Browse by: Keywords Object type Productions Works

This site uses a mix of popular language and more specialized terms developed by the library and archives community. Users may find it helpful to consult this glossary as they navigate the site.


Entity. Entities are individuals, collectives, partner institutions, resident theater companies, and other types of organizations who contributed to the history of La MaMa and to the materials in our collections. Performers, directors, lighting designers, photographers, illustrators, writers, festival curators, funding agencies, theatre collaboratives—these are all Entities.

Manifestation. See Production.

Objects. Objects are the physical and digital items contained in our archives. An Object might be a photograph, a show program, a poster, a blueprint, a video, a newspaper clipping, a costume, a puppet, a letter. Each Object on La MaMa’s Digital Collections site falls into one of the following five categories:

  • Artifact. We use the term Artifact to refer to three-dimensional objects—puppets, masks, costumes, wigs, set pieces.
  • Poster. Posters are oversized flat promotional materials on paper.
  • Photograph. Photographs are still images created by either an analog or digital camera.
  • Audio/Visual. Audio/Visual materials are moving image and recorded sound items.
  • Document. We use the term Document to refer to paper records and items in our collections. A Document might be a show program, a letter, a blueprint, a shipping manifest, a tour schedule, a flyer.

The Playlist. This is a list, created by La MaMa staff over the course of many years, of La MaMa productions (and some tours) staged between 1962 and 2010. Listings include production dates, titles, some production credits, and occasionally narrative description.

Production. Productions are staged events that occurred on a given date or set of dates. For instance, Genet’s “The Maids” appeared on La MaMa’s stages several times in its early years—including in 1964, 1965, and 1971—each of which were separate Productions. (Or, to use the language of the FRBR model, Productions are “manifestations” of Works)

Special Event. Special Events are non-Production events that occurred on a given date or set of dates. Special Events include theatre festivals, film festivals, benefits, and panel discussions.

Venue. A Venue is a site at which a Production was performed, or appeared. Venues are divided into three separate categories:

  • La MaMa Venues. La MaMa has occupied several distinct spaces over the course of its existence—first, a basement space at 321 East 9th Street (July 1962-April 1963), then 82 Second Avenue (June 1963-November 1964), 122 Second Avenue (November 1964-April 1968), and 9 St. Marks Place (January-April 1969). La MaMa finally moved to 74A East 4th Street in April 1969, and 66 East 4th Street in 1974. Additional spaces—including workshop-, gallery-, and rehearsal-spaces—were also used as performance venues along the way.
  • Off-Site Venues. La MaMa productions often moved to other theaters or were made into film or television programs. Off-Site Venues refer to these non-La MaMa spaces. They include Off-Broadway and Broadway theaters and theaters located outside of New York City, TV shows, and films.
  • Tours. A Tour refers to theatrical tours that featured staged productions by La MaMa Resident Companies outside of New York City.

Work: On the La MaMa Digital Collections site, a Work is a distinct intellectual or artistic creation—a short story, a novel, a playscript, a dance item, a song, a film. For instance, Jean Genet’s playscript for “The Maids” is a Work.

Note: La MaMa’s catalog uses an adapted set of hierarchies based on the FRBR model (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) and a hybrid metadata approach based on DublinCore, PBCore, and PREMIS standards.