WAM Theatre Announces 2020 Season

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Producing Artistic Director Kristen Van Ginhoven, Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston, and the WAM team today announced a 2020 season that focuses on ensembles, community, and civic engagement.

"WAM's 2020 season continues our work of creating brave spaces of civic dialogue through an intersectional feminist lens," van Ginhoven said. "We are excited for our WAMily to join us in 2020 for stimulating conversation and inspiring storytelling!"

In this election year, WAM's 2020 season will center on the area premiere of Lisa Loomer's celebrated play ROE in September/October. This large ensemble production, directed by WAM's Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director Kristen Van Ginhoven, illuminates the history of one of the most polarizing social issues of the modern era: the Roe v. Wade, U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established a woman's right to an abortion. ROE provides a reminder of the human stories behind the debates and how hard we have to work to compassionately communicate with people with whom we may disagree.

Kicking off the season in June, WAM's Ensembles will present THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT in celebration of the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment which allowed women full rights to vote, as well as in acknowledgement of its complicated history and the battles of citizenship still to be won. It will be performed in four different venues throughout Berkshire County in early June.

WAM will end our 11th season in November with three Fresh Takes staged readings of THE THANKSGIVING PLAY by Larissa Fasthorse, a scathingly funny satire where we witness a group of "woke" white teaching artists scrambling to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month.

"All three of our main events this year are ensemble-based, meaning that you will see groups of people on stage supporting and engaging with each other while grappling with urgent and invigorating subject matter - bridging political divides through personal stories," says Kingston, who will be overseeing THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT and directing THE THANKSGIVING PLAY.

"With ROE being an 11 person cast, we are thrilled to be able to work with more local theatre artists both onstage and offstage than ever before," van Ginhoven adds. "We are also excited to expand our community engagement ensembles to include affinity workshops with female-identifying veterans, immigrants, and people of color, whose work will influence THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT."

In addition to our Berkshire productions, WAM Theatre is proud that audiences across the country will have a chance to see our productions, starting in March with the continuation of our co-production of PIPELINE at the Nora at Central Square Theatre in Cambridge, MA, where the play will be performed from March 5-29, 2020. Then, in May, Kristen Van Ginhoven will bring the WAM production of ANN to Laguna Playhouse in California.

THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT

Devised by WAM Ensemble members

Co-directed by Amy Brentano and Talya Kingston

Various locations

June 4-7

"Devised theatre is my new favorite thing! It's immediate, collaborative, and so creative. It calls on me in new ways" - WAM Elder Ensemble member

THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT will culminate in an original performance devised by WAM's Elder Ensemble. This year marks 100 years since the 19th Amendment was passed which allowed women full rights to vote. It is in celebration of this centennial, as well as in acknowledgement of its complicated history and the battles of citizenship still to be won, that WAM has chosen this topic for our ensembles. In addition to the Elder Ensemble, WAM Teaching Artists will be running devising workshops on the topic of suffrage and citizenship with: Immigrants (in collaboration with BRIDGE's Women to Women Group), Veterans (in collaboration with Soldier On!) and with a new intergenerational People of Color Ensemble led by WAM's Associate Producing Director Lia Russell-Self.

ROE

by Lisa Loomer

Directed by Kristen Van Ginhoven

Berkshire premiere

Tina Packer Playhouse at Shakespeare & Company

September 25-October 11

Two Women. Multiple Truths. One Landmark Supreme Court Case.

ROE is an historically sweeping play with a large ensemble cast that illuminates the history of one of the most polarizing social issues of the modern era, the Roe v. Wade, U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established a woman's right to an abortion. ROE explores the women behind the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, illuminating the heart and passion each side has for their cause, providing a reminder of where the debate began and how hard we have to work to communicate compassionately with people with whom we may disagree.

Playwright Lisa Loomer says, "I wanted people to feel, as they watched the play, that their point of view was represented, if nothing else because that helps people be more open and willing to hear another point of view."

ROE was commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2012 as part of its American Revolutions Cycle. It was developed at the University of Texas and The Kennedy Center (as part of DC's Women's Voices Festival) as well as at OSF's BLACK SWAN Lab before it played for 70 performances in Ashland, OR, and then had runs in Washington, DC (Arena Stage), Berkeley, CA (Berkeley Rep), and Sarasota, FL (Asolo Rep).

THE THANKSGIVING PLAY

by Larissa Fasthorse

Directed by Talya Kingston

Elayne Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company

November 20, 21, and 22

Good intentions collide with absurd assumptions in Larissa Fasthorse's wickedly funny satire, as a troupe of terminally "woke" teaching artists scrambles to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month.

For more information about the 2020 Season and WAM Theatre's programs, events, and artists, please visit www.WAMTheatre.com.

Tickets for ROE go on sale March 3 by calling the Shakespeare & Company box office at 413-637-3353 or going online to www.shakespeare.org.

Please visit the Shakespeare & Company's website for box office hours, which vary throughout the year. In keeping with WAM's double philanthropic mission, the beneficiary for ROE will be announced in the spring.

Tickets to THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT and the Fresh Takes play readings of THE THANKSGIVING PLAY will go on sale at www.wamtheatre.com in the spring.

Premium priced tickets for the opening night of THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT and the opening reading of THE THANKSGIVING PLAY will include a post-show reception with the artists.



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