Ellen Stewart (November 7, 1919 – January 13, 2011, place of birth is either Chicago, Illinois or Alexandria, Louisiana), better known as La MaMa, was an American theatre director, producer and Off Off Broadway Pioneer.
- If a script ‘beeps’ to me, I do it...Audiences may hate these plays, but I believe in them. The only way I can explain my ‘beeps’ is that I’m no intellectual, but my instincts tell me automatically when a playwright has something.
- Our mission was and is to develop, nurture, support, produce and present new and original performance work by artists of all nations and cultures.
- Believe it or not, it’s easier for me nowadays to be outside this country than in this country, because when I go outside I’m in hotels with elevators and services of all kinds, and it’s not such a hardship.
Quotes about Ellen Stewart
- Eighty percent of what is now considered the American theater originated at La MaMa.
- We're going to do it, baby! We're going to do it, darling!' And within a week later we were doing it.
- Her vision dreams of a world where a multiplicity of perspectives is essential and where art is a means to bring people together. I am grateful to be a part of this artistic community that she nurtured, and this season again I am energized by its tenacity, passion, bravery, and transformative work.
- Mia Yoo, Artistic director of La MaMa, "La MaMa's 2019–2020 Season to Celebrate Centennial of Founder Ellen Stewart"by Olivia Clement (August 14, 2019).
- I can’t imagine La MaMa without her. There may be a place called La MaMa that somebody brings good avant-garde international theater to, but it will not be La MaMa. La MaMa is her.
- Qui celebriamo l'idea di comunità e famiglia artistica… che riunisce diverse generazioni che si incontrano… A Spoleto Ellen ha stabilito, fin da subito, un rapporto immediato con il territorio.
- In Spoleto Ellen established an immediate relationship with the territory and here we celebrate the idea of community and artistic family that brings together several generations.
- Andrea Paciotto, Italian theatre director, professor, and director of CultureHub Europe. Stated on Italian TV channel RAI3 "Chi è di scena 18∕01∕2015 by Moreno Cerquetelli THE QUEEN OF HEARTS"(January 18, 2015).
- Ellen Stewart has been a very important figure in my life. She had so much to say about art and theater but most of all she showed me that love is the most powerful tool in life.
- Giovanni Morassutti, Italian actor, theatre director, and cultural entrepreneur. In response to the question, "Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with?", from the interview "Rising Star Giovanni Morassutti: “Never take it personally; It is part of the business”", ThriveGlobal (December 23, 2019).
Ellen Stewart on Encylopaedia Brittanica