WAM Theatre Sets HOLY LAUGHTER Events

As usual, WAM Theatre is offering a variety of audience enrichment events in conjunction with their fall MainStage production. This year's events include a lobby display featuring this year's beneficiaries, talkbacks with the cast and design team and a writing workshop on comedy with the playwright.

Holy Laughter by Catherine Trieschmann is a poignant comedy that follows Abigail, an Episcopal priest who finds that the reality of leading a church is radically and hilariously different than what she learned in seminary. Hymns, liturgical dance and a wicked tongue lift this antic portrait of a small, struggling congregation to comic heights. All events and performances will be held at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center at 36 Linden Street in Pittsfield.

Lobby Display

This year's lobby display will showcase the work of Hands in Outreach and Sisters for Peace, the two organizations who are this year's WAM beneficiaries and will receive, in keeping with WAM's double philanthropic mission, 25% of the box office proceeds from the production. Before seeing the show, audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy the display and learn more about how these two groups have teamed up to help educate girls in Nepal and support their families. They will see how their ticket purchase is aiding in providing a direct deposit to 125 Hands in Outreach families of at least $20, which can feed a family of four for a month and also help them rebuild following the catastrophic earthquake earlier this year. Audiences will also learn about the five Sisters for Peace girls who will be attending school in 2016 in Nepal for the entire year thanks to WAM's donation from Holy Laughter. The lobby display will include images of these families and girls and information about their lives in Nepal.

Writing Workshop

A workshop, Make 'em Laugh: Writing Comedy for the Stage with playwright Catherine Trieschmann, will be held from 3:30-5:30 pm on Saturday, October 31. The cost is $35 for just the workshop, or $50 for the workshop and a ticket to the 7:30 pm preview performance that same day (dinner is not included.) Join Trieschmann and explore the comic form. Participants will read and analyze comic scenes from different plays, as well as engage in writing exercises designed to release the inner clown. Enrollment is limited to ten people, so register early. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2406055

Catherine Trieschmann's work has been produced Off-Broadway at the Women's Project, the Bush Theatre (London), Out of Joint at the Arcola Theatre (London), South Coast Repertory, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Theatre Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, American Theater Company, Florida Stage, Actors Theater of Louisville, the New Theater (Sydney) and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, among others. She has received commissions from South Coast Repertory, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the DCPA Theatre Company. Awards include the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, Edgerton New Play Award, Otis Guernsey New Voices Award from the William Inge Theater Festival.

Talkbacks

Trieschmann will also lead off the post-show talkback series following the Saturday, October 31 7:30 pm preview performance. Each talkback will feature a discussion about the creative process as well as a question and answer session. A talkback with the cast will take place after the 2 pm matinee on Saturday, November 7, and with the design team following the matinee on Saturday, November 14. On Sunday, November 22 after the 2pm matinee, there will be a post-show discussion with this year's beneficiaries, Hands in Outreach and Sisters For Peace, about their work and the impact of WAM's donation, followed by the check presentation.

Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets for Holy Laughter are now on sale. Previews are at 7:30 pm October 29-31 and tickets are only $18. The opening performance will be Sunday, November 1 at 2pm. Additional performances are scheduled on Fridays November 6, 13 & 20 at 7:30 pm, Saturdays November 7, 14 & 21 at 2 and 7:30 pm, and Sundays November 8, 15 & 22 at 2 pm. Tickets are $15-$40. See www.wamtheatre.com/holy-laughter/ for more information.

Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian, who directed the 2014 Fresh Takes Reading of Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George, the cast features Dana Harrison (Shakespeare & Company's Private Lives), Ron Komora (The Poet in An Iliad at Capital Rep), Amie Lytle (Around the World in 80 Days, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater), Kimberlee Monroe (Maid's Door at the Billy Holiday Theatre, NYC), and Benjamin Zoëy.

In keeping with WAM's double philanthropic mission 25% of the box office proceeds from Holy Laughter will be donated to the Hands in Outreach http://www.handsinoutreach.org/ and Sisters for Peace http://www.sistersforpeace.org/ girls education project in Nepal. See www.wamtheatre.com/holy-laughter/ for more information.

Tickets are $15-$40 and are being sold through the Barrington Stage Company (BSC) box office. They can be purchased in three easy ways: by calling the BSC box office at 413-236-8888, going in person during box office hours to 30 Union Street in Pittsfield, or buying online through the BSC ticketing page. https://tickets.barringtonstageco.org/

Sponsors for this production include: Greylock Federal Credit Union; Garden Gables Inn (Producer Sponsors); Berkshire Magazine, RookWood Inn, RBC Wealth Management (Partner Sponsors); Custom Business Solutions, Interprint (Leader Sponsors); Adams Community Bank, Cohen Kinne Valicenti Cook, Rogovoy Report, Pittsfield Cooperative Bank(Patron Sponsors); RB Designs; Nina Molin MD; Jon Gotterer DMD, Dr Jay Wise (Supporter Sponsors).

Additional WAM 2015 Sponsors include: Brabson Library & Educational Foundation, Dylandale Foundation, Feigenbaum Foundation, International Schools Theatre Association, Massachusetts Cultural Council and Petricca Industries (Education Programming). WAM Theatre is also supported in part by grants from the Lee, Lenox, Hinsdale-Peru, Monterey, Northern Berkshire, Richmond, Washington, Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.



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