Ellen Stewart's La MaMa Theater to receive the Regional Theater Tony - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Ellen Stewart's La MaMa Theater to receive the Regional Theater Tony

La Mama Experimental Theater Club 
The late Ellen Stewart was a visionary, an African-American woman with passion and purpose. Born in 1919 despite having no theatrical experience she ended up being a leading “theatre pioneer” and created La Mama. 

During her life, Stewart played an integral role in launching the careers of a long string of notable artists, including Sam Shepard, Julie Taymor, Diane Lane, Harvey Fierstein, Philip Glass and Amy Sedaris. 

Stewart embraced diversity early and her downtown theater blossomed into one of the major birthplaces of the Off-Off-Broadway scene.

In the 1960s, La MaMa and its programming were influential in establishing the Off-Off-Broadway movement, which embraced experimental and avant-garde new works an opposite to commercial theater which aimed for success on Broadway.

She passed in 2011 leaving a legacy that continues and this year, her legacy La MaMa ETC will receive the 2018 Regional Theater Tony Award.  

The Regional Theater Tony is one of a handful of awards for which Tony organizers announce winners in advance of the main competitive categories, with full nominations announced later today, May 1st. The regional award originally honored only theaters outside the New York area, but in more recent years, winners have alternated between regional venues and New York organizations that aren’t eligible for Tony Awards because they aren’t classified as Broadway.

The regional theater Tony comes with a grant of $25,000. Also on the slate of Tony recipients, this year are Chita Rivera and Andrew Lloyd Webber, they will both take home a lifetime achievement award, as well as photographer Sara Krulwich, costume beader Bessie Nelson and Broadway dry cleaning service Ernest Winzer Cleaners, each due to receive special Tony Awards. 

The Tony Awards are set for June 10th.

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