WAM Theatre Announces Casting For Fresh Takes Reading Of NATIVE GARDENS

Artistic Director Kristen Van Ginhoven, Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston, and the WAM team are proud announce the cast for their first Fresh Takes Reading of the season Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías, directed by Estefanía Fadul, at 3pm on Saturday, May 4.

"It's wonderful to welcome our Co-Founder Leigh Strimbeck back for our 10th Anniversary season", Kingston, curator and producer of the Fresh Takes series, exclaimed. "We're also thrilled to be back in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company for this reading and to have their Artistic Director, Allyn Burrows, join our cast."

Burrows and Strimbeck headline an exciting cast that also include Stephen Pugh and Julissa Lee Rodríguez in their WAM Theatre debuts.

Director Estefanía Fadul last worked with WAM in 2016, directing a Fresh Takes reading of Bekah Brunstetter's play The Oregon Trail. "I'm so excited to return to WAM to direct Native Gardens," Fadul said. "In a time when there is so much division in our country, this play deconstructs some of the biases and privilege that thrive in even our most liberal communities. I look forward to diving into Karen's clever language and humor with this cast and sharing in this conversation with the Berkshires audience."

From the pen of one of the most produced playwrights in the nation, Native Gardens is a brilliant new comedy, where cultures and gardens clash, turning well-intentioned neighbors into feuding enemies. Pablo, a rising attorney, and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, have just purchased a home next to Frank and Virginia, a well-established D.C. couple with a prize-worthy English garden. But an impending barbeque for Pablo's colleagues and a delicate disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into an all-out border dispute, exposing both couples' notions of race, taste, class and privilege.

This reading of Native Gardens is presented in memory of artist Wendy Rabinowitz, in honor of her tireless dedication to social justice and her commitment to WAM.

The second Fresh Takes Play Reading - Paradise by Laura Maria Censabella - will take place on November 2. These readings correlate directly to the two Mainstage productions - Lady Randy by Anne Undeland, running April 18-May 5; and Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau, presented in partnership with Multicultural BRIDGE, which runs October 24-November 9. All performances and readings take place in Shakespeare & Company's Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.

Also this season WAM Education is launching a new Elder Ensemble program for women 65 and older, in tandem with the successful, established Teen Ensemble. Both Ensembles will debut their original devised theatre pieces at the WAM 10th Anniversary Gala on Wednesday, July 24 from 5:30-8:30 pm at the Stationery Factory in Dalton.

The Fresh Takes Reading of Native Gardens takes place on Saturday, May 4 at 3 pm, in Shakespeare & Company's Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St, Lenox, MA. Tickets are $25 and are available at the Shakespeare & Company Box Office Tuesday-Saturday 11 am -3 pm, by calling 413-637-3353 or online at https://www.wamtheatre.com/nativegardens/

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