Tony Award Winner La MaMa ETC 2018-2019 Season: Zombie Asian Moms, Stonewall at 50, Asylum Seekers, the NEA, Puppets!

La Mama ETC, Off-Off Broadway’s only Tony-winning theater, has announced a 57th season that features more than 50 premieres, dizzyingly eclectic as usual, including a 50th anniversary celebration of the Stonewall Riots, a month-long international puppet series, an investigation into the history of the National Endowment for the Arts, a look at Zombie Asian Moms and Kink Haus, a brutal but funny sexual underground, as well as an evening inspired by the poet William Butler Yeats.

In case you missed La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club’s inventive 2018 Tony Award acceptance speech (it wasn’t televised):

(For a video of their remarkable history, see below)

La MaMa ETC 2018-19 Season Highlights:

THE A?TS. Sponsored By Nobody’s, THE A?TS investigates the origins of the National Endowment for the Arts, then contrasts this history within America’s contemporary realities of public funding of the arts. Written & Directed by Kevin Doyle. September 13-10.

KINK HAÜS. Philadelphia’s Gunnar Montana creates  a brutal underground nightclub depicting the wild, powerful, and sometimes hilarious sexual journey inside us all. Presented in association with Howl Arts. September 20 – October 7, 2018

WILDFLOWERS. A series of vision poems inspired by the lush symbolism of Irish poet William Butler Yeats, with live music by Irish composer/violinist Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Uillean piper James Mahon with pianist Bruce Brubaker performing the music of Philip Glass. . In partnership with Irish Arts Center October 18 – 1, 2018

LA MaMa’s Puppet Series presents work from artists around the world including Germany, Brazil, Netherlands, Japan, Colombia, China, Belgium, and the USA. This festival highlights interdisciplinary works from female artists while examining contemporary issues of cultural identity, Black Lives Matter, the refugee crisis in Europe, and the disability experience. The festival will also feature family events, the annual Puppet Slam, La MaMa Coffeehouse Chronicles and Jump Start, a weekend of works in progress.

CHASING THE NEW WHITE WHALE. In an epic delusion following a fateful encounter with heroin, legendary New England fishing captain Robby Foerster becomes “Ahab” as he attempts to kill the “New White Whale. ”  A play by La MaMa’s 20180-2019 Playwright in Residence Mike Gorman. directed by Arthur Adair. (November 22 – December 9, 2018)

ZOMBIE ASIAN MOMS by Kate Rigg and Lyris Hung, the duo who perform as Slanty Eyed Mama return to La MaMa with this mashup of comedy, hip hop, spoken word, video installation and oral history unearthing the legends and lore, insane rituals and indefatigable parenting practices of Asian Mom-ness. December 2018)

TERRA MIA. Italy’s Ondadurto Teatro bring Terra Mia to La MaMa, an irreverent look at the exodus of a prospective human race seeking a future elsewhere. The quest for an identity that can be completely invented unfolds as a game of carnage in a physical and visual spectacle Marco Paciotti and Elena Sbardella direct. December 13 – 16, 2018

ROCK. In 1969 a young man in a small West Bank Village watches the Americans land on the moon. Shouldn’t Palestine, land of prophets, also have a stake in the moon? Remote Theatre Project’s ROCK is written and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi, and created with actors from Palestine. Post-performance talk-backs after each show will be live-streamed on interactive platforms with Palestinian communities worldwide. January 2019

CITY OF NO ILLUSIONS. A funeral home at the edge of our country, a borderland between the living and the dead, becomes a refuge for two asylum seekers. A new work from the multiple OBIE award-winning Talking Band: written and directed by Paul Zimet, with music by Ellen Maddow. February 2019

55 SHADES OF GAY is a fictional story about the first gay marriage in Kosovo, which as of now has not taken place. The play follows a same-sex couple applying for a marriage license in a homophobic provincial town. Written by Jeton Neziraj, the play delves into what it means to be young and gay in this new nation where despite laws legalizing gay marriage, coming out as gay is a perilous choice.  March 2019

NOW MY HAND IS READY FOR MY HEART: INTIMATE HISTORIES. Nicky Paraiso’s deep exploration of an artist’s life, investigating aging, identity, sexuality, class and race and a celebration of a particular artistic community as it grows older and continues to make work, both individually and with each other. Choreographer/dancers Jonathan Gonzalez, Lance Gries, Jon Kinzel, Jodi Melnick & Vicky Shick collaborate and perform with Nicky.  March 2019


GLOBAL GAY. The U.S. premiere of Global Gay dramatizes the plight of queer people around the world as they claim their human rights in the face of authoritarian regimes and homophobic cultural norms. June 2019

THE BEARDED LADIES CABARET IN MY DINNER WITH DITO: A HOW TO BE QUEER CABARET. Dito Van Reigersberg , K. Elizabeth Stevens and John Jarboe delve heel first into gay iconography, exploring and exploding subjective stereotypes of what it means to be gay. Expect drag, table dancing, power ballads, gender deconstruction, June 2019)

LA MAMA’S SQUIRTS: NEW VOICE IN QUEER PERFORMANCE: La MaMa curates some of the most exciting voices from New York City’s queer performance world, across the generations to pose questions, honor legacies and ignite the present.


The 57th Season also includes FOLLOWING THE MILKY WAY by Yara Arts Group, PRISM (presented as part of the Protoype Festival), DYING IN BOULDER a new play by Linda Faigao-Hall, as well as the annual favorites like INDIAN MARKET AND SOCIAL, East Village Dance’s THE SHELL-SHOCKED NUT and the contemporary dance festival, La MaMa Moves! Additional programming will be announced throughout the season.

La MaMa’s ongoing EXPERIMENTS PLAY READING SERIES, returns this season. Experiments: 19, entitled “Class Acts” will present new works inspired by classical texts. Each month, we will select an up-and-coming playwright who has re-imagined Shakespeare, a Greek tragedy or any number of classical texts to create a new, vibrant work that speaks to us today.

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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