Jan 13, 2021

La MaMa LiveTalks: Take 14

Hosted by Ryan Leach

Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra, Charlotte Lily Gaspard, John Maria Gutierrez
Joshua William Gelb & Katie Rose McLaughlin / Theater in Quarantine

a black arrow pointing downward

La MaMa presents La MaMa LiveTalks, conversations with artists, activists and thought leaders from around the country and around the world who join in discussions about art and life in times of crisis.

Join us for the first LiveTalks of the new year and meet with our resident artists. La MaMa's 59th Season, “Breaking It Open,” will explore how new works are created, performed, and experienced during a pandemic. The season revolves around development residencies that are customized to the specific needs and processes of each artist. Each residency is customized to suit the artist, their unique vision, and where they are at in their creative work.

Wooden box filled with plants and a blanket

Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra a.k.a. Lady Xøk (Maya-Lenca tribal citizen) is a Midwest based artist, musician, and culture bearer whose work is rooted in Latinx Indigenous Futurisms. Her interdisciplinary practice (visual art, music, theatre, dance, literature, puppetry & public art) often speaks from a perspective of Liberation Theology about interconnectedness, environmental justice, healing, and collective resilience. Lady Xøk is a nu-nueva project mixing rock, folk, and Indigenous instruments performed inside multimedia installations for experimental storytelling performance. Support for Puppet Artist Residencies is provided by The Jim Henson Foundation and Cheryl Henson.

Headshot of Charlotte Lily Gaspard

“Part celestial creature, part sophisticated human” is how Charlotte Lily Gaspard has been described by Faerie Magazine when contemplating the ethereal artist and her work in one of their features. Shadow puppet artist, educator and children’s entertainer, Charlotte’s mission is to activate imaginations and celebrate playfulness wherever she goes. A “multi-faceted enchantress… the fanciful mastermind behind Midnight Radio Show” {Broadway World}, Charlotte is the founder and artistic director of Midnight Radio Show, a shadow puppet sci-fi fairytale theater company based in Brooklyn, NYC. She designs puppets for theater & film, including “A Snowy Day & Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats.” Mommy Poppins declares, “The incredible shadow puppets will amaze the audience.” Along with puppets, Charlotte also creates costumes for theatre & film projects. She  teaches at Child’s Play NY, a children’s theater company, and leads puppetry & theatre workshops all over NYC and beyond. Support for Puppet Artist Residencies is provided by The Jim Henson Foundation and Cheryl Henson.

John Maria Gutierrez is an actor, mover, creator who performs on screen and stage nationally and internationally. His works combine bboy and postmodern aesthetics, original music, singing, and experimental theater to unwind a complex urban disparity brought on by social and systemic failings. As the first person in his family born in the US, John is carving out and balancing his own identity within his family, cultural history, and an artistic landscape that doesn’t often highlight the experiences of lower income, multilingual, and queer expressions.      

Headshot of Joshua William Gelb

Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic closed all theaters in mid-March, Joshua William Gelb transformed a 2' x 4' x 8’ closet inside his East Village apartment into a white-box theater. Along with Katie Rose McLaughlin, they set out to understand how artists can adapt to the digital form without sacrificing the integrity of the live event, as well as navigating how we can continue to responsibly collaborate while social distancing. Gelb’s work has been presented by Abron’s Art Center, Ars Nova, LMCC Process Space, New Ohio, Joe's Pub, Polyphone Festival, and Target Margin is an associate artist with Sinking Ship, and teaches Theater Collaboration at Cooper Union. McLaughlin is the Associate Choreographer of Hadestown on Broadway, has been an artist-in-residence LMCC’s Process Space, Dance Lab New York, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center and her work has been presented by The Chocolate Factory, the Invisible Dog Art Center, HERE Arts Center, newMoves Contemporary Dance Festival, and the International Festival of Art & Ideas.

La MaMa LiveTalks


La MaMa LiveTalks are conversations with artists, activists and thought leaders from around the country and around the world who join in discussions about art and life in time of crisis. La MaMa will continue to 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.

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