Last Friday we wrapped our week-long performance at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. Changers, A Dance Story watches the romance between a man (Lakeith Stanfield) and a woman (Mia Wasikowska) develop and grow over time as they navigate the intricacies of monogamy. It was a story about relationships, the ups and the downs, but ultimately how through them we find our best ideas (and even best selves) from these whirlwind experiences. The five days of performances and all the rehearsals leading up to the premiere were filled with lots of emotion, but thanks to our partnership with American Express Platinum, and longtime friend Spike Jonze, we were able to use this body of work he directed and wrote to donate all proceeds to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. As we look back on the week, while we’re sad it’s over—we feel fulfilled, and somehow still emotional. Below we share photos from the performance along with a letter from OC co-founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon who speak about their relationships, how each one has led them to this exact show and why they had to do it in this specific theater.
ELLEN STEWART, WHO FOUNDED THE LA MAMA THEATER IN 1961, WAS FAMOUS FOR CHOOSING HER COLLABORATORS THROUGH INTUITION. “BABY, IF IT BEEPS TO ME, MAMA WILL DO IT,” SHE SAID OF THE PROCESS THAT LED HER TO SAM SHEPARD, ROBERT WILSON, AND DIANE LANE. “IF IT DOESN’T, WELL THEN, NO.”
IT’S A SENTIMENT WE RELATE TO, LOOKING BACK ON 15 YEARS AT OPENING CEREMONY. BEHIND EVERY PROJECT — INCLUDING THE PERFORMANCE YOU ARE HERE TO SEE, “CHANGERS,” WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY OUR FRIEND SPIKE
JONZE—THERE ARE RELATIONSHIPS. THEY ARE SOMETIMES BRILLIANT, SOMETIMES TERRIFYING. BUT LIKE ELLEN STEWART, WE BELIEVE THAT THE BEST IDEAS COME FROM THEM AND THE SPARKS THEY GENERATE.
STEWART WAS A FASHION DESIGNER AS WELL AS AN EXPERIMENTAL THEATER PIONEER, AND “CHANGERS” BUILDS ON THAT LEGACY. COSTUMES ARE FROM OUR LATEST COLLECTION.
CHOREOGRAPHY IS BY ANOTHER FREQUENT CREATIVE PARTNER, RYAN HEFFINGTON. THE PERFORMANCE INCLUDES ORIGINAL MUSIC BY SAM SPIEGEL, AND STARS MIA WASIKOWSKA AND LAKEITH STANFIELD AS A COUPLE NAVIGATING THE HAZARDS OF MONOGAMY.
CAROL + HUMBERTO