The event will take place December 26-28, 2008 at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York's East Village. "Still the River Flows" is directed by Virlana Tkacz and designed by Watoku Ueno.

Lillian Yuralia  | Open: 11/13/08 Close: 11/30/08
The play, a finalist at the Humana Festival and winner of a 2001 Berrilla Kerr Grant, is set on the Lower East Side in 1930. Lillian, a former star of the Yiddish Theater (or so she says) has lived for many years with her lover Jake in a top floor flat of a brownstone. Across the hall, Levy, a refugee from the Russian Pale, lives in a room alone and isolated. All of his family lost in a pogrom, he has shut himself off from the world. When the play begins Lillian stands in her empty front room. With the sudden death of Jake, who has failed to make any provision for them, she now finds herself and their teenage son, Yidl, destitute. Obliged to live off the charity of distant relatives, they are about to leave the only home they've known. Church bells begin to ring the hour. Desperately playing for time she makes tea for her son, and in her cup, she pours an overdose of laudanum. Soon Yidl will begin a frantic pounding on Levy's door. A door he has never opened to anyone.

The play, then, is how the mother and son's visit opens the door to the old man's heart and how the boy, silently suffering from his mother's tragic turn of events, finds his voice. HB Playwrights Foundation mounted the play last January, directed by Austin Pendleton. Reviews are not cultivated by HB Playwrights Foundation, but letters swarmed in attesting to the beauty and power of the piece. One testified, "I loved this play. A story of family and the complex relationship between Mother and Son. A story of loss and its effects, a story of different kinds of courage and fortitude, a story of a time and culture that today's society should not forget." Others called the play "absolutely extraordinary...the best thing I've seen in incredible play...heartbreaking and beautiful."