CONFESSIONS AND CONVERSATION-the newest work by the celebrated playwright, performer and longtime La MaMa artist Jean-Claude van Itallie -- will debut at La MaMa's Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4 St. in Manhattan) for four performances only September 20 to 23. Written and performed by Mr. van Itallie, CONFESSIONS AND CONVERSATION is directed by RoseMary Quinn. CONFESSIONS AND CONVERSATIONS is presented by La MaMa, one of the first productions of the internationally-renowned theatre's 51st season.
In CONFESSIONS AND CONVERSATION, Mr. van Itallie serves tea, along with ample doses of gossip, song-and-dance and homespun tales about queens, lovers, a grab bag of rotten political apples, the wild times in the 60's Off-Off-Broadway in NYC and his friend, mentor and "mama" Ellen Stewart, La MaMa's late, beloved founder and longtime artistic director.
Mr. van Itallie is the author of such iconic plays as AMERICA HURRAH (his acclaimed anti-Viet Nam war trilogy comprised of "Interview," "TV" and "Motel"), THE SERPENT (written for Joseph Chaikin's Open Theatre), TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD, the solo show WAR, SEX AND DREAMS and is renowned for his translations of major plays by Anton Chekhov. About AMERICA HURRAH, Norman Mailer said, "'Motel' is possibly the best one-act play I've ever seen," and Harold Pinter called it "Brilliant!" AMERICA HURRAH was, in fact, revisited by characters on TV's "Mad Men" earlier this year. For more about the playwright, visit www.vanitallie.com.
RoseMary Quinn is an associate professor at NYU and for many years has worked as an actress, director, teacher, arts administrator and producer. She originated roles in numerous experimental Theater Productions, working with Mabou Mines, The Talking Band, The Other Theater and The Roy HArt Theatre. She frequently collaborated with the director Joseph Chaikin and has performed in a number of Jean-Claude van Itallie's plays including SUNSET FREEWAY, which was written for her.
Pianist Kevin Hourigan will accompany Mr. van Itallie.
CONFESSIONS AND CONVERSATIONS will perform September 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and September 23 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 ($20 for seniors/students) and can be purchased by calling the La MaMa box office at 212 475 7710 or online at www.lamama.org.
La MaMa is a remarkable arts institution with a world-wide reputation for producing daring work in theater, dance, performance art, and music. Founded in 1961 by theater pioneer and legend, Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has produced and presented more than 3,200 theatrical productions to date and is a vital part of the fabric of cultural life in New York City and around the world.
La MaMa provides a supportive home for artists and takes risks on unknown work. Artists such as Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Harvey Fierstein, Blue Man Group, David and Amy Sedaris, -and others whose names you haven't heard of yet - began their careers at La MaMa. International Artists introduced to America by La MaMa include Tadeusz Kantor, Andrei Serban, Kazuo Ohno and, more recently, the acclaimed Belarus Free Theatre. La MaMa has been honored with more than 30 OBIE Awards, dozens of Drama Desk and Bessie Awards, and, in 2006, Ellen Stewart was recognized with a special TONY Award for "Excellence in the Theatre."