WAM Theatre has announced the cast for the last of their 2016 Fresh Takes Play Reading Series, Grand Concourse by Heidi Schreck, directed by Sheila Siragusa. The reading will take place on Sunday, September 11 at 3 pm at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, 6 Depot Street in West Stockbridge, MA.
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.
“[Playwright Heidi] Schreck brilliantly upends our assumptions while treating us to deep characterization and beautifully penned dialogue.” – Sheila Siragusa
The cast includes Thomas Brazzle (Merchant of Venice, Two Gentlemen of Verona; Shakespeare & Company), Maconnia Chesser (The Revolutionists, Marianne Angelle) as Shelley, Maizy Scarpa (Fresh Takes: The Tall Girls; 24 Hour Theatre Project, playwright) as Emma, and Walton Wilson (Shakespeare & Company; Berkshire Theatre Group) as Frog. Wilson is making his WAM Theatre debut. Click here for detailed information on the cast.
“I’m excited to participate in the staging of this play at a time in which discourse around one’s ability to ‘do good” in our world is increasingly complex,” Siragusa explained. “In Grand Concourse, Schreck brilliantly upends our assumptions while treating us to deep characterization and beautifully penned dialogue.”
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.
About the Playwright: Heidi Schreck
WAM Theatre: Debut. Plays: Her first play Creature was produced in New York in by New Georges and Page 73 in a well-received production directed by Leigh Silverman; her second There Are No More Big Secrets, directed by Kip Fagan, premiered at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, and was a New York Magazine and Time Out New York’s Critic’s pick. Most recently, The Long Wharf produced her dark recession-era comedy, The Consultant, which was developed at Playwrights and also directed by Fagan. Et Cetera: A former Page 73 Playwriting Fellow and Sundance artist, Heidi is currently working on commissions for South Coast Repertory Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan Foundation, and True Love Productions. Grand Concoursemarks her return to Playwrights Horizons after appearing as an actor in Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation (Theatre World Award) in 2010. She is also a two-time Obie Award-winning actor and has also performed extensively at theaters such as The Public (Shakespeare in the Park), Manhattan Theatre Club, Two-Headed Calf, The Foundry, Clubbed Thumb, The Women’s Project, The Roundabout, Williamstown, Berkeley Rep and Center Theatre Group. On television, Heidi has appeared on The Good Wife, SVU, and Showtimes’ Nurse Jackie, where she has also worked as a writer. Heidi is Playwrights Horizons’ first Tow Foundation playwright in residence.
About the Director: Sheila Siragusa
WAM Theatre: Debut. Elsewhere: Is co-founder and director of The August Company, directing first folio Shakespeare with Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing,Twelfth Night and As You Like It. Other credits with August Company: OnWords: Gone, OnWords: Chekhov and Santacide Chester Theatre Company: Mercy of a Storm, Memory House, Blackbird, An Iliad and the New England premiere of Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus’s adaptation of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Abingdon Theatre Company: Personals. New Century Theatre: Sunset Limited and The How and the Why. She worked on Harley Erdman and Eric Sawyer’s original opera The Garden of Martyrs and directed Opera: On the Air at the University of Massachusetts. Sheila is a founding member of the KO Festival of Performance, at which she acted, directed, wrote and composed in several productions. Awards: Received the Social Justice Theatre award from The Kennedy Center for her original play Water, a movement/theatre piece about privatization of natural resources.
WAM Theatre is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Our 2016 sponsors include the Adams Community Bank, Brabson Library & Educational Foundation, Berkshire Magazine, Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing, Canyon Ranch, Custom Business Solution, Dylandale Foundation, Feigenbaum Foundation, Garden Gables, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, International Schools Theatre Association, Interprint, Dr. Jay Wise, DDS & Dr. Casey Jones, DMD, Jon Gotterer DMD, Keator Group, LLC, Lee Bank, Lenox Education Enrichment Fund, Massachusetts Cultural Council, MAXYMILLIAN Technologies, Nina Molin MD, No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, Petricca Industries, Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, RB Design Co., The Rookwood Inn, Rouge Restaurant & Bistro, Toole Insurance, A. von Schlegell & Co., The Sherman Investment Group-RBC Wealth Management, and Zabian’s Fine Jewelers.
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. For more information, visit http://www.WAMTheatre.com