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La MaMa Theater
La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club (La MaMa E.T.C.) is an Americanmarker not-for-profit cultural organization located in the East Villagemarker section of lower Manhattanmarker. It is one of the first and primary locations in Off-Off-Broadway theater. The company won a Drama Desk Special Award in 1980.


Founded by Ellen Stewart in 1961, its purpose is to support and present multi-cultural and multi-national original performance work by emerging artists.

The company website lists its first production as One Arm by Tennessee Williams and directed by Andy Milligan on July 27, 1962.

The first space was at 321 East 9th Street. It was 20' x 30' deep and 10' high and could seat 30. No admission was charged (although a basket was passed around). Coffee and cake were sold.

The theatre now consists of three main stages and an art gallery at 74A East 4th Street and a six-story rehearsal and workshop space on Great Jones Street.

One of the most successful plays to originate at the theatre was Torch Song Trilogy. One of its segments, International Stud, played there for two weeks in 1978, drawing mainstream critical attention to Harvey Fierstein which resulted in moves to bigger venues before eventually playing on Broadway and becoming a movie.

Over the years La MaMa has hosted full-time resident companies headed by Tom O'Horgan, Wilford Leach, Joel Zwick, Elizabeth Swados, and Tom Eyen, among others. It is the present home of the Great Jones Repertory Company.

In 2005, the theatre was among 406 New York Citymarker arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Notable performers

Many famous actors, directors and playwrights started their careers in La MaMa, including:


  1. La MaMa ETC
  2. Directions - La MaMa E.T.C.
  3. City Groups Get Bloomberg Gift of $20 Million - New York Times
  4. Carnegie Corporation of New York Announces Twenty Million Dollars in New York City Grants
  5. Ellen Stewart The Mama of Them All

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