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WAM Theatre Announces 2021 Season

The season includes Letters To Kamala by Rachel Lynett, The Light by Loy A. Webb, and Kamloopa by Kim Senklip Harvey.

Producing Artistic Director Kristen Van Ginhoven, Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston, and the WAM team today announced a 2021 season that focuses on exploring our roots, our ancestors and our legacy in order to move forward towards a rebirth, a re-emerging, into a future with room for everyone. The season includes Letters To Kamala by Rachel Lynett, The Light by Loy A. Webb, and Kamloopa by Kim Senklip Harvey. Tickets to the first two plays of WAM's 2021 Season are on sale now!

"We are thrilled to be working with such incredible theatre artists in our 12th season and can't wait for our WAMily to enjoy their work," shared Kristen Van Ginhoven, WAM Producing Artistic Director. "In line with our recently released accountability plan, the plays WAM will present this season deliberately shift our gaze away from white-centric stories and modes of storytelling and invite us all into conversation about a new future."

The season begins with two online Fresh Takes Play Readings, starting with Letters by Kamala by Rachel Lynett, directed by Nicole Brewer, which will be available to stream Sunday, March 14, to Sunday, March 21. In the tense lead up to the 2020 presidential election, playwright Rachel Lynett conjures three female American political leaders of the past to share their wisdom, perspective, and wry humor with VP candidate Kamala Harris.

Missing from our history books, meet three powerful women on whose shoulders Kamala now stands: Charlotta Bass, the first Black woman candidate for vice president, Charlene Mitchell, the first Black woman to run for president, and Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color to be elected to the House of Representatives, first Asian-American woman to run in Congress and the first Asian-American to run for president.

Playwright Rachel Lynett explained that following Kamala Harris's nomination for Vice President: "I wanted to write a play that explored pride mixed in with caution, a play that questioned our cultural obsession with firsts but also made room for understanding the weight that being "first" carries. Who were the other firsts? What sacrifices did they have to make to get there and what can we ultimately never compromise on?"

The next Online Fresh Takes Play Reading of The Light by Loy A. Webb, directed by Colette Robert, will be available for streaming April 25-May 2. A surprise proposal gift puts the future of Genesis and Rashad's relationship at risk when they are forced to confront a devastating secret from the past. The Light is a 70-minute, real-time rollercoaster ride of laughter, romance, and despair that uncovers how the power of radical love can be a healing beacon of light.

The Light was playwright Loy A Webb's first play. After it's successful off-Broadway run she reported that: "I had people telling me how much the show inspired them. I have college students asking me to send them monologues. I write to point toward hope. I want my work to be a neon sign in the darkness: This way out. This way to hope."

"I am thrilled to have this opportunity to direct a reading of Loy A. Webb's incredible play," added Director Colette Robert. "The Light is a powerful, provocative, and beautifully nuanced story about love and truth."

Tickets for Letter to Kamala and The Light are on sale now. Audiences can book a ticket to the virtual readings and view anytime during the week. WAM aims to make both readings as accessible as possible, while maintaining our commitment to providing artists opportunities that are equitable. Therefore, we invite patrons to pick their own ticket price, ranging from $15-$50. For more information or to reserve your tickets today, visit WAM online at wamtheatre.com or call 413.274.8122.

WAM is also excited to announce that the fall Mainstage production will be the United States Premiere of Kamloopa by Kim Senklip Harvey (from the Syilx, Tsilhqot'in, Ktunaxa, and Dakelh Indigenous Nations), directed by Estafanía Fadul (WAM's Native Gardens, The Oregon Trail).

Come along for the ride to Kamloopa, the largest powwow on the West Coast. This high energy story follows two urban Indigenous sisters and their encounter with a spirited shapeshifter. Together, they battle to come to terms with what it means to honor who they are and where they come from. But how do you discover yourself when Columbus already did? Bear witness to the courage of these women in the ultimate transformation story, as they turn to the ancestors for help to reclaim their power.

Playwright Kim Senklip Harvey, who will act as a consultant on this US premiere production states that: "I created Kamloopa to ignite the power that lives within Indigenous femmes and peoples. This transformation story is an offer for all of us to be bold and passionate about having the courage to fully become ourselves."

Director Estafanía Fadul agrees stating that: "I am grateful to call WAM one of my artistic homes and am excited to return to direct Kim's beautifully visceral play. From the moment I read it, the journey of the three women at the heart of the story as they struggle to define their identities within a diaspora resonated deeply with me. It's a story of sisters, of coming into one's own power and finding one's place within a larger community. It is told with so much joy, heart, and imagination, and I cannot wait to share it with audiences."

Kamloopa artists, dates, and location will be announced later this summer.

For tickets and more information about the 2021 Season and WAM Theatre's programs, events, and artists, please visit www.WAMTheatre.com.



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