1st Edition

La MaMa Experimental Theatre – A Lasting Bridge Between Cultures The Dialogue with European Theater in the Years 1961–1975

By Monica Cristini Copyright 2024
    210 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book focuses on the role of La MaMa Experimental Theatre within Avant-garde theater during the 1960s and 1970s.

    This study investigates the involvement of the Off-Off Broadway circuit in the Avant-garde experimentations both in the United States (New York specifically) and in Europe. This exploration shows the two-way influence – between Europe and the United States – testified by documents gathered in years of archival research. In this relevant artistic exchange, La MaMa (and Ellen Stewart as its founder and artistic director) emerges as a key element. La MaMa’s companies brought to Europe the American culture and the New York underground culture, while their members learnt European training techniques by attending workshops or taking part in the research of Eugenio Barba, Jerzy Grotowski, and Peter Brook, and brought their principles back to the United States. This book goes through a chronological path that presents some key cases of collaboration between the above-mentioned European masters and some La MaMa’s artists and companies: Tom O ’Horgan and La MaMa Repertory Troupe, the Open Theatre, Andrei Serban and The Great Jones Repertory Company, La MaMa Plexus.

    This book will be of great interest to students and scholars in theater and performance studies.

    Introduction; Chapter 1: Approaching experimental theater in New York; Chapter 2: Café La MaMa presents the Off-Off Broadway movement (1961–1965); Chapter 3: Sharing cultures: the European Tours; Chapter 4: Developing a new kind of theater; Chapter 5: Two new companies at La MaMa; Chapter 6: A multicultural venue in New York


    Monica Cristini is Researcher at the Department of Cultures and Civilizations, University of Verona, Italy.