Friday, January 14, 2011

The Public Theater Dedicates Its 55th Anniversary Season to Ellen Stewart

The Public Theater's artistic director, Oskar Eustis, and Under The Radar Festival producer Mark Russell announced today that the entirety of the 2010-2011 season at The Public Theater as well as the remaining performances in this year’s Under The Radar Festival will be dedicated in memory to La MaMa co-founder .
“Ellen Stewart was a giant of the American theater and of the world theater.  Her vision, her taste, her passion, and her integrity set a shining example that all of us can aspire to,” Eustis said. “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.”

Russell agreed.

“Ellen Stewart was the mother of all of us in downtown theater,” he said.  “Her vision and influence extends around the globe and her impact on the worlds’ theater is immense. 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.”
This year, The Public Theater joined forces with La MaMa to co-present the 2011 Under The Radar Festival with six of the 19 Radar productions running at La MaMa.  To honor Stewart’s memory, there will be a moment of contemplation at the opening of all Under The Radar shows beginning tonight and continuing through Monday’s encore benefit of Being Harold Pinter.
Stewart was the founder and director of the La MaMa E.T.C., the theatre that began in October 1961, and to this day continues to be of great importance to world culture. To date, La MaMa E.T.C. has presented more than 1,900 productions. Its resident theatre troupes have performed throughout the world including Columbia, Venezuela, Lebanon, Iran, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Scotland, England, Sweden, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Croatia, Korea, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Australia, Greece, Ukraine, Siberia, The Netherlands, and Macedonia.

New Eastern European Theatre was introduced in America in 1967 when Stewart brought Jerzy Grotowski, Ryszard Cieslak, and Ludwig Flaszen to America. In this endeavor she was aided by Ted Hoffman of New York University. Stewart was instrumental in introducing to America some of the world’s most influential artists including Andrei Serban and Tom O’Horgan, and is proud of La MaMa’s long heritage as an international theatre, having hosted artists from more than seventy different countries.

Stewart staged, composed, directed and wrote librettos for original folk-opera/ spectacles, presented in America, Uruguay, Argentina, Austria, Italy, Turkey, the Philippines, the Cameroon, Zaire, Central African Republic, Senegal, Nigeria, Brazil, Haiti, Morocco, Israel, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia. She lectured in all of the above countries, was a visiting professor of the Institute of Drama in South Korea and was a long-standing member of the Seoul International Theatre Institute.

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