Ellen Stewart, The Mama of La Mama, founded La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York in 1961, where she produced the early works of playwrights such as Sam Shepard, Jean-Claude van Itallie, and Lanford Wilson. La MaMa's international tours have been extensive, and Ms Stewart has introduced many foreign directors to the New York. Her many honors include The Order of Sacred Treasure-Gold Rays with Rosette from the Emperor of Japan, The Les Kurbas Award from the Ukraine, and a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship.

An excerpt from Steve Capra's interview with Ms. Stewart
in Theater Voices

SC: Does it get assimilated into off-Broadway, Broadway, mainstream theater? Do they pick up your techniques?

ES: Darling, have you seen Blue Man? Well, that was made right here. Okay? Does that answer your question? Did you see Torch Song Trilogy? That was made right here - written for me, by Harvey Fierstein. Did you see Godspell? That play was made for me.