WAM Theatre Teen Ensemble Now Accepting Applications

The submissions window is currently open, and set to close on March 17th.

By: Feb. 22, 2024
WAM Theatre Teen Ensemble Now Accepting Applications
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WAM Theatre has announced the return of its acclaimed Teen Ensemble. The Lenox-based theatre company is currently soliciting applications from young artists aged 15-19 in the Berkshire County region, who will create an original performance to be presented to the community in downtown Lenox over Memorial Day weekend. 

WAM Theatre has been working with teenagers to devise original performances on activist themes since 2014. Devised theatre uses a collaborative process where an ensemble uses a variety of techniques—writing, improvisation, games, movement, brainstorming, and more––to create original performance material. 

Based out of WAM’s Creative Hub and Offices in Lenox, this year’s program focuses on “Immersive Performance for Changemakers.” The ensemble will train in devised theatre techniques with the goal of creating short site-specific performances. The program kicks off with a week of Theatre Skills & Activist Training from April 16-19th, which is spring break for area public schools.  According to WAM’s Director of Community Engagement Maizy Broderick Scarpa, who will co-facilitate the ensemble, “that week is when Teen Ensemble artists become a company and develop a shared toolbox which they'll use to build their performance.” The group will reconvene for the Site-Specific Performance Weekend on May 24-26 (in conjunction with Berkshire Arts Week).

“As a devised theater lover, I deeply believe in the mana (power) of telling stories from one’s own experience as a way to ignite positive change in the world.” Malia’Kekia Nicolini, who will co-facilitate the Ensemble, explains. “I am excited to uplift the stories from this cohort of Teens to create some magic for our community. Mahalo (thank you).” 

While no theatre experience is required to participate, interested individuals are required to complete and submit a brief application form available on WAM’s website. Candidates may be invited to a brief interview where facilitators and candidates learn more about one another and ask any outstanding questions about the ensemble. The criteria for participation is enthusiasm, creative impulse, and the desire to advocate for causes that are meaningful to the participant. Interested youth should be prepared to devise, perform and be open to embracing new experiences with an open mind. 

Besides age and availability, WAM Theatre will select candidates who demonstrate an understanding of collaboration and the value of community in art-making. “It’s important for the ensemble members to embrace difference as a strength.  We need folks who care about the world around them, who listen to each other and to their community, and who are ready to speak up when the situation demands,” says Scarpa. “If this sounds like you, we hope you’ll apply!” 

The submissions window is currently open, and set to close on March 17th. Interested individuals can apply online at: www.wamtheatre.com/engage/teen-ensemble/.  This is a paid opportunity. Participants in the Teen Ensemble will be provided a stipend for their work. 

Parents, counselors, teachers, and community leaders are also encouraged to nominate students who would thrive in this kind of collaborative creative environment.  Nominations should be directed to Maizy Broderick Scarpa, Director of Community Engagement (maizy@wamtheatre.com). Nomination should include the name and contact information of the person you are nominating, along with 1-3 sentences about why you are nominating them.


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