La Mama Experimental Theatre

74A East 4th St

La MaMa Experimental Theatre is a world-renowned cultural organization led by founder Ellen Stewart. For 44 years La MaMa has passionately pursued its original mission to develop, nurture, support, produce and present new and original performance wor... more

La MaMa Experimental Theatre is a world-renowned cultural organization led by founder Ellen Stewart. For 44 years La MaMa has passionately pursued its original mission to develop, nurture, support, produce and present new and original performance work by artists of all nations and cultures. Since La MaMa's doors first opened in 1961, their primary dedication has been to new works. Many of the best plays and playwrights of the 60's and 70's have come from La MaMa's lower East Side stages and workshops. The face of Theatre as we now know it on Broadway and beyond was influenced by and infused with the spirit and work of La MaMa artists. To date La MaMa has presented over 1000 original scores on their stages. Creative risk-taking, experimentation, and challenging artistic boundaries have always been the focus of the work created and performed at La MaMa. La Mama envisions art as a universal language. Cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity have been inherent in the work created at La MaMa. To sustain this global vision, La Mama has become one of this country's foremost presenters of international performance and calls artists from over seventy nations part of the La MaMa family. ... more

La MaMa Experimental Theatre is a world-renowned cultural organization led by founder Ellen Stewart. For 44 years La MaMa has passionately pursued its original mission to develop, nurture, support, produce and present new and original performance work by artists of all nations and cultures.

Since La MaMa's doors first opened in 1961, their primary dedication has been to new works. Many of the best plays and playwrights of the 60's and 70's have come from La MaMa's lower East Side stages and workshops. The face of Theatre as we now know it on Broadway and beyond was influenced by and infused with the spirit and work of La MaMa artists. To date La MaMa has presented over 1000 original scores on their stages. Creative risk-taking, experimentation, and challenging artistic boundaries have always been the focus of the work created and performed at La MaMa. La Mama envisions art as a universal language. Cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity have been inherent in the work created at La MaMa. To sustain this global vision, La Mama has become one of this country's foremost presenters of international performance and calls artists from over seventy nations part of the La MaMa family.

La MaMa has been honored with over thirty Obie Awards, dozens of Drama Desk Awards, Bessie Awards and Villager Awards. La MaMa has an incredible roster of theatre, movie and multi-media luminaries for whom La MaMa was an early artistic home.


La MaMa began as a tiny basement theatre dedicated to the playwright and all aspects of the theatre. In the past 44 years, La MaMa has grown into an arts complex of national and international celebrity. La MaMa houses three theaters, "The First Floor Theatre", "The Club" and "The Annex", an art gallery, a 6-story rehearsal/studio building, and a extensive archive documenting the history of off-off Broadway theatre.

The First Floor theater is a small, intermediate space in which plays that are in a developmental stage are created. The large theatre, the La MaMa Annex, had it's official opening on October 18, 1974. The Annex has near perfect acoustics and has become a world-class venue. Because of its flexible design, companies can construct their world within its walls. It is a chameleon space that changes to suit the art that it embraces. The Annex has been a "port of entry" for artists from around the world. It is a spiritual place where artists can work without fear. The Club, La MaMa's cabaret space, gives voice to established and emerging multi-disciplinary performance artists.


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East Village Description

La Mama Experimental Theatre is located in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. Long before the musical "Rent" brought in legions of pierced, tattooed teenagers from every corner of America (and drove up the rents), the East Village was an eclectic mix of elderly Ukranians and Poles, Dominican and Puerto Rican families, and assorted artists, wanna-be bohemians, punks, their followers, lovers and friends. (Did we leave anyone out?) Largely gone are the heroin dealers, all night parties, punk music extravaganzas and infamous Bagel Tree of the 1980s and early 1990s, but the real landmarks remain, including the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Tompkins Square Park, and Cooper Union. The Public offers some of New York’s finest Off-Broadway Theater as well as Joe’s Pub, with a diverse variety of live shows. Beautiful Tompkins Square Park offers something for everyone, including dog runs, basketball courts, a weekly market, outdoor music events, and occasionally local characters chatting late into the night to infrequent riots. To be fair, few other parks in America have played such an important role in radical or anarchist history.

Many long-time residents complain of the neighborhood’s recent gentrification, and skyrocketing rents forced even legendary punk club CBGB's to exit the neighborhood, replaced by a John Varvatos boutique. And while there are truly many new restaurants and boutiques dotting Avenues A, B and C, lots of the famous watering holes, dives, and other unclassifiably scrappy bars remain. Some of our favorites include Mars on lower First Avenue, Zum Schneider on Avenue C, 2A on the corner of Second Street and Avenue A, and Lit Lounge, with its adjoining Fuse Gallery. Make sure to check out the Polish butcher stores on First Avenue and the nearby Italian pastry shops, walk along the Ukranian strip of Second Avenue, try one of the Japanese restaurants on East Ninth Street, and also walk along St. Marks Place, one of New York’s most eclectic streets.

East 4th Street's Theater Row boasts cultural buildings which house eight theaters and twelve dance companies as well as a couple of community development groups. Among its members are New York Theater Workshop, La MaMa Experimental Theatre, Rod Rodgers Dance Co., WOW Cafe Theatre, Millennium Film Workshop, Duo Multicultural Arts Center, Teatro Circulo, Downtown Art, Alpha Omega Dance Co., Choices Theater, Teatro IATI, Cooper Square Committee and Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association.

The Nuyorican Poets Café is still going strong on East Third Street between Avenues B and C. Since 1973 its mission has been to create a multi-cultural venue that provides a stage for artists traditionally underrepresented in the mainstream media and culture. Poetry slams, theater performances, open jam sessions for hip-hop, poetry and jazz, as well as unique screenplay readings all take place on a weekly basis in this intimate cultural setting.

For film buffs, we would be remiss not to mention the Anthology Film Archives on East 2nd Street, a local theater best known for consistently showing the finest in avant-garde and experimental cinema. We also recommend the Landmark Sunshine Cinema on East Houston Street, home away from home for those who enjoy great acoustics and the company of die hard independent film fans.

The East Village is also home to the trendy Cooper Square Hotel as well as the charming Gem Hotel, making it a great neighborhood to enjoy your stay in New York.

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Info

74A East 4th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 475-7710
Website

Editorial Rating

Admission And Tickets

Varies by event

This Week's Hours

OFFICE
Monday - Friday
10:00am - 6:00pm

THEATRE
Varies by event

Nearby Subway

  • to Astor Place

@LaMaMaETC

Kathleen Warnock chats with Nicky Paraiso (@NickyLandETC) about his brand new show, opening Friday @ La MaMa.
https://t.co/D3gLMmCQdu 9 Hours Ago

Jean-Claude van Itallie's newest play, The Fat Lady Sings begins performances on Friday! Today we take a look back…
https://t.co/Kg3XwkPCUo 9 Hours Ago

Special News from La MaMa’s Archives!
https://t.co/9HjxSVhcIE 9 Hours Ago

RT @CUNYArts: #CUNY Cultural Corps Student Application is open until March 24th! Please read instructions carefully. Additionally, the host… Yesterday at 9:42 PM

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