WAM Theatre Announces Casting for Fresh Takes Reading of “Photograph 51”

Rosalind Franklin (left) and the famous Photo 51 (right) that revealed the double helix structure of DNA. She never got credit for the discovery.

Rosalind Franklin (left) and the famous Photo 51 (right) that revealed the double helix structure of DNA. She never got credit for the discovery.

Coming up soon is the second offering in WAM Theatre’s 2016 Fresh Takes Play Reading Series, Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler, directed by Kelly Galvin. The reading will take place on Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 3 pm at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, 6 Depot Street in West Stockbridge, MA.


Fresh Takes takes pride in featuring local actors, artists audiences have grown to love on area stages over the years.  The cast of Photograph 51 features Jennie Jadow as Rosalind, Ryan Winkles (WAM’s The Old Mezzo, Shakespeare & Company’s Henry V) as Maurice, Brendan Cataldo (WAM Theatre’s Emilie, Gallery Players’ Macbeth), as Don, Shayne David Peris (WAM’s Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, Capital Repertory Theatre’s The Blue Sky Boys) as James, and Doug Seldin (Shakespeare & Company’s Comedy of Errors and Mother Courage) as Francis. For detailed information on the cast go to: http://www.wamtheatre.com/photograph-51/


Since 2014 the Fresh Takes series has been introducing Berkshire audiences to ground-breaking works by established women playwrights, focusing on relevant, provocative, uplifting plays that encourage dialogue and deal with current and controversial issues in artful ways. The 2016 Fresh Takes season is sponsored by No. Six Depot and Kristin and James Hatt.


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.


“I’m intrigued by the central question that this play poses: What makes us who we are?” Galvin said. “As the characters fight to find answers in their study of DNA, the play itself delves into the mystery and complexity of what makes us act the way we act, what makes us want the things we want, and what makes us love the people we love.”


“I am thrilled to be a part of WAM’s Fresh Takes play reading series One of the mysteries that I look forward to exploring is whether or not Rosalind’s devotion to her work, and her excellence in her scientific field came at great cost to her emotional life, or , if, simply, she didn’t “focus” on such things,” said Jennie Jadow who will play the leading role of Rosalind. “We don’t tend to apply such musing to male characters, and mostly give them license to be fully professionally immersed without being “burdened” by the split focus of family and social obligations. What if we apply to the same Rosalind? What if we let her simply be a scientific pioneer?”


“I also love Ziegler’s treatment of Rosalind– she draws attention to this relatively unknown scientist and gives her a bit of the recognition that she deserves for her remarkable work,” Galvin added, “but, even more importantly, she renders a really truthful portrait of a woman, full of complex desires, motivations, and fears. The play’s terrific theatricality combined with its intelligent treatment of the subject matter gives us such a fun playground for storytelling.”


After Photograph 51 the Fresh Takes Series continues with 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.


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, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the Berkshire Community College, to co-present a companion class called ‘Fresh Takes/Your Take’. Starting on May 16, the Monday, following the 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.

About the Playwright: ANNA ZIEGLER

Playwright Anna Ziegler

Playwright Anna Ziegler

WAM Theatre: Debut. Plays: Photograph 51 (recently ran on the West End in London, directed by Michael Grandage and starring Nicole Kidman), The Last Match (upcoming at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, CA and City Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA), Boy (upcoming at Keen Company/Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City), A Delicate Ship (The Playwrights Realm, August-September, 2015 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, New York City; previously produced at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Another Way Home (upcoming in Washington DC at Theater J; previously produced at The Magic Theatre, San Francisco, CA), Dov and Ali(Theatre503; The Playwrights Realm), The Minotaur (Rorschach Theatre; Synchronicity Theatre) and BFF(WET Productions at the DR2 Theatre, New York City). Et Cetera: She has been commissioned by The Manhattan Theatre Club, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Virginia Stage Company and New Georges. Her plays have been developed at The Sundance Theatre Lab, The O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, New York Stage and Film, The Araca Group, Old Vic New Voices, and Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab, among others. Training: Anna is a graduate of Yale College and holds an M.F.A. in dramatic writing from the Tisch School of the Arts.


About the Director: KELLY GALVIN

WAM Theatre: The Tall Girls reading (director), Artistic Associate (2012-2014), Fresh Takes Inaugural Play Reading Series (Curator and Producer), Blue Stockings reading (Director), Emilie (Producer), 10x10on10 (Performer). Elsewhere: Boston University School of Theatre: Director: The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Duchess of Malfi, The Tall Girls, Changes of Heart. Assistant Director: Parade, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play. Shakespeare & Company: Company member since 2008. Director: The 2009 Bankside Preludes, The Great Mail Robbery. Assistant Director: All’s Well That Ends Well, Hamlet, and Twelfth Night. Performer: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, King Lear, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Learned Ladies, The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare & The Language That Shaped A World, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and The Venetian Twins. Education Artist: Fall Festival of Shakespeare, Riotous Youth, Young Company. Bedlam: Assistant Director:Twelfth Night and What You Will (dir. Eric Tucker). Orlando Shakespeare Theatre: Assistant Director: Julius Caesar (dir. Tina Packer). Boston Center for American Performance: Assistant Director: Krapp’s Last Tape & The Dumbwaiter (dir. Clay Hopper). Kitchen Theatre Company: Director: Red, Performer: Secret Order, Emmet & Ella. The Boston Publick Theatre: Director: Young Company Romeo & Juliet. Awards: Davenport Prize for Acting (Wellesley College, 2007); IRNE Nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Pride and Prejudice. Training: Wellesley College (BA, Political Theory and Theatre Studies). Currently pursuing an MFA in Directing and Certificate in Arts Administration at Boston University.




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:



The OLLI companion classes are offered in Room G-10 on the Pittsfield campus of Berkshire Community College (1350 West Street), 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. For registration and information visit: http://www.wamtheatre.com/fresh-takesyour-take-olli-classes/


May 15, 2016 (OLLI companion class May 16)

Photograph 51

by Anna Ziegler

directed by Kelly Galvin


June 19, 2016 (OLLI companion class June 20)

The Oregon Trail

by Bekah Brunstetter

directed by Estefanía Fadul


August 21, 2016 (OLLI companion class August 22)


by Lauren Yee

directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian


September 11, 2016 (OLLI companion class September 12)

Grand Concourse

by Heidi Shreck

directed by Sheila Siragusa




WAM Theatre’s 2016 sponsors include the  Brabson Library & Educational Foundation, Berkshire Magazine, Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing, Dylandale Foundation, Feigenbaum Foundation, Greylock Federal Credit Union, International Schools Theatre Association, Jon Gotterer DMD, Lenox Education Enrichment Fund, Massachusetts Cultural Council, MAXYMILLIAN Technologies, Nina Molin MD, No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, The Sherman Investment Group-RBC Wealth Management, Petricca Industries, Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, Regina Burgio, Rouge Restaurant & Bistro, and A. von Schlegell & Co.


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.




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. For more information, visit www.WAMTheatre.com

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