Actors with Disabilities to Perform Medea; La MaMa Announces New Season

News   Actors with Disabilities to Perform Medea; La MaMa Announces New Season
Downtown Manhattan's La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club has announced the lineup for its 54th season. Highlights include Medea, performed by a mix of professional actors and a chorus of diversely abled actors, as well as Mabou Mines performing in the last work created for the company by its late founder.

Marking his 35th anniversary at La MaMa, Dario D'Ambrosi's Italian company Teatro Patologico returns to New York with the staging of EuripidesMedea. The production combines professional actors, who perform in English, with a chorus of 14 actors with diverse abilities, including epilepsy, neurological disabilities and down syndrome. D'Ambrosi's Rome-based school of theatre works with differently abled students, allowing them to express themselves on the stage. Performances will run Oct. 8-18.

"It’s very exciting to see such a diversely abled group of artists on La MaMa’s stages telling new and old stories, showing us in a fresh way what it means to be human," says artistic director Mia Yoo in a press statement. "We are very pleased, particularly on the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, to share this work with our audiences."

Also slated for October, La MaMa will continue to explore the experiences of differently abled performers with its presentation of Gardiner Comfort's acclaimed solo play The Elephant in Every Room I Enter. Comfort's work recounts the details of his week at the Tourette Syndrome Association National Conference in Washington, D.C., and share his experiences of his life as an actor living with the neurological disorder.

Another season highlight includes the world premiere of Mabou Mines performing Imagining the Imaginary Invalid, the last work created for the company by its late founder Ruth Maleczech. Using Moliere's play as inspiration, the staging examines themes of money, politics, loss and inspiration. To play Jan. 21- Feb. 7, 2016, it is directed and choreographed by Maleczech's daughter, Clove Galilee.

Throughout the month of November, La MaMa will present the 2015 puppet series. Curated by Denise Greber, the event will see works by local and international artists like Japanese master puppeteer Koryu Nishikawa V, using interdisciplinary forms in puppet theatre; along with puppetry workshops, a one-night-only puppet slam and various presentations. The slate is set to include a roster of local and international artists and more than ten world premieres. New works by John Jesurun, August Darnell (Kid Creole), Kate Rigg and Slanty Eyed Mama, Grandma are also featured, along with Great Jones Repertory, Pioneers Go East, Object Collection, and Squirts: New Voices In Queer Performance. The latter, scheduled for January 2016, will gather some of the New York's most prominent voices in queer performance, accompanied each night by a celebrated guest of honor. The series is curated by Dan Fishback.

La MaMa presents an average of 70 productions a year, with the 2015-16 season listing more than 60 productions already. The stages are located on East 4th Street, in Manhattan's East Village. For more information visit LaMaMa.

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