La Mama Theatre is a not-for-profit theatre in Carlton, Victoria. It has been nationally and internationally acknowledged as a crucible for cutting edge, contemporary theatre since 1967. La Mama produces work by theatre makers of all backgrounds and encouraging works that deconstruct and critique form, content and social issues. The iconic venue was devastated by fire in the early hours of Saturday 19 May 2018, due to an electrical fault. It reopened to the public on 9 December 2021.
The theatre, an initiative of founder Betty Burstall, was inspired by the "off-off-Broadway" theatre scene in New York City. Betty and her husband, film maker Tim Burstall, had just returned from a trip to New York and wanted to re-create the vibrancy and immediacy of the small theatres there. La Mama was modelled after the similarly named New York venue La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club.
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