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WAM Theatre Ensembles Launch THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT

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WAM Theatre Ensembles Launch THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT

WAM Theatre's Elder Ensemble and People of Color Ensemble will present an online exhibit of original art centered around the theme of suffrage and citizenship. The individual pieces - including visual art, songs, monologues, poetry, dramatic scenes, dance and photography - will be showcased in a free online gallery on the WAM website throughout July and August. The gallery includes reflections on the 100 year anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in combination with powerful statements about marginalized groups in this country who are still fighting for full and unwavering citizenship. In celebration and culmination of the four-month collaboration, WAM will host a special Opening Reception for THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT (held on zoom) on Sunday, July 26 at 3pm.

WAM's Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston, one of four Teaching Artists who facilitated the ensembles, expressed her excitement about opening the gallery to the public. "The pieces were created in social isolation all over the region, but taken together they are a compelling testament to the importance of continued community engagement in the arts."

Kingston adds, "We are also hoping that visitors to the gallery will be inspired to create their own art, as an empowering creative act during this time, and that they will join us by exhibiting it on their social media platforms using #WAMsuffrage."

WAM's Elder Ensemble, led by Kingston and Amy Brentano and brand new intergenerational People of Color Ensemble, led by Lia Russell-Self and Trenda Loftin, have been meeting weekly for three months, experimenting with devising new group pieces over zoom and holding space for conversations about citizenship in the United States at this time of anti-racism uprisings. Two of these short group pieces will premiere at the Opening Reception.

WAM Associate Artist Lia Russell-Self, who co-led the People Of Color Ensemble (POC), states that: "Ensemble members are eager to keep the conversation going, staying up to an hour past when the meeting ended just to continue lifting up each other's work and experiences. The POC ensemble has already transformed from just being a place to possibly create to one of deep vulnerability."

Co-Leader of the POC Ensemble Trenda Loftin adds, "Together as an ensemble, we're striving to be a space where we all can show up and fully engage the complexities of our identities. This ensemble is anchored in cultivating meaningful connection, creative exploration, and transformational change."

Elder Ensemble member Nancy Tunnicliffe echoes this sentiment saying "What it means to me to be creating in this time of COVID-19 pandemic is hope. To be together with all my beloved sisters as though we were in the same room via zoom, creating and making something beautiful together, gives me hope that we will in fact get through this together."

"While we definitely miss creating together in a physical space, this moment of pause and adaptation has made the true purpose of our devising ensembles clear to me. It is always more about the process of creation than the production," Kingston explained. "Devised theatre naturally absorbs and reflects the time and conditions into which it is created. The most important part of theatre is connection - and we need that now more than ever."

The WAM Ensembles look forward to sharing their art with you at the online gallery, and at the Opening Night Reception held on July 26th at 3pm. For more information or to register, please visit:



Created by the WAM Theatre Elder Ensemble and POC Ensemble

Gallery live online: Monday July 13, 2020

Opening Reception (on zoom): Sunday July 26th at 3pm

Gallery will be live through the end of August and visitors are invited to participate by posting their own original art pieces on their social media platforms using #WAMsuffrage

For more information please visit:

WAM TEACHING ARTISTS: Amy Brentano, Talya Kingston, Trenda Loftin, and Lia Russell-Self. View their bios here

PEOPLE OF COLOR ENSEMBLE PARTICIPANTS: Raei Bridges, Regina East, Wes Elliot, Z Estime, Elisabeth Castellon Goncalves, Veronica Horne, Esme Mamousette, Merudjina Normil, Dylan Redd, Julissa Rodríguez, Jen Salinetti, Noelia Salinetti, and Jenn Smith.

ELDER ENSEMBLE PARTICIPANTS: Flo Brett, Barbara Cortez-Greig, Karen McNulty, CD Nelsen, Molly Pomerance, Edy Pye, Nancy Tunnicliffe, and Nina Wishengrad.

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