Last Audition Call for WAM Theatre’s Girls Ensemble

WAM Theatre has announced a second round of Girls Ensemble auditions for girls aged 13-18 on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 from 4:30-6:30 pm at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 67 East St., Pittsfield, MA. This will enable more young women to qualify for the company’s Girl Ensemble and the recently announced travel and learning opportunity for its participants which will include travel to the ISTA Conference in Atlanta.

Under the direction of WAM Teaching Artists Amy Brentano and Barby Cardillo, the 2017 Girls Ensemble cohort will create their own devised theatre piece, which will be presented 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, which will be followed by a Berkshire County schools tour in March and April. 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 resulting performance will have strong production values and share the perspectives and stories of the participants around a theme of importance in their lives, chosen together during the rehearsal process.

And this year, thanks to the generosity of the International Schools Theatre Association (known as ISTA), all members of the 2017 Girls Ensemble will be invited to attend the ISTA Conference in Atlanta, Georgia in March at no cost. Based in the United Kingdom, ISTA brings together young people, artists and teachers from different countries to experience, create and learn about theatre.

“I have attended many ISTA festivals around the world as a teacher, artist, and consultant,” said Kristen van Ginhoven, WAM’s co-founder and Artistic Director who has been involved with ISTA since 2005. “WAM is so excited for this opportunity from ISTA. I am sure that WAM’s Girls Ensemble participants will have a wonderful time in Atlanta and really benefit from this incredible learning experience.”

WAM Theatre is one of two projects ISTA endorses as part of their ISTA Connect program. The other program is in Kolkata, India. More information about the ISTA trip and ensemble can be found at:

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. This is a tuition-based program but financial assistance is available and all accepted participants will be able to participate. All those auditioning are required to be present for the whole audition time from 4:39-6:30 pm on Wednesday, January 4, 2017.

Regular rehearsals will be on Wednesdays from 4:30-7:30 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, as well as for tour dates in March/April. For all the details, visit:

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


Barby Cardillo is an experienced Teaching Artist and trained social worker who has taught at Community Access to the Arts, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, and Barrington Stage, WAM Education Associate Barby Cardillo has directed the company’s education program at Girls, Inc. for several years. She was most recently seen on stage as Juliet’s Nurse in the Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park production of Romeo and Juliet. In addition she has performed with WAM, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, Boston Playwright’s Theatre, Mixed Company, New Stage, Whitney Arts Center, and the Berkshire Fringe Festival. An experienced improv artist, Cardillo is a founding member of the Royal Berkshire Improv Troupe (RBIT) and The Majesters Improv Troupe.

Amy Brentano was the film and theatre director at Berkshire Country Day School for four years, and she teaches and directs theatre at Richmond Consolidated School. In the past she has worked for Berkshire Theatre Group, Barrington Stage Playwright Mentoring Project, and the Southern Berkshire Regional School District. Brentano was the Co-artistic Director for Red Earth Ensemble and Producing Director for Don Quijote Experimental Children’s Theatre at Lincoln Square Theatre. She performed under the direction of Moises Kaufman at Theatre for the New City; and at La MaMa ETC as an ensemble member of Teatron. Most recently she appeared in an original piece at Shire City in Pittsfield with Kickwheel Ensemble.

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