MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD, FRESH TAKES & More Among WAM Theatre's 2014 Season Highlights

WAM Theatre's Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven announced highlights of the 2014 season today. The Berkshire-based professional theatre company will celebrate its fifth anniversary with an inspiring and thought-provoking series of plays readings, special events, panel discussions, and educational programs that continue its mission to focus on women artists and stories of women and girls.

"I'm delighted to announce the diverse programming we've planned for WAM Theatre's fifth anniversary year," said van Ginhoven. "While our main production occurs in the fall and will again be unveiled at our summer benefit event, we are thrilled to be offering an exciting line-up of events from March through September that fulfills our mission to share the stories of women and girls. This includes the launch of Fresh Takes, a wonderful new series of play readings that will feature local theatre professionals."

WAM Theatre's fifth anniversary year begins in March with the Berkshire premiere of Motherhood Out Loud, a culturally and gender diverse series of monologues on the subject of motherhood, conceived by Susan R. Rose and Joan Stein and written by a host of celebrated writers. Motherhood Out Loud will be presented on March 28 and 29 at Berkshire Theatre Group's Unicorn Theater in Stockbridge. Motherhood Out Loud is directed by Jayne Atkinson (CBS's Criminal Minds and host of WAM's 2013 Claiming Her Place benefit) and features Jane Kaczmarek (FOX's Malcolm in the Middle), Michel Gill (Netflix's House of Cards), and local guest artists. Produced by Jayne Atkinson and Susan R. Rose in collaboration with WAM Theatre, the production is a benefit for The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers and WAM Theatre.

In April, WAM Theatre has been invited to present a staged reading of Everywoman, a comedy about catastrophe, at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center in Albany, NY. Directed by Sara Katzoff, artistic director of the Berkshire Fringe, and written by Carolyn Yalkut, who teaches drama, film and literature at the University of Albany, the reading will be held on April 3. Everywoman is a poignant and light-hearted one-act play that debates global as well as personal catastrophe in women's lives everywhere.

From April through September, WAM Theatre will present Fresh Takes, a new series of play readings held in the gallery at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café in West Stockbridge on selected Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. Fresh Takes, curated by WAM Theatre's Artistic Associate Kelly Galvin, will give a stage to new and reimagined works that tell women's stories. Featuring local professional actors and directors, the readings will explore the work of provocative contemporary and classical voices. The series includes Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale (April 13); Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare (May 18); How the World Began by Catherine Trieschmann (June 22); Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George (Aug.17); and Waxworks by Trina Davies (Sept. 21).

In August, WAM Theatre will hold its Fifth Anniversary Celebration and Summer Benefit with Women Change Makers at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. Women Change Makers will feature a lively panel discussion with extraordinary women including playwrights, actors, and documentary filmmakers who are creating positive change through the arts. The benefit event will include the announcement and a sneak preview of WAM Theatre's fall production and the announcement of the beneficiary of that production. In keeping with WAM Theatre's unique double philanthropic mission, a portion of the proceeds from the fall main stage production will again be donated to an organization that benefits women and girls.

WAM Theatre continues to grow its Education Outreach after its successful launch last year. In 2014, WAM will partner with two other arts organizations, Heroic Productionz and ACT NOW!, to offer a unique yearlong collaborative theatre program with Girls, Inc. in Pittsfield. Each arts organization will use their individual areas of expertise to create inspiring educational programs throughout the year.

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