Public Theater Dedicates Season to La MaMa Founder Ellen Stewart

News   Public Theater Dedicates Season to La MaMa Founder Ellen Stewart
 
One downtown theatrical institution honors another. The Public Theater has announced that it will dedicate the remainder of its 55th season to late La MaMa e.t.c. founder Ellen Stewart, who died Jan. 13 at the age of 91.

In addition to the Public season, the Under the Radar Festival (running through Jan. 16) has also dedicated all remaining performances in Stewart's honor. The Public and La MaMa collaborated on six of the 2011 UTRF productions, including the acclaimed Belarus Free Theatre production of Being Harold Pinter.

Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis, executive director Andrew D. Hamingson and Under the Radar Festival producer Mark Russell issued a joint statement about the woman who was considered a beacon of experimental theatre in New York and across the globe.

"Ellen Stewart was a giant of the American theatre and of the world theatre. Her vision, her taste, her passion, and her integrity set a shining example that all of us can aspire to," Eustis said in a statement. "She had a profound impact on the lives of countless artists, and she left a mark on the city of New York that will never be erased. We are proud to dedicate the entire season at The Public Theater to celebrate her memory."

"Ellen Stewart was the mother of all of us in downtown theatre. Her vision and influence extends around the globe and her impact on the world's theatre is immense," Russell added. "She was my hero and I cannot imagine a world without her, but I know her spirit will live on in theaters around the world. I am humbled and honored to dedicate the rest of the Under the Radar Festival to Ellen Stewart's memory; there would be no Under the Radar without her showing us the way."

Stewart founded LaMaMa in 1961 and continued as its artistic director until her death. Under her wing, playwrights such as Sam Shepard, Tom Eyen, William Hoffman, Lanford Wilson and Harvey Fierstein had the opportunity to test their voices. You can read Stewart's obituary on Playbill.com here.

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