Tick…tick…tick…time marches on and deadlines loom for the writers, directors and actors who have to come up with a handful of new plays about subjects that were just pulled out of a hat. To add to the challenge, they are assigned actors and directors they may have never met before. All with the merciless, excruciating beat of passing time closing in on their finished results. The demands that the 24 hour play project places on its participants is stressful, but everyone agrees that some pretty amazing results come out of this pressure cooker.
Those of us lucky to be in the audience for the always unpredictable “running of the lines” are guaranteed plenty of surprises as the Hydron Collider of artistic ideas revs up its dizzying speeds for us. This year all the action takes place at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, when the Berkshire’s WAM Theatre and Albany’s MOPCO undertake Round 2 of their project.
The second 24hr Berkshires/Capital Region Theatre Project brings together over 50 playwrights, directors, designers, stage managers, technicians and actors from both the Berkshires of MA and the Capital Region of NY armed with the common task of mounting 5 new short works by female playwrights; all written, rehearsed and performed in 24 Hours. WAM Theatre and MOPCO host the event happening Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 8 p.m. in the Bernstein Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA.
After last year’s inaugural sold out 24hr Project at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY, WAM Theatre and MOPCO decided to join forces again to present this colossal artistic adventure for a second time.
Only 150 tickets are available for this unique creative collaboration across state lines so book your $15 tickets now and be one of the lucky 150 who get to be part of this one night only unique event. As audience member last year, and actor this year, Ted Phelps says, “This event was absolutely a night out. The word “Hoot” came out of everyone’s mouth after seeing it.”
Sara Katzoff, Artistic Director of the Berkshire Fringe, and one of the director’s for the 2012 24hr Project said, “So many of us who make our lives in the theater are so committed to our own projects, so engrossed within our own organizations and deadlines that we don’t often have an opportunity to participate in happenings beyond our individual spheres. The 24 hour theater project is an incredibly exciting avenue that brings together so many disparate movers and shakers within the theater community and unites us in complete, full-contact collaboration!”
Mark Fleischer, Artistic Director of the Adirondack Theatre Festival, who is serving as one of the dramaturges this year and was one of the directors last year added, “Creating new plays in such an intense environment is bolstered by the opportunity to work with both longtime and new collaborators. I left those 24 hours invigorated and rethinking my own creative process on traditional longer projects. More than that, I felt more connected to this great professional theatre community than ever.”
Co-Producer Kristen van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM, says the following about why WAM/MOPCO are presenting the project again, “There is amazing talent and creativity in both the Berkshires and the Capital Region so we are delighted this year to include many new people. Hopefully this project will open the door to more opportunities for them all as it did for last year’s participants.” MOPCO’s Kat Koppett continues, “This project provides an incredible chance to consolidate all the bonding and brilliance of a traditional endeavor into a very brief span. And at Mopco, all our work is improvised, so having 24 hours AND a script, heck, that’s a life time.”
WAM and MOPCO are grateful to Shakespeare & Company and Actor’s Equity Association for their support. Other sponsors for this project include Mission Bar & Tapas.
Shakespeare & Company Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble Road, Lenox, MA Saturday, April 14 at 8:00pm
Kat Koppett- Co-Director of Mopco, Capital Region
Kristen van Ginhoven-WAM Theatre co-founder and Artistic Director, WAM Theatre-Berkshires
Mark Fleisher-Producing Artistic Director, Adirondack Theatre Festival-Capital Region
Leigh Strimbeck-WAM Theatre co-founder and Artistic Advisor-Capital Region
Liz Duffy Adams
Capital Region- Ms. Adams’ recent productions include Or, (premiered Off Broadway at WP Theater) and Dog Act (Flux Theater Ensemble in NYC). Among other honors she has received a 2012 Women of Achievement Award, a Lillian Hellman Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a New Dramatists residency.
Berkshires- Ms. Newby is a playwright for the Barrington Stage Company Playwright Mentoring Program. She is also a writing instructor at MCLA, where she has worked closely with the Women’s Center on various theatrical projects. She is co-Artistic Director of Main Street Stage.
Capital Region-Ms. Koppett is the Co-Director of The Mop & Bucket Theatre Company (aka Mopco) and the author of “Training to Imagine”, a book on the use of improvisational theatre techniques to enhance professional performance. She was a finalist in the Playground Emerging Playwrights Festival in San Francisco. In 1995, Theatreweek Magazine named Kat one of the year’s unsung heroes for her creation of the improvised musical format, “Spontaneous Broadway.”
Capital Region- Ms. Parrish is a playwright, filmmaker, educator, and storyteller. HEROIC GIRLZ (the stage play she co-wrote with four 11-year-old girls, and then a film which she wrote and directed) has won numerous national and international awards, and has been performed or screened at many venues, including the United Nations. For a number of years, Cindy has been a playwright-in-residence in local schools.
Berkshires- Ms. Siegel’s writing credits include So Sing Already! at the New End, London and Callback for 10 Minutes in the Berkshires. She has worked as an actor at Stageworks Hudson, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Birmingham Rep (UK), and London’s Royal Court. She trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
David Bunce- Artist-in-Residence, Theatre Institute at Sage, Russell Sage College, Capital Region
Michael Burns- Artistic Director of MOPCO, Capital Region
Danny Eaton- Producing Artistic Director, Majestic Theatre, Berkshires
Sara Katzoff- Artistic Director of The Berkshire Fringe Festival, Berkshires
Corinna May- Berkshires-based Director/actor/playwright-Berkshires
Assistant Directors: David Sernick, Jamuna Yvette Sirker
Brittney Belz-Costumes-Capital Region
Sam Craig-Scenic (Tech)-Berkshires
Joe + Jan Jurchak-Sound-Capital Region
Nick Webb- Light (Tech)-Berkshires
Valerie Carlson- Berkshires
Sara E. Friedman- Capital Region
Margaret Hall-Capital Region
Brandi Klein-Capital Region
Kathleen Carey-Capital Region
Lezlie Dana-Capital Region
Tim Dugan-Capital Region
Lora Lee Ecobelli-Capital Region
Joey Hunziker-Capital Region
Ron Komora-Capital Region
Daniela Malave-Capital Region
Tony Pallone-Capital Region
Yvonne Perry-Capital Region
Kevin Craig West-Capital Region
Stewart Zully-Capital Region
Front of House/Program:
This is a SWAN day event. SWAN Day/Support Women Artists Now Day is a new international holiday that celebrates women artists. It is an annual event taking place on the last Saturday of March (Women’s History Month) and the surrounding weeks. The official date of the Fifth International SWAN Day is Saturday, March 31, 2012, and it will also be celebrated throughout the months of March and April 2012. By focusing attention on the work of women artists, SWAN Day helps people imagine what the world might be like if women’s art and perspectives were fully integrated into all of our lives.
About WAM Theatre:
WAM Theatre is a theatre company based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and the Capital Region of New York State. Inspired by the book ‘Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide’ by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, WAM Theatre was founded in 2009 by professional theatre artists Kristen van Ginhoven and Leigh Strimbeck. WAM’s philanthropic mission is two-fold; first, producing theatrical events for everyone, with a focus on women theatre artists and/or stories of women and girls; second, to donate a portion of the proceeds from those events to organizations that benefit women and girls.www.wamtheatre.com www.wamtheatre.com
Live performance fills a central, universal need of humankind. This need cannot be met by passive reception of electronic or virtual paths, but must be experienced with all five senses. MopCo believes that the best theatre comes out of an active collaboration between performer and audience. We constantly expand, refine, and redefine our own concept of what improvisation in performance is. This is because the company acts on the assumption that that which is unchanging is probably dead, and will therefore begin to stink soon, if it doesn’t already. www.mopco.org