WAM Theatre Announces  Beneficiary and Education Outreach for Spring Mainstage Production

WAM Theatre has announced that local organization Tapestry was selected from a pool of applicants to be the primary beneficiary of WAM's spring Mainstage World Premiere production of Lady Randy - a delightfully dizzying romp through the life of Jennie Jerome, mother of Winston Churchill, written by and starring Anne Undeland. In keeping with its double philanthropic mission, WAM Theatre will be donating a portion of the box office proceeds from Lady Randy to Tapestry after their closing performance on May 5. To date, WAM has donated $56,500 to its fifteen beneficiaries.

Since its inception in 1973, Tapestry has been the sole provider of low-cost, federally-funded (Title X) reproductive health care and family planning services in Berkshire County. Tapestry will use WAM's donation to provide training to staff to improve their services to marginalized communities.

Additionally, in a continuation of WAM's commitment to organizations that help women and girls globally, $1,000 from Lady Randy will be donated to The Mooncatcher Project, which provides free reusable, washable menstrual pads to girls in the poorest communities worldwide. These pads provide a way for girls to stay in school while menstruating, giving them a greater chance of completing their education. WAM's $1,000 donation will provide 200 menstrual kits to Mooncatcher's work in Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan and India.

"Sexual health gets short shrift in terms of resources and support, and that is a big part of what I try to explore in Lady Randy," playwright and actor Anne Undeland explained. "When people, especially women, have better control over their sexual and reproductive health, they have better control over their lives. As a small, local organization, WAM's contribution to Tapestry will make a big difference. I couldn't be more pleased with the choice."

The 2019 beneficiaries were chosen after a rigorous selection process, including a request for proposals and site visits, overseen by a committee at WAM comprised of Kristen Van Ginhoven (WAM Artistic Director), Dori Parkman (WAM General Manager), Margaret Fluhr (WAM Board Member), Wendy Healey (WAM Board President), and Lia Russell-Self (WAM Teaching Artist).

Also announced is the series of free education outreach opportunities for Lady Randy audience members organized by WAM Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston. The series begins with a talkback with Undeland and director Jim Frangione following the matinee on Sunday, April 21.

After the matinee on Saturday, April 28, Kingston will moderate a panel discussion featuring Undeland, Anne Schuyler, (Director of Visitor Services, The Mount), Lise Sanders (Professor of Literature and Cultural Studies, Hampshire College) and Naomi Miller (Professor of English and the Study of Women and Gender, Smith College).

And on Saturday, May 4 a Fresh Takes Play Reading of Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías will take place at 3pm, with a performance of Lady Randy scheduled for 7:30 that evening. A perfect opportunity for audience members to make a day of it in Lenox! For tickets for Native Gardens visit: https://www.wamtheatre.com/nativegardens/

Finally, on the closing performance on Sunday, May 5, there will be a chance to meet representatives of Tapestry and Mooncatcher and hear more about how WAM's donation will impact their work. This conversation will be followed by the check presentation ceremony which all are welcome to attend.

Founded in 1973 by women committed to the belief that high quality, confidential, and affordable reproductive health care was a necessity, Tapestry is rooted in the principles of compassionate, confidential, non-judgmental care for all. Since its inception, the agency has been the sole provider of low cost, federally-funded (Title X) reproductive health care and family planning services in Berkshire County. Each year reproductive health education, counseling, and clinical care is provided to approximately 1,100 people in Berkshire County. In 2018, a majority of these people were female (82%), aged 25 or less (73%), and were economically disadvantaged (70%). As the only provider of confidential, family planning services in Berkshire County, the agency prioritizes clinical services for young people, uninsured and underinsured individuals, regardless of income, race, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Today, Tapestry provides services which include sexual and reproductive health care, syringe access and disposal, overdose prevention and education, overdose reversal medication access and training, PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis for individuals at high risk for HIV and providing new mothers and their children with nutritional education and support, including 24-hour-a-day breastfeeding help throughout all of Western Massachusetts. https://www.tapestryhealth.org/

In 1875, the American heiress, Jennie Jerome, seemed to have have it all. She had married an English lord, she was young, rich and beautiful, and she had just given birth to Winston Churchill. Lady Randy takes us on a dizzying ride through the treacherous, kaleidoscopic sexual and political landscape of her marriage. A woman ahead of her time, Jennie kept everyone watching, kept them guessing, and she never, ever surrendered.

Playwright Anne Undeland stars, Mark Zeisler plays all the supporting roles. Jim Frangione directs.

Performances of Lady Randy are scheduled for April 18-May 5, 2019, at Shakespeare & Company's Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St, Lenox, MA. Preview tickets for the April 18 & 19 performances at 7:30 pm are $10-$30. Tickets for the rest of the run start at $30 and are available at the Shakespeare & Company Box Tuesday-Saturday 11 am -3 pm, by calling 413-637-3353 or online at https://www.wamtheatre.com/ladyrandy/

In celebration of their 10th Anniversary Season, WAM will offer ten $10 tickets at every single Mainstage performance during the 2019 season on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information on Lady Randy, visit: https://www.wamtheatre.com/ladyrandy/

In addition to Lady Randy, WAM's 10th anniversary season includes a fall Mainstage production of Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau, presented in partnership with Multicultural BRIDGE, which runs October 25-November 9. Two Fresh Takes Play Readings - Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías (May 4) and Paradise by Laura Maria Censabella (November 2) - will correlate directly to each Mainstage production; and an expanded Education program will include a new Elder Ensemble for women 65 and older, along with the successful, established Teen Ensemble, both of which will debut their original devised theatre pieces at the WAM Gala in July.

For more information about WAM's 10th Anniversary Season visit: https://www.wamtheatre.com/2019-season/

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