This project centers on materials in our Pushcart Collection"”flyers, posters, press releases, photographs, correspondence, show programs, videos, and other items documenting the early history of La MaMa and the Off-Off-Broadway theatre movement (1961-985). The bulk of these items were created in the normal course of the theater's business and document productions staged at La MaMa or by affiliated artists and ensembles. An important component of this collection is a group of 251 legacy ½ inch open reel videos that document productions staged between 1972-1980. These materials comprise the most complete audiovisual record of the early Off-Off-Broadway experiments in existence. Due to their obsolescence, these videos"”which document a wide range of pioneering productions, rehearsals, tours, and audiences"”have not been accessible to researchers for several decades.
The long list of theater artists whose work is documented in this collection includes:
Robert De Niro
Andre De Shields
Grand Union dancers
The Native American Theatre Ensemble
The Pan Asian Repertory Theatre
Philippine Educational Theatre Arts League
Playhouse of the Ridiculous
Theatre Laboratoire Vicinal
Third World Institute of Theatre Arts Studies
Tokyo Kid Brothers
Trocadero Gloxinia Ballet
Digitizing La MaMa's Pushcart Years explores the early history of New York City's Off-Off-Broadway movement (1961-1985) as documented in the collections of the Archives of the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. Over the course of two years, La MaMa will digitize, preserve, and offer expanded online access to programs, posters, production notes, videos and other materials from our earliest "Pushcart" collection (1961-1985). Once digitized, this one-of-a-kind collection will offer a critical resource for scholars, educators, artists, and students interested in the emergence of modern American theater forms, experimental theatrical practice, and a wide range of other topics in 20th century US cultural history.
La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club
1961 - 1985
The bulk of materials in this collection document New York-based artists and productions, but a significant subset also document work by artists from more than 70 countries, and US theatre ensembles on tour.