WAM Theatre Sets Cast for PHOTOGRAPH 51 Reading

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WAM Theatre has announced the cast for the second in their 2016 Fresh Takes Play Reading Series, Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler, directed by Kelly Galvin. The reading will take place on Sunday, May 15 at 3 pm at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, 6 Depot Street in West Stockbridge, MA.

Fresh Takes takes pride in featuring local actors, artists audiences have grown to love on area stages over the years. The cast of Photograph 51 features Jennie Jadow as Rosalind, Ryan Winkles (WAM's The Old Mezzo, Shakespeare & Company's Henry V) as Maurice, Brendan Cataldo (WAM Theatre's Emilie, Gallery Players' Macbeth), as Don, Shayne David Peris (WAM's Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, Capital Repertory Theatre's The Blue Sky Boys) as James, and Doug Seldin (Shakespeare & Company's Comedy of Errors and Mother Courage) as Francis. For detailed information on the cast go to: http://www.wamtheatre.com/photograph-51/

Since 2014 the Fresh Takes series has been introducing Berkshire audiences to ground-breaking works by established women playwrights, focusing on relevant, provocative, uplifting plays that encourage dialogue and deal with current and controversial issues in artful ways. The 2016 Fresh Takes season is sponsored by No. Six Depot and Kristin and James Hatt.

An intriguing portrait of British scientist Rosalind Franklin and her-often overlooked-role in the discovery of DNA's double helix structure. This complex tale explores how Rosalind, an intelligent, stubborn and courageous woman, navigated a world dominated by men. This critically acclaimed play ran on London's West End in 2015, featuring Nicole Kidman. A balance of the historical, romantic, and scientific, Photograph 51 is a touching play that dramatizes the fight for education, equality and access for women.

"I'm intrigued by the central question that this play poses: What makes us who we are?" Galvin said. "As the characters fight to find answers in their study of DNA, the play itself delves into the mystery and complexity of what makes us act the way we act, what makes us want the things we want, and what makes us love the people we love."

"I am thrilled to be a part of WAM's Fresh Takes play reading series One of the mysteries that I look forward to exploring is whether or not Rosalind's devotion to her work, and her excellence in her scientific field came at great cost to her emotional life, or , if, simply, she didn't "focus" on such things," said Jennie Jadow who will play the leading role of Rosalind. "We don't tend to apply such musing to male characters, and mostly give them license to be fully professionally immersed without being "burdened" by the split focus of family and social obligations. What if we apply to the same Rosalind? What if we let her simply be a scientific pioneer?"

"I also love Ziegler's treatment of Rosalind-- she draws attention to this relatively unknown scientist and gives her a bit of the recognition that she deserves for her remarkable work," Galvin added, "but, even more importantly, she renders a really truthful portrait of a woman, full of complex desires, motivations, and fears. The play's terrific theatricality combined with its intelligent treatment of the subject matter gives us such a fun playground for storytelling."

After Photograph 51 the Fresh Takes Series continues with The Oregon Trail by Bekah Brunstetter, directed by Estefanía Fadul on June 19; Samsara by Lauren Yee, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian on August 21; and Grand Concourse by Heidi Shreck, directed by Sheila Siragusa on September 11.

This year, in response to our audiences request for deeper discussion around the women's issues raised in each play, WAM Theatre is partnering with OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the Berkshire Community College, to co-present a companion class called 'Fresh Takes/Your Take'. Starting on May 16, the Monday, following the reading of Photograph 51, WAM Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven will share the underpinning of the piece and its author, setting the scene for discussion of audience questions, reactions, and experiences evoked by the Sunday reading.

Pictured: Playwright Anna Ziegler

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