Young women 13-18 have rare opportunity for growth in WAM Theatre’s Girls Ensemble

Barby Cardillo and the cast prepare to share their work...

Barby Cardillo and the cast prepare to share their work…

WAM Theatre has scheduled auditions for their Girls Ensemble theatre education program for girls aged 13-18. Auditions will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 1-4 pm at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 67 East St., Pittsfield, MA. WAM is seeking 10-12 committed young women who are interested in all aspects of theatre making to be part of the this second Girls Ensemble cohort. This is a tuition-based program but financial assistance is available and all accepted participants will be able to participate.

The first Girls Ensemble cohort gathered in the fall of 2015. Under the leadership of accomplished teaching artists Barby Cardillo and Amy Brentano they devised a 30-minute piece made up of scenes, monologues, ensemble movement, song, and dance titled Miss Labeled – an exploration around the labels young women deal with in today’s society. Reaction was so positive that the Ensemble reformed to tour Berkshire County middle and high schools and do a second public performance in the spring of 2016.

“I decided to audition when I found out it was an opportunity to work with a group of girls my age to create a show about issues that were common to all of us,” Claudia Maurino, now a high school sophomore, explained about her experience with the first Girls Ensemble. “I enjoyed the process – coming up with ideas about things we all enjoyed and cared about and then creating different scenes and monologues based off of that.”

“I’d never done devised theatre before,” said inaugural Girls Ensemble member Iris Courchaine, now a junior. “I had to get used to the fact that it is constantly changing, that if someone has an idea they can present it to the group and it can be tried out and maybe included. Because of that, I expected the final piece to be a little more informal, I didn’t expect it to end up to be as complete of a show as it ended up being.”

Devised theatre is a collaborative process where the participants use different theatre techniques, such as improvisation, movement, physical theatre, theatre games and writing, to create original material around a chosen starting point. The original show, created by the participants, will have strong production values, be presented in a professional theatre and share the perspectives and stories of the participants around a theme of importance in their lives, chosen together during the rehearsal process.

These auditions will gather the second Girls Ensemble cohort who will create their devised theatre piece in the new year and present their work for the first time on February 17, 2017 for family, friends, and other invited guests at Shakespeare and Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox, MA.

For the auditions, girls are asked to prepare an original piece — a poem, a song, a dance, a monologue, a painting, or a combination of those that is between 1-2 minutes in length. They will also participate in the group audition, which will involve theatre games and ensemble group building activities. All those auditioning are required to be present for the whole audition time from 1-4 pm on Saturday, December 10, 2016.

Regular rehearsals will be on Wednesdays from 3:30-6:30 pm and Saturdays from 1-4 pm at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Pittsfield, MA. Intensive tech and dress rehearsals will start on Sunday, February 12 through Thursday, February 16, 2017 at Shakespeare and Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox, MA. Participants chosen for the Ensemble must commit to being present for ALL rehearsals between January 4 and February 16, 2017. For all the details, visit: http://www.wamtheatre.com/out-of-school-program-girls-ensemble/

To book an audition or to ask any questions e-mail Alicia Maher, WAM Education Coordinator, at alicia@wamtheatre.com or call WAM at 413-274-8122.

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