I don’t like experimental theater.
But I loved Ellen Stewart.
The theater industry lost a major maverick last week when Ellen Stewart, the founder of the historically edgy La Mama theater passed away way too soon . . . at 91.
While I have never been a fan of theater that is so on the edge it sometimes falls off, that doesn’t mean I don’t thank the great Director in the Sky that there were people like Ellen who embraced it, found a place for it, and nurtured it for so many years.
“Experimental” by definition means it doesn’t work a lot of the time . . . but Ellen constantly reminded us that just because it doesn’t work, doesn’t mean we should stop experimenting.
And she worked her tail off to make sure that artists had a laboratory to do exactly that.
The entire industry has her to thank for helping to make the theater what it is today.
You’ll be missed, Ellen. But I know you’re shaking things up wherever you are.