WAM, Rachel Siegel, Jayne Atkinson, focus on “Special” in workshop production

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WAM Theatre Announces Special Collaboration with Rachel Siegel
Work-in-Progress Showing March 18-20 at The Unicorn Theatre

Lenox, MA –  WAM Theatre is co-producing a workshop production of Special with playwright and actress Rachel Siegel at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge March 18-20, 2016. Created and performed by Siegel, and based on personal experience and interviews with mothers of children with special needs, Special follows one woman’s journey after she discovers she is pregnant with a child with Down syndrome.

WAM Advisory Board member Jayne Atkinson will direct this funny, unstinting, and ultimately inspiring look into the complexities and possibilities of love. “I am very honored to be part of Special,” Atkinson said. “It is a humorous, poignant, at times dark journey – an eye of the needle experience that will move us all deeply.”

bwIMG_7173-200x300“I did a lot of writing during my pregnancy with [our son with Down Syndrome], and knew that I would do something with it eventually,” Siegel explained. “I wanted to broaden the story and interview other mothers, but I really didn’t know any other parents of special needs children. Then I found this wonderful organization called Whole Children in Hadley, started by mothers who knew they needed this kind of group for their own children and for themselves. There I met wonderful women, wonderful mothers, who wanted to do the best for their children. And they agreed to be interviewed by me.”

Performances of Special are scheduled for Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 pm, and on Sunday, March 20 at 2 pm at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre located at 6 East Street in Stockbridge, MA. A portion of box office proceeds from the March 19 performance will be donated to the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, and a portion of the proceeds from the March 18 & 20 performance will be donated to Whole Children, and CATA. All tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling 413-997-4444 or visiting: www.wamtheatre.com/special/

AT A GLANCE

March 18-20
Special
Workshop Production/Play in Development
Created and Performed by Rachel Siegel
Directed by Jayne Atkinson
Co-produced by Rachel Siegel and WAM Theatre
March 18-20
on the Larry Vaber Stage in the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge, MA

Based on personal experience and inspired by interviews with mothers of children with special needs, Special follows one woman’s journey after she discovers she is pregnant with a child with Down syndrome. Special is a funny, unstinting, and ultimately inspiring look into the complexities and possibilities of love.

A portion of box office proceeds will be donated to the following organizations:
March 19: Berkshire Festival of Women Writers
March 18 and 20: Whole Children and CATA

Dates/Times:
Friday, March 18 @ 7:30
Saturday, March 19 @ 7:30 * Special benefit for BFWW
Sunday, March 20 @ 2:00

Tickets:
$20
Tickets available through the WAM website.

large_rachelsiegelABOUT Rachel Siegel

Rachel has performed widely in the Berkshires, New York, and abroad in theatre at venues such as Stageworks (Hudson); Shakespeare & Co.; Williamstown Theatre Festival; Berkshire Theatre Festival. She trained at RADA in the UK and performed there at The New End Theatre, Birmingham Rep, and The Royal Court. Her TV work includes Chappelle’s Show (3 episodes), Wit (HBO), and BBC Drama. Writing credits include Von Trapp Family Inn (premiered Boston Women in Comedy Festival 2013); So Sing Already! at the New End, London; I Heart Cory Booker (WAM/MOPCO 24-hour fest).

ABOUT Jayne Atkinson

Jayne has enjoyed a long and varied career as an actress, wife and mother. She has appeared in regional theatre, off-Broadway, and Broadway, and counts two Drama Desk, an Outer Critics Circle and Tony nominations to her name. She is best known on television for her long-running roles in 24, Criminal Minds, and the current Netflix original series House of Cards, and on film for her roles in Free Willy, and Free Willy 2. Directing credits include Motherhood Out Loud and Can You Hear Me, Baby?, both for the BFWW. She runs Jadana Productions, which specializes in entertainment development. www.jayne-atkinson.com.

WAM SEASON SPONSORS

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.

ABOUT WAM THEATRE

Based in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, WAM Theatre is Where Arts and Activism Meet. The company was co-founded in 2010 by Canadian director, actor, educator, and producer Kristen van Ginhoven. WAM’s vision is to create opportunity for women and girls through the mission of theatre as philanthropy.

Inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, WAM donates a portion of the proceeds from its theatrical events to organizations that benefit women and girls.

Over the past six years, WAM Theatre has donated more than $21,000 to eight nonprofit organizations and provided paid work to more than 175 theatre artists. In addition to the main stage productions and special events, WAM Theatre’s activities include a comprehensive educational outreach program and the Fresh Takes Play Reading Series.

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