WAM Theatre Announces Cast and Beneficiary for Fall Mainstage Production

WAM Theatre Announces Cast and Beneficiary for Fall Mainstage Production

It was a picture perfect Berkshire evening on Wednesday, July 12 as WAM Theatre supporters packed the bucolic grounds of Hilltop Orchards in Richmond to celebrate and support the company's eighth season at the company's successful Stars in the Orchards Gala. The full house was in a great mood enjoying the tasty hors d'oeuvres catered by the Orchards and wine made on site at Furnace Winery.

WAM's 2017 Girls Ensemble cohort performed excerpts from their popular new work What's That Sound?, which toured local schools this spring. Live and silent auctions added to the fun. Volunteer Karen Richards and Corporate Sponsor Amy Lindner-Lesser of the RookWood Inn were honored with the 2017 WAMily Award for their support and service to WAM. The event raised more than $25,000 for WAM's Education programs and the company's upcoming fall play The Last Wife by Kate Hennig, directed by Kelly Galvin.

But the highlight of the evening was the opportunity to get a sneak peek at scenes from The Last Wife performed by members of the cast. Gala audience members were the first to hear that The Last Wife cast will be helmed by Berkshire favorites Nehassaiu deGannes, John Hadden, and David Joseph, along with talented WAM newcomers Lily Linke, Alicia Piemme Nelson, and Raoul Silver.

"All of us at WAM are delighted to announce the incredible cast for The Last Wife", exclaimed Kristen van Ginhoven, WAM's Artistic Director. "This ensemble of six, led by Nehassaiu and John, is the perfect cast to share this contemporary retelling of the compelling relationship between Katherine Parr and Henry VIII. In the hands of director Kelly Galvin, this funny and powerful examination of patriarchy, sexual politics, and women's rights is sure to be an invigorating evening in the theatre that all will want to see."

Gala participants were also the first to learn the identity of the charity that will benefit from the production. In keeping with their double philanthropic mission, WAM Theatre will be donating 25% of the box office proceeds from The Last Wife to their thirteenth beneficiary, The Soldier On Women's Program.

Since 2005, Soldier On has been providing services to women veterans and currently offers a transitional housing program for up to sixteen homeless female veterans in a trauma informed care setting. Soldier On provides a safe, comfortable, structured environment that promotes healing and healthy life choice, helping veterans realize their full potential by providing them with activities and opportunities that embrace mind, body, and spirit. WAM's donation will support care during the transition to independent or family life for the residents of the Soldier On Women's Program.

Executive Director Sara Scoco was on hand at the Gala to meet WAM supporters and speak about the organization's work.

"The Soldier On Women's Program is thrilled to be WAM's 2017 beneficiary and honored to work with a program that is so passionate about improving the lives of females," Scoco said. "Their generous donation will allow Soldier On to continue to provide services and support to homeless female veterans, including groups within the program and follow up case management services after women have successfully transitioned into the community. Soldier On Women's Program simply would not exist without benevolent donors such as WAM, and we are absolutely delighted to be a part of this experience."

As the evening came to a close and the Gala audience enjoyed their delicious apple cider donuts WAM Artistic Director, Kristen van Ginhoven closed the evening by sharing WAM's Philosophy of Giving for their unique double philanthropic mission, saying, "WAM Theatre was founded in 2010 with a unique mission: to use art as activism to support opportunities for women and girls. After only eight years WAM is a nationally recognized theatre entity, both for our philanthropic work and our creative vision. At a time when the rights of women are being challenged both domestically and abroad, WAM's mission to provide philanthropy through theatre allows us to have even greater impact. Thanks to all for your support!"

Another successful Gala for one of the Berkshires most exciting growing companies.

About Soldier On

Soldier On has a single purpose mission of providing a continuum of programs to ensure that homeless veterans and their families have access to immediate and long-term housing with an array of supportive services delivered to them where they live. Soldier On's goal is to help veterans become fully franchised and contributing members of their community by helping them to regain physical, mental, economic and housing stability within an environment of integrity, dignity and hope.

Since 2005 SOLDIER ON has been providing services to women veterans and currently offers a transitional housing program for up to sixteen homeless female veterans in a trauma informed care setting. Soldier On provides a safe, comfortable, structured environment that promotes healing and healthy life choice, helping veterans realize their full potential by providing them with activities and opportunities that embrace mind, body, and spirit.

Soldier On Women's Program website: http://www.wesoldieron.org/womens-program/

About The Last Wife

Performances of the Northeast Regional Premiere of The Last Wife are scheduled for October 13-November 5, 2017, at Shakespeare & Company's Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St, Lenox, MA. Tickets will go on sale later this summer, but mark your calendars because this is a production you will not want to miss!

A contemporary reimagining of the compelling relationship between Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth and final wife, and the King, The Last Wife is a funny, powerful examination of patriarchy, sexual politics, and women's rights. Starring Berkshire favorites Nehassaiu deGannes, John Hadden, and David Joseph, along with talented WAM newcomers Lily Linke, Alicia Piemme Nelson, and Raoul Silver.

"WAM Theatre opened our 2016 Fresh Takes play reading with The Last Wife, to a sold out and enthusiastic crowd. Presenting this play is exciting for many reasons- one of which is that this is the first Fresh Takes play to be chosen as a WAM Mainstage Production." said Kristen van Ginhoven, WAM Artistic Director. "Plus Kelly Galvin, WAM's first Fresh Takes Curator, will be directing this production. We couldn't be more excited to have Kelly at the helm directing The Last Wife."


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