Deborah Zoe Laufer's BE HERE NOW to Open WAM Theatre 15th Anniversary Season

The production will be presented on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at 2pm & 7pm at The Foundry.

By: Feb. 29, 2024
Deborah Zoe Laufer's BE HERE NOW to Open WAM Theatre 15th Anniversary Season
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WAM Theatre will kick off its 15th Anniversary Season with a Fresh Takes Play Reading of Be Here Now written by Deborah Zoe Laufer (Sirens, End Days, Rooted) and directed by Kelly Galvin (WAM's Last Wife, Shakespeare & Company: Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew) on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at 2pm & 7pm at The Foundry. The play features a stellar cast of diverse local professional performers: Tracy Grammer, Jeannine Trimboli,  Kristin Yates and Ryan Winkles. Tickets are now on sale.

Be Here Now follows the story of deeply cynical and woefully underemployed Bari who is surrounded by painfully cheerful co-workers at a small-town packaging “Fulfillment Center.” When she meets Mike, a man who makes art out of garbage, it's her turn to pull another out of darkness. In this quirky new comedy, called “clever” and “filled with laughter” by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Be Here Now asks– what we are willing to do for love, happiness, and to create meaning in our life?

"I always jump at the chance to work with the passionate and engaged artistic community at WAM!” said director Kelly Galvin. “I'm really looking forward to bringing Be Here Now to audiences with its big, compassionate questions about what it really takes to live in the moment and connect to each other in these painful times."

WAM's 15th Anniversary Season promises to deliver four, dynamic, theatrical presentations of new stories by women that draw on past traditions to envision new futures. Be Here Now captures the philosophical complexity of moments of great personal change. The first play in a trilogy written by Deborah Zoe Laufer, set in a fictionalized version of her Upstate New York home, the playwright was inspired by a podcast she heard about Geschwind Syndrome, a rare seizure disorder which can bring on personality shifts and experiences of profound joy.  Through Bari's journey, we experience how radical perspective shifts really can change the world.

The reading features a talented cast of diverse local professional performers: Tracy Grammer, (an acclaimed, nationally-touring singer-songwriter recently turned actor), will play the deeply cynical protagonist, Bari. Jeannine Trimboli, who was last seen in Creative Action Unlimited MA'Space directed by Jae Gayle at the Meader Little Theater at Russell Sage College in Troy, will play Patty Cooper, Bari's loud, controlling but good-hearted co-worker. Kristin Yates (currently touring in Shakespeare & Company's A Midsummer Night's Dream) will play Luanne Cooper, Patty's witty and romantic daughter, and another co-worker. Ryan Winkles (WAM's The Old Mezzo, ROE) will take on the role of Mike, an overlooked MacArthur Genuis artist who makes homes out of garbage. 

“We are thrilled to be presenting a reading of this beautiful, timely play with such a talented group of local professional actors in an intimate setting,” said Talya Kingston, WAM's Associate Artistic Director. “Our Fresh Takes Play Readings have garnered a following of people who enjoy listening to good theatrical stories well told and then having a chance to talk about them with the artists. Be Here Now is a joyful and deeply meaningful play that I can't wait to share with our audiences.”

WAM Theatre's Fresh Takes Play Reading Series presents ground-breaking stories that are imaginative and thoughtful explorations of complex issues affecting women and girls. Featuring local professional actors and directors, the Fresh Takes play readings continue WAM's commitment to connecting Berkshire audiences to female playwrights who are contributing to national and international theatre conversations. Each reading will be followed by a brief discussion with the artists.

WAM is thrilled to collaborate with The Foundry in West Stockbridge on their 2024 Fresh Takes Play Reading Series. Audience members will be able to purchase a drink and sit in the comfortable, cabaret space in close proximity to the performers to enjoy the play. The Foundry's Producing Artistic Director, Amy Brentano, states that: “The Foundry is honored to host WAM Theatre's Fresh Take series continuing a history of collaborations with the company. Fresh Takes aligns with our mission to prioritize, develop, and share new work for the stage.”
 

TICKETS

Tickets are now on sale for Be Here Now as well as our subsequent Fresh Takes Play Reading, Far, Far Better Things. Join WAM at The Foundry in West Stockbridge for both these groundbreaking readings. Seating is limited and expected to sell out. 
WAM will release tickets for the 15th Season benefit and fall mainstage production, Galileo's Daughter, in the coming months.  

For more information or to reserve your tickets today, visit WAM online at wamtheatre.com or call 413.274.8122.

FRESH TAKES READING SERIES AT A GLANCE
 

Be Here Now

by Deborah Zoe Laufer
Directed by Kelly Galvin
Featuring: Tracy Grammer, Jeannine Trimboli, Ryan Winkles & Kristin Yates
The Foundry, 2 Harris Street, West Stockbridge, MA
Sunday, March 10 at 2pm & 7pm
Tickets $25 & $50

 

Far, Far Better Things

By Geetha Reddy
Directed by Tatyana-Marie Carlo
Cast TBA
The Foundry, 2 Harris Street, West Stockbridge, MA
Sunday, April 7 at 2pm, live 
Sunday, April 13-14, online
Tickets $25 & $50

For more information about the 2024 Season and WAM Theatre's programs, events, and artists, please visit www.WAMTheatre.com.
 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS


Kelly Galvin (director, Be Here Now). A director, producer, and teaching artist, Kelly is passionate about making theater with artists and audiences of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. WAM Theatre: The Last Wife (director), Emilie remount (associate director), Artistic Associate (2012-2014), Fresh Takes inaugural play reading series (producer), Blue Stockings reading (director), The Tall Girls reading (director). Selected Theatre Credits Elsewhere: Kelly has directed for Shakespeare & Company, Gloucester Stage, Boston Playwrights' Theatre, Great Barrington Public Theater, the Theater at Woodshill, Catskill Mountain Shakespeare, Southwest Shakespeare Company, Advice to the Players, and Berkshire Playwrights' Lab; she has assistant directed for the Guthrie, Asolo Rep, and the Orlando Shakespeare Festival. Community Engagement/Activist work: Program Director at Community Access to the Arts in Great Barrington, an organization that nurtures and celebrates the creativity of people with disabilities through the arts. Membership/Affiliations: Company artist with Shakespeare & Company, founder of the rig, and associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Association. Selected training: Boston University (MFA in Directing and Certificate in Arts Administration). Wellesley College (BA, Political Theory and Theatre Studies). Connect: kellydirecting.com; CATAarts.org

Tracy Grammer (Bari, Be Here Now) is an actor, nationally-touring singer-songwriter and storyteller based in Greenfield, MA. WAM Theatre: debut. Selected Theatre Credits Elsewhere: Bessie in Marvin's Room (Westfield Theatre); Mrs. Kendal in Elephant Man (Hawks & Reed); Barbara Apple in Sorry (Sloan Theatre); Katie Fitzgerald in Last Request (one-woman musical). Directed The Problem (Sloan Theater) and currently Assistant Directing Angels In America Parts one and two (Sloan Theater). Film: “What Happens to Roadkill” (lead). Music: She has 11 contemporary folk/acoustic albums and one tour as a singer and multi-instrumentalist with Joan Baez. Creative Inspiration: Trees, Light. Oceans. The sun and moon. Loss. The compost of my own life experience. The music inherent in language, the metaphor of the body, the magic of gesture, and the mysteries inside silence and stillness. Community Engagement/Activist Work: In training for correctional officers at the Franklin County Sheriff's office, I improvise performances of individuals experiencing a range of psychological distress or illness. Officers practice earning trust and cooperation through personal connection rather than customary use of force. Selected training: Shakespeare & Co, intensive actor training, HB Studios (acting), Greenfield Community College (acting, directing), University of California, Berkeley (English literature).

Deborah Zoe Laufer (playwright, Be Here Now)  is a writer whose plays have been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva, The Humana Festival, Everyman, Primary Stages, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and hundreds of other theaters around the world. Plays include: Be Here Now, End Days, Rooted, Informed Consent (NYTimes critic's pick), Leveling Up, Out of Sterno, The Last Schwartz, Sirens, Meta, The Three Sisters of Weehawken, Fortune, dozens of short plays, and the musicals Window Treatment and By Any Other Name, written with composer, Daniel Green. Awards: Deb is a recipient of the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, the Lilly Award, The ATCA Steinberg citation, and grants and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Edgerton Foundation, The National New Play Network, and the Lincoln Center Foundation. Her work has been developed by The Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference, Theatre Lab, PlayPenn, The Cherry Lane Alternative, The Missoula Colony, LOCAL Theatre, Asolo Rep, The Baltic Playwrights Conference, and more. Publications: Her plays are published or recorded by Concord/Samuel French, Smith and Kraus, Playscripts, LA Theatreworks, and Premieres. Training and Memberships: She is a graduate of Juilliard, an alumna of the BMI Lehman Engel Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop, a member of Honor Roll, and a Dramatists Guild Council member. Connect: deborahzoelaufer.com

Jeannine Trimboli (Patty, Be Here Now) is an actor, singer, writer, and poet residing in Albany, NY. WAM Theatre: debut. Selected Theatre Credits Elsewhere: End of the Rainbow at Curtain Call Theatre (Judy Garland), Tony and Tina's Wedding at Universal Preservation Hall (Madeline Monroe), Footloose at Mac-Haydn Theatre (Ethel), Ma' Space with Creative Action Unlimited (Brenda). Film: Your Vote Matters with Atlantic Studios. Creative Inspiration: Jeannine is returning to performing after a 20-year pause and is loving the joy and energy performing brings, as if it were new. Awards: Recently nominated for a Berkshire Theatre Critics Association Award for her portrayal of Judy Garland. Connect: IG @jeanninetrimboli

Ryan Winkles (Mike, Be Here Now) is a theatre artist based in the Berkshires who is thrilled by language and movement. WAM Theatre: The Old Mezzo (actor), ROE virtual production (actor), Blue Stockings reading (actor), Tall Girls reading (actor), Measure for Measure reading (actor), The Attic, The Pearls, and Three Fine Girls (fight director), The Last Wife (movement director), Kamloopa (fight director). Selected Theatre Credits Elsewhere: As an actor, Ryan has worked at theatres that include the Huntington Theatre Company, Gloucester Stage Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Martha's Vineyard Playhouse, Great Barrington Public Theatre, Mixed Company, and Shakespeare & Company where he is a company member. Film: The Boston Strangler (Hulu), UFOTOG (Trumbull Studios). Creative inspiration: Artists whose work inspires me at this moment include Andrew Scott, Theaster Gates, and Kelly Galvin. Membership/Affiliations: Member of Actors Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild.

Kristin Yates (Luanne, Be Here Now) is so excited to be making her WAM acting debut! Selected Theatre Credits include: A Midsummer Night's Dream and Christmas at Pemberly (Shakespeare and Company), Urinetown and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (The Studio Theatre TDS), Little Shop of Horrors and Caroline Or Change (Tantrum Theater). Selected training: Kristin has her B.F.A from Ohio University in Theatre Performance. Special Thanks: She would like to thank God for his continued blessings, her family for their support, and her mom especially for being her number one fan! Connect: IG: @kristinyatesactor.




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