Tony Nominee Neil LaBute Joins La MaMa's 53rd Season Lineup
The environmentally minded season will also feature three international adaptations of Shakespeare's ''The Tempest''.
La MaMa has announced its 53rd-season lineup of productions. The season's theme will be "La MaMa Earth," featuring works that raise awareness of world ecology and social justice both locally and globally.
The centerpiece of the season will be three diverse, international productions of Shakespeare's The Tempest from the U.S., Korea, and Italy. The trio will be presented under the collective title Tempest 3: The Tide is Rising, inspired by the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The productions will begin with the world premiere of a new musical adaptation of The Tempest, adapted and directed by Karin Coonrod, with music by La MaMa veteran composer Elizabeth Swados. The international cast will feature Reg. E. Cathay (House of Cards) as Prospero and 14-year-old Joseph Harrington (Billy Elliot) as Ariel. Performances will run from October 2-November 2 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre.
Next will be the U.S. premiere of Seoul, Korea's Mokwha Repertory Company production of The Tempest, adapted and directed by Tae-Suk Oh. Set in 5th-century Korea, the adaptation infuses Shakespeare's text with elements of traditional Korean folklore. The show will run from November 20-23 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre.
The final Tempest adaptation will be the U.S. premiere of Motus Theatre's Nella Tempesta, created from fragments of novels by authors including Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, Aldous Huxley as well as Shakespeare's The Tempest and Une Tempête by Aimé Césaire. Performances will run from December 11-21 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre.
La MaMa's 53rd season will also include the world premiere of Selma '65, written by Catherine Filloux. Running from September 25-October 12 in the First Floor Theatre, the production stars Marietta Hedges and is directed by Eleanor Holdridge.
The Queer NY International Arts Festival, curated by Zvonimir Dubrovic and Nicky Paraiso, will then be held in The Club at La MaMa from September 26-28.
The world premiere of The Elephant in Every Room I Enter will follow with a run from October 2-19 in The Club at La MaMa. The new solo performance by Gardiner Comfort traces his personal experiences with Tourette's syndrome.
Playwrights Neil LaBute (Reasons to Be Pretty) and Marco Calvani will then return to La MaMa for AdA: Authors Directing Authors, in which they both participated in 2012. They will be joined this year by Nathalie Fillion to present a triptych of one-act plays centering on the theme of desire. Each author will write a new one-act play to be directed by one of the other authors, and all characters will be played by the same three actors. The plays will be performed from October 16-November 2 in the First Floor Theatre.
The world premiere of The Dream Vault Cycle, a multimedia production conceived and directed by Christian De Gré and R. Patrick Alberty, will then offer performances from October 24-November 2 in The Club at La MaMa.
Next will be the world premiere of What Tammy Needs to Know About Getting Old and Having Sex, conceived and directed by Lois Weaver. The concert performance features songs written and performed by Tammy WhyNot, Weaver's trailer-park alter ego. The show will run from November 6-23 in the First Floor Theatre.
This will be followed by the world premiere of Dead End, Dummy, written by Dick Zigun, founder and artistic director of Coney Island USA. The production stars Scott Baker and Carla Rhodes and will run from November 7-16 in The Club at La MaMa.
Bette Bourne and Peggy Shaw, of the theater troupe Bloolips, will then present their new show A Right Pair from November 21-30 in The Club at La MaMa.
The U.S. premiere of King of Hearts Is Off Again will then be performed by the Studium Teatralne, an ensemble theatre based in Warsaw, Poland, founded on the tradition of Jerzy Grotwoski. Longtime students of Grotowski, Piotr Borowski, will direct the production, set to run from November 27-30 at the First Floor Theatre.
The Serbian National Theatre, directed by Tomi Janezic, will then perform the U.S. premiere of its seven-hour production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. Performances are set for December 4-7 in the Ellen Stewart Theatre.
The world premiere of Mike Gorman's If Colorado Had an Ocean, directed by David Bennet and performed by The Forty Hour Club, will run from December 4-21 in the First Floor Theatre. The play concludes Gorman's trilogy The Honor and Glory of Whaling.
A world premiere adaptation of Charles Dickens' holiday classic, entitled A Christmas Carol, Oy Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa, will then run from December 5-14 in The Club at La MaMa. The piece is created by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre. The annual holiday celebration, Christmas in Nickyland, will feature Programming Director Nicky Paraiso as MC for the event, running from December 20-21 in The Club at La MaMa.
The company's spring highlights also include a new work by Belarus Free Theatre, running April 23-May 10 in the Ellen Stewart Theatre; the world premiere of The Golden Toad, directed by Paul Zimet and written by Zimet Ellen Maddow; the world premiere of Teatro Dramma International's dance-theater piece The Beach of Joseph K, running from March 5-15 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre; and While You Sleep, a performance anthology collaboratively created by sleep scientist Philippa Gander and performance designer Sam Trubridge, running from March 19-29 in the Ellen Stewart Theatre.