For more than 60 years, LaMaMa ETC has been bringing together theater artists and audiences in NYC and all over the world. We are about to cross new borders..........
Our Project -
In 1974, LaMaMa ETC's Great Jones Repertory Company staged a re-interpretation of Euripides' Trojan Women, conceived and directed by Andrei Serban and Elizabeth Swados. It was a ground-breaking production that has since toured in more than 30 countries. For both the performers and audience, it has been an extraordinary experience. Now, we want to share it in a new way.
LaMaMa has formed partnerships with Amrita Performing Arts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Artes Landivar in Guatemala City to begin our project. We are sending three actors and one musician from the Great Jones Repertory Company first to Guatemala, and then to Cambodia, where we will teach our version of Trojan Women to local artists, musicians, and community members. Following three-week training residencies, we will return to mount full productions, which will remain with those communities .
The Great Jones Repertory Company toured all over the world with this production, but this is the first time we will leave it behind. We will teach the material, collaborate with local artists, mount a production, and let the story and music carry on. What takes root will be unique for each location, and its uses – artistic, educational, political – will be up to that community..
The themes of Trojan Women - war, genocide, atrocities aimed at women and children caught in endless struggles for power and wealth - are as relevant today as they were 2500 years ago. Will that ever change? That question is the basis for this project.
LaMaMa's production of Trojan Women sweeps the audience into its story. The text uses ancient languages – Greek, Nahuatl, Latin, Navajo – and an array of sound and music. There is no literal language – meaning in conveyed through sound, and understanding is intuitive. The production physically surrounds and involves the audience, as well. To see this production, you become a participant and a witness, not just a spectator.
Our partners in Guatemala and Cambodia are artistic consortiums of actors, dancers, musicians. Our collaborations will offer a chance to exchange traditional and experimental cultural forms. But these are also two countries with histories of recent conflict. That is why this play, and in particular this production, has such powerful possibilities.
For our partners, the relevance of this play, and the universal language of this production, may offer possibilities beyond performance. This will be an on-going exploration.
How we will start -
The first step will be a three-week teaching residency. This summer, 3 actors and one musician will travel to Guatemala City – Cambodia will follow after. During the residency, we will teach selected music and staging, and find ways to incorporate local performance traditions into the piece. And, through dialogue with leaders, artists, and professionals, we will explore how this project will grow. A fully-mounted production will be staged during the following year. After that, the production stays with our partners.
And from there?
We will continue to establish partnerships with other post-conflict communities throughout the world. Some time in the next five years, we hope to form an international company that will work together, perform together, and learn from each other.
We need your help to make this happen.
We have the piece. We have the partners. Now we need you.
We already have contributions totaling $10,000!
From generous supporters, we have already raised money to pay for airfare and ground transportation in Guatemala. Your donations will help fund travel and housing during this initial phase. It will help fund local artists who choose to participate in the project. It will help support arts administrations on the local level. Meeting this goal of $10,000 will get us to Guatemala in July. Everything we raise above that will help us reach Cambodia in following months.
Ellen Stewart, the visionary founder of LaMaMa ETC, always said that theater can change the world.
Please help make that happen
La MaMa E.T.C. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
International donors go to lamama.org to make your donation.
What some critics said about past productions of the Great Jones Repertory Trojan Women:
….Trojan Women...is universal in content. Without language or character development to make it specific, the Trojan War is any war, the sorrow of Andromaca over her dead child any mother's sorrow, the chaining of the women any form of oppression....The fundamental assumption here is the oneness of all stories. - Justin Davidson, Newsday, December 23, 1996
….. It's an experience that knocks you out and sweeps you away. You are transfigured, purged by pity and terror, and renewed, which is what the Greeks invented theater for in the first place.” Michael Feingold, The Village Voice, January 20, 1987
…..We are far away from Euripides and from Greece. We are elsewhere, embedded in a barbaric world. That is how we must feel when seeing Trojan Women which LaMaMa Experimental Theatre brings us like a ceremonial coming from all corners of the world. - Pierre Marcabru, France Soir, October 10, 1975
Risks and challenges
We are hoping to create a model for future partnerships and future collaborations. This may take time, but we know this will be a great start.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)