La MaMa Cantata is the origin story of La MaMa told through song. Written, composed and directed by Elizabeth Swados. Read more
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This project was successfully funded on August 24, 2012.
Preston Martin- Featuring La MaMa Cantata Performer!
Meet LA MAMA CANTATA Featured Performer: Preston Martin!
He found his way to La MaMa through the incomparable Elizabeth Swados.
In 2005, NYU commissioned Liz to create a one hour musical comedy, The Reality Show, to promote the Wellness Exchange Hotline to help students cope with the difficulties of college in New York City. Preston performed in the first two years of the show, and then became Liz's personal assistant and project manager, while starring in some of Liz's new work including an adaptation of The Dybbuk at Tisch and Kaspar Hauser: a foundling's opera at The Flea.
He continues to co-direct the Reality Show, which has now performed at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon, and the school's global campus in Abu Dhabi. Also at La Mama, Preston worked with John Jesurun on his play Stopped Bridge of Dreams.
This summer Preston was seen in the world premiere of the musical Far From Heaven, starring Kelli O'Hara and directed by Michael Greif, on the Williamstown Theater Festival Mainstage.
Other work includes Cory Conley's The More Loving One, which won Best Production of a Play in FringeNYC 2011 (and performed in La Mama's first floor theater), Marilyn Monroe in Kyle Jarrow's Hypochondria, Mephistopheles in Andrew Scoville's John Faustus and the Overclocked Death Drive, his one man show Fun Design With Svelte! [Can You Believe How Fun This Is?!] in terraNOVA Collective's soloNOVA Festival, Caridad Svich's Twelve Ophelias, Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and The Conspirators opposite Kathleen Turner in the Vaclav Havel Festival.
Preston participated in the 2010 TS Eliot US/UK Exchange in London, which culminated in a showcase on the stage of the Old Vic, and in the 2012 Williamstown Theater Festival Non-Equity Acting Program.
"What is so exciting about this tour is that it is upholding Ellen's true passion of telling stories to an international audience and this time it's her own personal story that we're sharing. We are continuing to spread Ellen's truly epic passions, traditions and beliefs to as wide an audience as possible.
While I never personally knew Ellen, I received much of her theater ideals and ceremonious methods through Elizabeth Swados. Liz has always kept the creation and performance of theater a sacred thing and trickled down to her actors and collaborators Ellen's mindset of love and humanity, which is an incredibly rare gift in this career choice. Liz is truly a shining vessel of Ellen's sacred traditions."
"There is a moment in the show when Ellen is saying to two sides of an international disagreement, "I remember you all when you were just one thing, and you can all start loving each other any time you want." I am so excited to share that moment in foreign lands. I want to represent LOVE as a La Mama artist, as an American, and as a global citizen. People are one thing, everywhere, and whether in conflict or not, it never hurts to remind ourselves we can always be ready to love."