Pittsfield, MA – WAM Theatre announced that Ashley Berridge will ascend to the role of WAM’s new Board President. She takes over from Nick Webb, who served as WAM’s President of the Board since it’s founding in 2009.In accepting the responsibility, Berridge commented: “I am thrilled to come on board as president at a time when the organization is poised for real growth. It is a particular source of pride for me to be a part of an organization that has remained fiscally responsible its first 3 years in existence, a true feat in the non-profit arts arena. I look forward to helping Kristen to grow the board and take WAM to the next level as an established and well-respected professional theatre organization in the Berkshires.”
Kristen van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM Theatre says, ‘We are excited to have Ashley as our new President. Her passion for the theatre and creating opportunity for women and girls, her non-profit and fundraising experience and her event expertise make her a perfect fit for WAM. We are grateful to Nick Webb for his service as our inaugural President. His work ensured we launched successfully, built an engaged board of directors and developed a loyal community of supporters. We look forward to working with Ashley and the rest of the growing board to increase WAM’s impact and ability to create theatre for everyone that benefits women and girls.”
Ms. Berridge is an event manager who specializes in non-profit and fundraising events. She currently serves as Director of Special Events and Conference Planning at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). In addition to her role in events, she manages the college’s capital campaign and alumni magazine. Prior to MCLA, Ashley worked in development and events at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival as the Manager of Individual Support. Her background in the arts extends to work as an arts manager for Parsons Dance Company, Nashville Opera, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Nashville Symphony, and Nashville Chamber Orchestra. In 2000, she co-founded the New York City-based theatre company Little Artistic Value, serving as their founding managing director. A graduate of Oklahoma City University with a degree in dance management, Ashley enjoyed a career as a professional dancer prior to her foray into arts administration and event management. She stays connected to the arts through her husband Brad, who is a freelance sound artist. Their five-year old daughter Emma is a theatre artist-in-training.
Berridge concludes, “What drew me to WAM in the first place is its double philanthropic mission. It is a place where I can feel connected to an art form I enjoy while supporting a cause I feel passionate about – women’s rights. WAM’s mission is unique and truly selfless, which I love. And, the board is fully committed to honoring that mission, which is fantastic! I am delighted to take on this new leadership role and build upon the solid foundation that has already been laid for WAM.”
WAM Theatre’s Board of Directors: Ashley Berridge, Jim Benson, Brenny Rabine, Leigh Strimbeck , Tammy Valicenti, Kristen van Ginhoven and Nick Webb.
WAM’s upcoming events include ‘like/unlike’:WAM @ WordxWord from August 13-17, created and directed by Leigh Strimbeck, and the World Premiere of ‘The Old Mezzo’ by Susan Dworkin from October 12-28. More info: WAMTheatre.com
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. WAM has donated nearly $5000 to its beneficiaries by creating professional theatre for everyone that benefits women and girls. www.wamtheatre.com