Apr 3, 2020

Downtown Variety: Take 3

La MaMa and CultureHub Present
Downtown Variety
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La MaMa and CultureHub are teaming up to create Downtown Variety, a weekly online live performance series that will feature short acts of dance, music, theater, new media, comedy, A/V performance, and more. Responding to calls for social isolation, Downtown Variety brings La MaMa’s 1960s café aesthetic to a virtual platform that links performers and audiences in real time across distance. La MaMa and CultureHub will use emerging technologies to create a new venue for artistic expression that questions how art can function and how we as a society can survive challenging periods of history.

Artists for this weekend:
Bad Buka, Kendall Cornell, John Gutierrez, Tom Lee
Heather Litteer, Tareke Ortiz, Justin Sayre

Video Design by Daniel Pinheiro


CultureHub was founded in 2009 in partnership with the Seoul Institute of the Arts in Korea and La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York City to serve the global arts and technology community by offering services such as livestreaming, telepresence, and video and projection design. We connect artists from diverse disciplines and cultures and provide them with environments in which to collaborate, experiment, explore and advance the work of artists experimenting with emerging technologies and fostering new artistic forms.

Click Here to Learn More About CultureHub

CultureHub is deeply committed to the use of open source and consumer-based technology to make electronic media art accessible to artists and audiences. In the past year, CultureHub collaborated with resident artist Olivia Jack to produce LiveLab, an open source video call software designed specifically for artists, educators, and cultural organizations. The LiveLab toolkit provides a flexible and artful environment for producing multi-location performances, workshops, and cultural exchanges. Built as an alternative to hardware video conferencing systems, LiveLab is customizable, free of cost, and as easy to use as Skype or Google Hangouts.

Click Here to Learn More About Live Lab

Headshot of Bad Buka

We are Bad Buka. From the NYC underground scene a Gypsy Punk Rock family vortex deliver power, passion and dark playfulness.

Headshot of Kendall Cornell

Kendall Cornell is at the helm of the all-women clown troupe Clowns Ex Machina. Kendall has created, directed and performed in the full-length shows, The Bad’uns: Clown Acts of Contagion (“an opus of clowning mastery”); Oil of Olé! (a collaboration with flamenco artists); Clowns Full-Tilt: A Musing on Aesthetics (“kaleidoscopically-dizzying physical theater of the absurd with a wicked steel edge” which was nominated for an Innovative Theater award for Outstanding Set Design); Clown Axioms: a gory, romantic tale (told by clowns); Clowns By Dead Reckoning (a semi-sophisticated cabaret), and the troupe’s debut production Not Just for Shock Value. Kendall has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Backstage, Spectacle Journal for the Circus Arts, Attitude Dance Magazine and elsewhere. She has a background in acting and modern dance and has studied clown with David Shiner and Philippe Gaulier among many others. Currently Kendall teaches clown workshops for women and she recently organized a panel discussion on “Clowning While Female” for Howlround TV. Find out more on www.ClownsExMachina.com

Headshot of John Maria Gutierrez

John Maria Gutierrez is a multidisciplinary artist, creator, and performer originally from Washington Heights, NY. Since finishing his BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch, John has ventured into various worlds of performance, working with directors and choreographers from around the world – recent credits include The Trojan Women at La Mama dir. Andrei Serban, performing internationally with Miguel Gutierrez (This Bridge Called My A$$, Sadonna), MOTUS (PANORAMA), and Pilobolus. He is a graduate of the Terry Knickerbocker Studio and faculty at Peridance Contemporary Dance Center. John is a proud member of the Great Jones Rep Company of La Mama and G^2, an ongoing collaboration with Beth Graczyk which recently presented work at Judson Church and the Shanghai Tower in China.

Headshot of Tom Lee

Tom Lee is a director, designer and puppet artist. He began his career at New York’s La MaMa Experimental Theater. His original puppet theater work includes Shank’s Mare (La MaMa, international tours), Hoplite Diary (St. Ann’s, La MaMa), Tomte (Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival), Odysseus and Ajax (La MaMa) and Ko’olau (La MaMa/Hawai’i tour). He has performed as a puppeteer in WarHorse (Broadway), Madama Butterfly (Metropolitan Opera), Le Grand Macabre (NY Philharmonic), in addition to the work of Dan Hurlin, Basil Twist and Lee Breuer. Tom Lee is co-director of the Chicago Puppet Studio with Blair Thomas which recently designed The Steadfast Tin Soldier for Mary Zimmerman at Lookingglass Theater. Find out more at www.tomleeprojects.com

Headshot of Heather Litteer

Heather Litteer is an actress and chanteuse – Meaning “She knows how to wiggle and tell stories in the key of middle C” ! Heather has been a vital member of the downtown performance & alternative cabaret scene for years. Having her own Variety show called Pleasure Seekers! LIVE with a rotating cast of downtown’s most lively denizens and Women Reading series: W.O.(e).R.D Women of Experience Read Downtown. She is the recipient of HOWL! Arts Fellowship and Theatre Communications Group Fox Fellowship. She wrote and premiered her one woman show Lemonade at La MaMa. Lemonade went on to the AfterGlow festival in P-Town, Special FX festival NYC, Edinburgh Fringe and to London’s Kings Head Theatre. Heather is a member of Caden Manson’s critically acclaimed Big Art Group, Yoshiko Chuma’s School Of Hard Knocks, as well as the legendary arthouse performance nightclub “The Jackie Factory.” Also making daring film choices acting as the “subject of desire” in a few major motion pictures working with Jane Campion, Darren Aronofsky and Mary Harron. Ms Litteer loves her NYC neighborhood but still hangs on to her Georgia Roots and Sass … Cause … “When Life Hands you Lemons you Just gotta make Lemonade.“ PHOTO BY: BOB KRASNER

Headshot of Tareke Ortiz

Tareke Ortiz is a fully sequenced, horned creature born in Tacuharlem, (one those geographical phantom joints between Mexico City and New York). His existential, Latin Noir Cabaret aims to be an ominous, defiant immigrant anthem, a carnivalesque bolero-esque lament that invokes the muted, dashed hopes of those trapped by the tyrant borders of their very owns selves.

Headshot of Daniel Pinheiro

Daniel Pinheiro (Portugal) was born in Venezuela and is based in Porto, Portugal with a background in Theatre. He has been exploring, among others, the concept of Telematic Art, using video as a tool and the internet as a platform, merging both languages into a single object of expression.In this field he aims at reflecting on the impact of technology of everyday life and the environment of the Internet as a reflection of a world where the abstract nature of this transmedia movement changes the notions of space, presence, privacy and identity. Find out more at https://daniel-pinheiro.tumblr.com/

Headshot of Justin Sayre

Justin Sayre, praised for his “deeply passionate soul and acerbic wit” by The New York Times, is a writer and performer who Michael Musto called, “Oscar Wilde meets Whoopi Goldberg.” He was hailed as one the “Funniest People in Brooklyn” by Brooklyn Magazine and among “LA’s 16 Most Talented LGBT Comics” by Frontiers Magazine. Mean, the third in his trilogy of young adult novels from Penguin Books, was released in 2019. Sayre’s works for the theatre has been seen at LaMaMa, The Wild Project, Ars Nova, and more. Sayre’s Ravenswood Manor was recently produced at LA’s Celebration Theater and hailed as “a sharply written and well-acted exemplar of the horror-comedy genre” by The Los Angeles Times. Sayre also writes for television, working with Michael Patrick King on his hit CBS comedy “2 Broke Girls” and for Fox’s “The Cool Kids.” Sayre also appeared on HBO’s “The Comeback” with Lisa Kudrow.

Downtown Variety


La MaMa and CultureHub are teaming up to create a Downtown Variety, a weekly online live performance series that will feature short acts of dance, music, theater, new media, comedy, A/V performance, and more. Responding to calls for social isolation, Downtown Variety brings La MaMa's 1960s café aesthetic to a virtual platform that links performers and audiences in real time across distance.

Online Happenings


Presented by La MaMa and CultureHub, La MaMa is exploring ways to respond creatively to a situation that is potentially changing how we gather as a community in our theatres. La MaMa is working with CultureHub to provide online streaming of select productions and events on Howlround Theatre Commons.

Special Event