Jayne Atkinson to Direct WAM Theatre's NOMS DE GUERRE by Jacqueline E. Lawton

WAM Theatre has announced that Jayne Atkinson will be directing the next play in their 2015 Fresh Takes Play Reading Series, Noms de Guerre by Jacqueline E. Lawton.

The reading will be the inaugural event in this year's Lift Ev'ry Voice Festival, which celebrates African-American Culture and Heritage in the Berkshires. This year the Festival is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the passage of the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery in the United States. For more information on the Festival visit http://liftevryvoice.org.

"We are so pleased that WAM Theatre has partnered with us this year and are confident that Noms de Guerre will provide a strong start to the Festival," said Don Quinn Kelley, Co-Chair of Lift Ev'ry Voice 2015. "Since 2010 we have believed that people can, and will, partner to celebrate all Americans being free. Partnering is our way of connecting across communities in the Berkshires and contributing to local economies at the same time."

WAM Theatre will present the reading on Sunday, June 14 at 3:00 p.m. at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, 6 Depot Street in West Stockbridge, MA. The first two Fresh Takes reading of 2015 have sold out, as did all five of the readings in 2014 inaugural season, confirming Berkshire audiences embrace contemporary plays written by women and focusing on the unique stories of women and girls.

Noms de Guerre is a haunting, lyrical and passionate story of friendship, love and politics. Mira is a rising star in the Republican Party, but her campaign against women's reproductive rights puts her at odds with her best friend, Jude, an award-winning journalist. At home, Mira struggles to run a campaign for Governor and help her war hero husband, Douglas, adjust to civilian life. When Jude discovers that Douglas is linked to a massacre of Afghan civilians, Mira is thrown into a whirlwind of political intrigue and must decide whether to hold on to her career or save her husband. Noms de Guerre is a socio-political drama that addresses the damaging impact of PTSD on veterans and their family.

The cast of Noms de Guerre features Shanae Burch (WAM Theatre's Waxworks), James Gaudreau (Confetti Stage's A Street Car Named Desire), Christina Gordon* (WAM's In Darfur, The Public Theatre's Good People), Concetta Russo (Shakespeare & Company's Northeast Tour of Hamlet), Erica Tryon* (WAM Theatre's Everywoman, Capital Repertory Theatre's To Kill a Mockingbird) Kevin Craig West (Capital Repertory Theatre's Metamorphoses, Williamstown Theatre Festival's Cousin Bette). Acclaimed actor Jayne Atkinson will direct the reading, and Jessica Sovronsky (Shakespeare & Company's Romeo & Juliet) will be the Stage Manager.

Director Jayne Atkinson is a Berkshire favorite and an internationally acclaimed film, theatre and television actress. She is a WAM advisory board member and was the host of the our 2013 Benefit Claiming Her Place. She is perhaps best known for her roles on House of Cards, Criminal Minds and 24 as well as her Tony Award-nominated roles in The Rainmaker and Enchanted April.

Jacqueline E. Lawton was named one of the top 30 national leading black playwrights by Arena Stage's American Voices New Play Institute. She received her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. She participated in the Kennedy Center's Playwrights' Intensive (2002) and World Interplay (2003). Her plays include: Anna K; and Blood-bound and Tongue-tied; Deep Belly Beautiful;The Devil's Sweet Water; The Hampton Years; Ira Aldridge: the African Roscius; Lions of Industry, Mothers of Invention; Love Brothers Serenade; Mad Breed; Noms de Guerre; and Our Man Beverly Snow. Website: http://www.jacquelinelawton.com/

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