WAM’s sets Fresh Takes Play Readings for 2016


WAM Theatre Announces Third Series of Fresh Takes Play Readings
Call for Actor Submissions Now Open

Lenox, MA – WAM Theatre has revealed its line-up for the third season of their popular Fresh Takes Play Readings on select Sunday afternoons at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café in West Stockbridge. Each reading is followed by a talkback with the actors and director, and this year WAM is teaming with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Berkshire Community College to offer companion classes with WAM Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven on the Monday following each reading.

Curated once again by WAM Theatre’s Artistic Associate Molly Clancy, Fresh Takes introduces Berkshire audiences to ground-breaking works by established women playwrights who are contributing to the international conversation throughout the English-speaking theatre.

Fresh Takes also takes pride in featuring local actors, artists audiences have grown to love on area stages over the years. Actors interested in being considered for the series should read on for information on the submission process.

This is Clancy’s second season curating the series. “Over recent months I have had the pleasure of reading tons and tons of play scripts from amazing female playwrights from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, looking for unique and different voices that tell the stories of women and girls in really fresh and exciting ways,” Clancy explained. “In keeping with WAM’s mission, I seek out relevant, provocative, uplifting works that encourage dialogue and deal with current and controversial issues in artful ways.”

The season kicks off on April 17 with a reading of The Last Wife, by Kate Hennig, directed by Molly Clancy; followed by Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler, directed by Kelly Galvin on May 15; 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. The 2016 Fresh Takes season is sponsored by No. Six Depot and Kristin and James Hatt.

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 to co-present a companion class called ‘Fresh Takes/Your Take’. Starting on the Monday following the May 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.

Open Call for Actor Submissions

WAM is also putting out a call for actor submissions for the Fresh Takes series. Interested theatre artists are invited to submit a resume and headshot to Hope Rose Kelly, General Manager, at hope@wamtheatre.com by March 21 with ‘Submission: Fresh Takes’ in the subject line. Please include the readings for which you are available in the body of your e-mail.

Participation in the reading series is voluntary, and actors must have experience with and be comfortable at cold readings. Equity actors are invited to perform via Equity waiver. Each reading will rehearse on the Saturday prior to the performance. Actors must be available for both the rehearsal and reading date.

For casting breakdown and more information visit WAM.


Fresh Takes Play Reading Series
Curated by WAM Theatre’s Artistic Associate Molly Clancy and hosted by No. Six Depot Roastery and Café on 6 Depot Street in West Stockbridge, MA, on select Sundays at 3 pm.

The 2016 Fresh Takes series is sponsored by No. Six Depot Roastery and Café and Kristin and James Hatt.

There are only 30 tickets available per reading. Tickets are $20, which includes a post-show conversation and the opportunity to meet the cast and director. Refreshments will be available for purchase at the Café. For tickets and more information visit WAM.

The companion classes are offered at OLLI’s Pittsfield campus at Berkshire Community College on Monday May 16, June 20, August 22, and September 12 from 7-8:30 pm. $20 for reading only; $40 for one reading/companion class; $139 for all four readings/companion classes. Registration and information here.

BOSHennigApril 17, 2016
The Last Wife
by Kate Hennig (seen above)
directed by Molly Clancy

Kate is smart, poised, and passionate, a rising star in a world of intense competition, but her obligatory marriage to Henry is rife with the threat of violence and deceit, her devotion to the education of his daughters is putting strain on her marriage. A contemporary retelling of the compelling relationship between Katherine Parr and Henry VIII; WAM Theatre invites audiences to a powerful examination of patriarchy, sexual politics and women’s rights. The play had its world premiere in 2015, with a sold out extended run at the Stratford Festival in Canada.

BOSZieglerMay 15, 2016
Photograph 51
by Anna Ziegler (seen above)
directed by Kelly Galvin

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.

BOSBekahJune 19, 2016
The Oregon Trail
by Bekah Brunstetter (seen above)
directed by Estefanía Fadul

A tale of two young women, both named Jane. One is an awkward middle schooler with body odor and epic skills for The Oregon Trail computer game. The other Jane is the woman in the game, living through the hardships of trail life with her family. Looking at the impact of memory and the legacy of sadness across generations, the play weaves parallel stories of survival, and asks the age-old question – do you want to ford the river? WAM is proud to present Brunstetter’s funny, imaginative and poignant play, which had it’s world premiere at the 2015 Women’s Voices Theatre Festival in Washington D.C.

BOSYeeAugust 21, 2016
by Lauren Yee (seen above)
directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian

Katie and Craig are having a baby, with a surrogate who lives in India. A month before the baby’s due date, Craig travels to the subcontinent, where he meets Suraiya, their young, less-than-thrilled surrogate. As all three “parents” anxiously wait for the baby to be born, flights of fancy attack them from all sides, in the form of an unctuous Frenchman and a smart-mouthed fetus. WAM Theatre is proud to share this vibrant and whimsical take on modern day colonialism.

BOSshreckSeptember 11, 2016
Grand Concourse
by Heidi Shreck (seen above)
directed by Sheila Siragusa

Called to a life of service, Shelley is the devoted manager of a Bronx soup kitchen, but lately her heart’s not in it. Enter Emma: an idealistic but confused young volunteer, whose recklessness pushes Shelley to the breaking point. With keen humor and startling compassion, Schreck’s play navigates the mystery of faith, the limits of forgiveness, and the pursuit of happiness. WAM Theatre is pleased to share a play which was a nominee for the 2015 Lucille Lortel Award and a finalist for the 2015 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.


WAM’s 2016 sponsors include the Brabson Library & Educational Foundation, Dylandale Foundation, Feigenbaum Foundation, Greylock Federal Credit Union, International Schools Theatre Association, Jon Gotterer DMD, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Nina Molin MD, No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, RBC Wealth Management, Petricca Industries, and Regina Burgio.

WAM Theatre is also supported in part by grants from the Lenox, Alford-Egremont, Pittsfield Cultural Council, Cultural Council of Northern Berkshires , Washington Cultural Council, Monterey Cultural Council, Stockbridge Cultural Council, West Stockbridge Cultural Council, Richmond Cultural Council – local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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