Digitizing La MaMa's Pushcart Years: A Unique History of the Off-Off-Broadway Movement

Material Description

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:

Julie Bovasso

Peter Brook

Tisa Chang

Joseph Chaikin

Ping Chong

Billy Crystal

Jackie Curtis

Candy Darling

Robert De Niro

Andre De Shields

Ethyl Eichelberger

Tom Eyen

Harvey Fierstein

Hanay Geigogamah

Philip Glass

Grand Union dancers

John Jesurun

Adrienne Kennedy

H.M. Koutoukas

Wilford Leach

Charles Ludlam

Mabou Mines

Bette Midler

The Native American Theatre Ensemble

Kazuo Ohno

Tom O'Horgan

The Pan Asian Repertory Theatre

Philippine Educational Theatre Arts League

Playhouse of the Ridiculous

Max Roach

Andrei Serban

Sam Shepard

Ellen Stewart

Elizabeth Swados

Cecil Taylor

Shuji Terayama

Theatre Laboratoire Vicinal

Third World Institute of Theatre Arts Studies

Tokyo Kid Brothers

Trocadero Gloxinia Ballet

Jeff Weiss

Andy Warhol

Mac Wellman

Ruth Yorck


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.


Digitizing Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded


Year Added



La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club


  • Mr. Ozzie Rodriguez (La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club)

Date Range

1961 - 1985

Geographic Scope

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.


  • 290 Photographs