On Tuesday May 18, SLA-NY hosted a Virtual Tour of the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club Archives led by archivist Sophie Glidden-Lyon. Founded in 1961, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, is a pioneering Off-Off-Broadway theater venue located in the East Village dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. The La MaMa Archives, opened to the public in 1987, collects, preserves, and exhibits records of permanent historical value relating to La MaMa and the Off-Off Broadway movement, including photographs, programs, posters, costumes, scripts, film, props, set pieces, puppets, and musical instruments.
Sophie began with the history of La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club and how the Archives started. We watched a highlight reel of digitized half-inch open reel video showing performances from the 1970s. She then took us around the space, showing us props from shows such as Na Haaz Zan (1972) put on by the Native American Theatre Ensemble, The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria (1976) with Ron Perlman, Carmilla (1970), and Elizabeth Swados' The Trojan Women. We learned that the Archives holds the history of La MaMa for researchers and artist inspiration, but some of the costumes, props, and puppets are borrowed and used again when shows are restaged.
Below is a link to the recording of the event (apologies, I didn't start recording until about 20 minutes in) and relevant links for learning more about La MaMa and the Archives. I'm also including a link to donate to La MaMa; please give if you can to support the great work being done to support theater artists and preserve an important part of theater history. Many thanks to Sophie Glidden-Lyon for a wonderful tour.
- Donate to La MaMa
- What's On @ La MaMa
- La MaMa Archives Catalog
- Highlight Reel of Digitized Half-Inch Open Reel Video
- Visiting the Archives
Email email@example.com for more information. Sophie's email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.