Bekah Brunstetter’s “The Oregon Trail” next for WAM’s Fresh Takes play reading series


WAM Theatre has announced the cast for the third in their 2016 Fresh Takes Play Reading Series, The Oregon Trail by Bekah Brunstetter, directed by Estefanía Fadul. The reading will take place on Sunday, June 19, 2016 at 3 pm at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, 6 Depot Street in West Stockbridge, MA.

Fresh Takes takes pride in introducing new faces and emerging artists to Berkshire audiences. With the exception of Zoe Laiz, who has appeared in Fresh Takes Readings in 2014 and 2015, the rest of the cast are making their WAM Theatre debut. The cast of The Oregon Trail features Kaleigh Cerqua (Theatre Institute at Sage’s The Trojan Women and The Wizard of Oz) as Then Jane; Caleb John Cushing (Classics @ the Point’s The Glass Menagerie The Theater Barn’s Moon Over Buffalo) as Billy; Zoe Laiz (WAM’s Water By The Spoonful, Shakespeare & Company’s Twelfth Night) as Jane; John Romeo (Theatre Institute at Sage’s Christmas Carol, Saratoga Shakespeare Company’s Macbeth) as Clancy; and Kate Washington (Shakespeare & Company’s Fall Festival, Austen Riggs Center’s King Lear ) as Mary Ann. For detailed information on the cast go to:

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 DC.

Fadul is also making her WAM Theatre and Berkshire area debut. “We are so excited to have Estefanía directing for WAM,” said WAM Co-Founder and Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven. “I met her when we participated in the Lincoln Center Theatre Lab together a few years back. She’s a 2015 Fall Fellow of the Drama League Directors Project, a 2014-15 Van Lier Fellow at Repertorio Español, and the founding artistic director of Pleiades Productions. We are catching her as she emerges into what promises to be an outstanding career in theatre.”

“The Oregon Trail is so wonderfully quirky- in the language, the characters, and even the structure. Bekah Brunstetter has created a unique world that is at once real and imaginary, human and technological,” Fadul said, “I also strongly believe in WAM’s mission to support the work of women artists in the theatre. My own work is very focused on women’s stories or plays that feature three-dimensional, complex female characters. Companies like WAM are integral to supporting female voices and making our stories -which have traditionally been underrepresented on stage- accessible to an audience of women and men alike.”

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.

After The Oregon Trail, the Fresh Takes Series continues with Samsara by Lauren Yee on August 21; and Grand Concourse by Heidi Shreck, directed by Sheila Siragusa, on September 11.

About the Playwright: Bekah Brunstetter

WAM Theatre: Debut. Plays: Oohrah! (Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater) Miss Lilly Gets Boned (Lark Playwrights Week)To Nineveh (NY Innovative Theater Award for Best New Full-length Play); Sick(Winner, Sam French Short Play Festival); Green (Finalist, Alliance Theater’s Kendeda Competition; National Finalist, Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival; Semi-finalst, O’Neill); Space (Semi-finalist, Princess Grace Award); I Used To Write On Walls; Fat Kids On Fire; You May Go Now: A Marriage Play; Arms; Le Fou; Happy Birthday / I’m Dead (Finalist, Samuel French Short Play Festival). Venues: Her plays have been read and produced by New York Stage and Film, Luna Stage, the Babel Theatre Project, The Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater, the Ohio Theater (Think Tank), New Georges, NYU, Centenary Stage, NC New Voices, The New School for Drama, Working Man’s Clothes, Flux Theatre Ensemble, Phare Play Productions, Old Vic/New Voices, Boston Theatre Works, Manhattan Theatre Source, SPF, The Alliance Theater, and The Atlantic. Et Cetera: She was the 2009 playwright in residence at Ars Nova. She is currently working a commission for the Roundabout Underground and Naked Angels, and the Williamstown Theater Festival. Training: BA from UNC Chapel Hill and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the New School for Drama.

About the Director: Estefanía Fadul

WAM Theatre: Debut. Elsewhere: Directing includes The House of the Spirits(SUNY Purchase, guest director), Cell (Drama League DirectorFest), Well (Pleiades Productions), so go the ghosts of méxico and El Laurel de Apolo (Repertorio Español), Underneath (Around the Block/5D), A Streetcar Named Desire (Vassar College). Assistant directing includes: Public Theatre, MCC, Classic Stage Company, OSF, The Flea, PlayMakers. Training: BA Vassar College, Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab. Awards:Drama League Directors Project Fellowship, Repertorio Español Van Lier Fellowship, Kazan Prize for Theatre (Vassar). Website:

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:

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