La MaMa's doors may be temporarily shut due to the pandemic, but its digital photo archives, thankfully, are open. We asked the Tony-winning institution, founded in 1961, to share photos featuring some of the famous faces—artists such as Bette Midler, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, and Sam Shepard—who cut their teeth at the downtown theatre.
Run by artistic director Mia Yoo, who took over from Ellen Stewart, La MaMa's founder, in 2011, the East Village theatre has become a proven and tested hotbed for groundbreaking work. “A space like La MaMa is necessary because you need to have a place where an artist can either start out—a seedbed for new work—but it’s also a space where established artists can push themselves in directions they maybe didn’t imagine,” says Yoo. “It’s about pushing the boundaries of the field.”
During the COVID-19 closures, La MaMa continues to offer creative support for the theatre community with Online Happenings, featuring live streaming of performances, talks, kids events, and more. Find out more here.