WAM Theatre Gala Features Premiere Of New Girls Ensemble Work

The rolling fields of the Berkshire Equestrian Center Richmond, MA, will create the perfect backdrop for WAM Theatre's annual Midsummer Cocktail Party Benefit on Wednesday, July 25, at 5:30pm. A few tickets are still available at all three levels of support - $75 for Allies, $150 for Advocates, and $250 for Activists.

"This benefit, with its myriad of delights, is guaranteed fun for all. I can't wait!" enthused Kristen Van Ginhoven, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of WAM Theatre.

The evening's guests will be the first to learn about this year's beneficiary for WAM's fall Main Stage production of ANN, starring Jayne Atkinson, and will get an exclusive premiere performance of the 2018 cohort of Girls Ensemble's devised play. This year 12 participants from five different towns and eight different schools are creating an original piece around the timely theme of JUSTICE. As the United States government approaches the confirmation hearing for a new Supreme Court Justice, these twelve local young people devise an original performance that questions the very idea of justice in their lives and our world. Gala participants will see the premiere of this new piece.

"I'm so inspired by the bravery and creativity of the Girls Ensemble artists, most of whom met each other less than a week ago," said WAM Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston. "They have shared moving and personal accounts of injustice that they have experienced in their own lives; they have taught each other dances and songs; and they have crafted some powerful stage moments. The performance that we will premiere at the WAM gala promises to be both dynamic and moving - not to be missed and exactly the balm we need in these troubled times."

"Our show will be a creative performance that gets your attention and brings up issues that need to be talked about," added Girls Ensemble member Tessa Hanson.

This magical midsummer night's cocktail party features wonderful music, stellar entertainment, and delicious food and drink, including everyone's favorite cider donuts brought over especially for the WAM gala from Hilltop Orchards.

Berkshire favorite Ty Allan Jackson is the host for the evening. Jackson is a children's book author, publisher, literacy advocate, and two-time TEDx speaker who travels across the country inspiring children of all ages to dream big and teaching the joy and power of reading through his own publications and his two literacy programs, Read or Else and the Danny Dollar Academy.

Jean-Remy Monnay, Kevin Craig West, and Erica Tryon, who will appear in WAM's August 12 Fresh Takes Play Reading of Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau will be in attendance, along with other actors and artists who have worked with the company, including Kim Stauffer, star of Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends her Life Tonight by Lauren Gunderson and the director of Kate Hennig's The Last Wife Kelly Galvin.

Guests will be serenaded by Alexander Sovronsky whose score for the production of The Cake at Barrington Stage has been winning raves this summer. His evocative score for WAM's 2017 production of The Last Wife was nominated for a Berkshire Theatre Critics Award for Outstanding Sound Design.

A Silent Auction and Raise the Paddle auction add to the fun, with all money raised going to WAM events and education programming. Silent Auction items this year include a spa day at Canyon Ranch, a gift certificate to shop at Blue Q, dinner at Frankie's Ristorante, tickets to see HIR at Shakespeare & Company this fall, and more!

The Berkshire Equestrian Center, just off of Route 41 on Perry Peak Road in Richmond, MA, integrates lodging for humans and horses in one location. Their scenic 27-acre site is the perfect spot for our annual evening under the stars.

At $75, Ally level tickets to the Gala cost less than the ticket price for many arts events in the Berkshires. Attendees able to afford the $150 Advocate or $250 Activist level tickets are always welcome. Please join us on July 25!


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