Founded by Ellen Stewart in 1961, La Mama was the first home to many of today's most popular playwrights, including Harvey Fierstein, Lanford Wilson and Sam Shepard. La Mama presents the works of new playwrights, engages new directors, designers and performers to execute that work, showcases the international avant-garde and is a major performance venue for composers and choreographers. The organization mounts 60 to 70 productions a year, reflecting the ethnic diversity not just of New York but of the world.