LENOX, MA (September 7, 2017) – Tickets are now on sale for WAM Theatre’s fall Mainstage production of The Last Wife by Kate Hennig, directed by Kelly Galvin. The play premiered at the Stratford Festival in 2015 and enjoyed a completely sold-out and extended run. Performances of this Northeast Regional Premiere production are scheduled for October 13-November 5, 2017, at Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St, Lenox, MA.
A contemporary reimagining of the compelling relationship between Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife, and the King, The Last Wife is a funny, powerful examination of patriarchy, sexual politics, and women’s rights. The Last Wife stars Berkshire favorites Nehassaiu deGannes, John Hadden, and David Joseph, along with talented WAM newcomers Lily Linke, Alicia Piemme Nelson, and Raoul Silver.
“WAM Theatre opened our 2016 Fresh Takes Play Reading Series with The Last Wife to a sold out and enthusiastic crowd. Presenting this play is exciting for many reasons – one of which is that this is the first Fresh Takes play to be chosen as a WAM Mainstage Production,” said Kristen van Ginhoven, WAM Artistic Director. “This ensemble of six, led by Nehassaiu and John, is the perfect cast to bring this story to life. And we couldn’t be more excited to have Kelly Galvin, WAM’s first Fresh Takes Curator, at the helm directing The Last Wife. This is sure to be an invigorating evening of theatre that all will want to see.”
Performances of The Last Wife are Friday and Saturday Evenings at 7:30pm and Saturday and Sunday Matinees at 2pm. (Please note: no 2pm matinee on Saturday October 14 and no performances on Sunday, October 29). Regularly priced tickets are $27-$40. New for The Last Wife: Low-Priced Preview performances October 13 and 14 are $20-$28. Groups of 10+ save 20% on full-priced tickets. The Press Opening is Sunday, October 15 at 2pm. All tickets are available through the Shakespeare & Company box office at 413-637-3353 or online at tickets.shakespeare.org. The box office, located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox, is open from 11am-3pm Wednesday–Sunday (closed Monday/Tuesday), and 90 minutes prior to all performances.
For more information on WAM Theatre and The Last Wife, visit: www.wamtheatre.com/the-last-wife.
In keeping with their double philanthropic mission, WAM Theatre will be donating 25% of the box office proceeds from The Last Wife to their 13th beneficiary, The Soldier On Women’s Program.
Since 2005, Soldier On has been providing services to women veterans and currently offers a transitional housing program for up to sixteen homeless female veterans in a trauma informed care setting. WAM’s donation will support care during the transition to independent or family life for the residents of the Soldier On Women’s Program.
“The Soldier On Women’s Program is thrilled to be WAM’s 2017 beneficiary and honored to work with a program that is so passionate about improving the lives of females,” Soldier On’s Executive Director Sara Scoco said. “Their generous donation will allow Soldier On to continue to provide services and support to homeless female veterans, including groups within the program and follow up case management services after women have successfully transitioned into the community. Soldier On Women’s Program simply would not exist without benevolent donors such as WAM, and we are absolutely delighted to be a part of this experience.”
The Last Wife
by Kate Hennig
Northeast Regional Premiere
October 13-November 5, 2017
at Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre
Nehassaiu deGannes as Kate
John Hadden as Henry
Lily Linke as Mary
Alicia Piemme Nelson as Bess
David Joseph as Thom
Raoul Silver as Eddie
Director: Kelly Galvin
Assistant Director: Lia Russell-Self
Set Design: Juliana von Haubrich
Costume Design: Stella Schwartz
Lighting Design: Aja Jackson
Sound Design: Alex Sovronsky
Stage Manager: Hope Rose Kelly
Assistant Stage Manager: Shannon McManus
About thePlaywright: Kate Hennig
WAM Theatre: 2016 Fresh Takes Reading Series. Writing: Her writing includes poetry, stories, articles for industry publications, a dissertation, two blogs, and a research paper. As a playwright Kate has been a member of the Groundswell Playwrights’ Unit 2003 (More), Tarragon Playwrights’ Unit 2004 (More), and the Banff Playwrights’ Colony 2007 (More) and 2008 (Waterworks). Her play, The Eleventh David, was produced in August 2006 as part of the SummerWorks Festival, to great critical and audience acclaim. Kate has written a monologue for movement and voice called The Penelope Principle. She has written two highly subscribed blogs documenting her acting experiences with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and with Billy Elliot: The Musical on Broadway. Her play Waterworks was given a reading at the Stratford Festival in 2012. Venues: The Banff Centre, Nightwood Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Blyth Festival, Grand Theatre, Shaw Festival, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Aquarius, Theatre Passe Muraille, and Volcano. Et Cetera: Kate’s writing has been funded by the Toronto Arts Council, and by the Ontario Arts Council through the Creators’ Reserve.
About the Director: Kelly Galvin
WAM Theatre: Emilie remount (Associate Director), Artistic Associate (2012-2014), Fresh Takes Inaugural Playreading Series (Curator and Producer), Blue Stockings reading (Director), Emilie (Producer). Elsewhere: Directing: Southwest Shakespeare Company (Photograph 51), Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (Memorial), Shakespeare & Company (The Clean House reading, Fall Festival of Shakespeare 2008-2013, Bankside Preludes), Boston University School of Theatre (The Cherry Orchard, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Duchess of Malfi, The Tall Girls, Changes of Heart). Assistant Directing: Bedlam NYC, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Boston Center for American Performance, Shakespeare & Company. 2016 Directing Observership, Huntington Theatre Company. 2017 Artistic Development & Directing Internship, Arena Stage. Training: MFA Directing and Certificate in Arts Administration, Boston University. Wellesley College (BA, Political Theory and Theatre Studies).
ABOUT THE CAST
Nehassaiu deGannes (Kate)
WAM Theatre: Debut. Elsewhere: Intimate Apparel, Door of No Return, Or, (Shakespeare & Co), The Convert (Underground Railway Theatre), King Lear (Chicago Shakes), Marisol, Tallest Building In The World (Luna Stage), Doubt, A Song For My Father, (Oldcastle), Door of No Return, EQUUS with Alec Baldwin (John Drew Theatre, Guild Hall), Brave New World (Litmus/ Theatre Passe Muraille), Hamlet (Driftwood), Romeo and Juliet, Three Musketeers (Stratford Festival of Canada); and in NYC: T.B. Sheets (Buran Theater), Gertrude Stein Lab (director) & Three Gifts for Lenny Bruce, Celia (Target Margin), readings & new play development with Ensemble Studio Theatre, Red Bull, The Lark, New Dramatists, New Georges, Columbia U. Training: Trinity Rep Conservatory, Brown University MFA. Awards: Berkshire Theater Award Outstanding Supporting Actor for Or; Center For Book Arts National Poetry Award. Etcetera: Part-Time Lecturer, Theater Program, Princeton University. Thank you Kristen, Kelly, Kate Hennig & WAM! Thank you Princeton & Jane Cox too! Online: nehassaiu.com @NehassaiuActor
John Hadden (Henry)
WAM Theatre: Debut Elsewhere: John is a founding member of Shakespeare & Co (2016 “Berkie” award-winner), co-founder/artistic director of Counterpoint Theater (Boston), was artistic director at Hubbard Hall (Cambridge, NY), and associate artist with We Players (San Francisco). He has acted in and directed about 100 plays here and abroad, and his own plays, including stray dogs, Hard Rain, King Fool, and Women at War, have been seen at LaMaMa ETC, PS 122, EST, the National Arts Club, Arsenal Center for the Arts, The Colonial, Mixed Company, the Wharton Salon, and The Good Ear Review. A solo show, based on his book Conversations with a Masked Man: My Father, the CIA, and Me (Arcade 2016), is currently on tour. Online: johnlhadden.com.
David Joseph (Thom)
WAM Theatre: Debut Elsewhere: David has been at Shakespeare & Company for 12 seasons. Past roles include: The Wharton Comedies, George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Elyot in Private Lives, Dorante in The Liar, Sebastian in The Tempest, Clown 2 (12 Characters) in 39 Steps. Other recent roles include Michael in Can You Hear Me Baby (NYC & The Goodwill Theatre), George in WORD PLAY at Playwrights Horizons (NYC), Johnny in Hotel California (NYC), Coleman in I Married The Icepick Killer at Stella Adler Theatre (NYC). David is in post-production for the feature film he produced and starred in, Penny Land. Damsel by Douglas Burgdorf, another feature film, premiered at the Spain International Film Festival. Other film credits: Romeo in Romeo & Juliet for The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, Glowing Screens, Magdalena’s Brain. Et Cetera: David recently earned a Berkshire Theater Award Best Actor nomination for playing Charlie Chaplin in The Consul, The Tramp and America’s Sweetheart at Oldcastle Theatre. In 2008 and 2010, David sang the National Anthem at Fenway Park.
Lily Linke (Mary)
WAM Theatre: Debut Elsewhere: Recent credits include Good (New Repertory Theatre), Julius Caesar, 1984, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Classic Repertory Company), and The Wastelands Project (Children of the Wild). Training: She received her BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University. Et Cetera: Lily is primarily a teacher and actor/educator and has worked in schools, theaters, and after-school and summer programs on both coasts. She currently manages New Repertory Theatre’s Education department and resides in Somerville, MA.
Alicia Piemme Nelson (Bess)
WAM Theatre: Debut Elsewhere: Buck Hill Productions (As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale, The Taming of the Shrew), Bay Area Children’s Theatre (The Rainbow Fish Musical, Five Little Monkeys), Boston University (Don Juan Comes Back from the War, The Cherry Orchard, Mad Forest, The Duchess of Malfi, The Tall Girls), One Year Lease – Apprenticeship (Σε Τουτο το βουνο), Tabard Theatre (You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown). Training: BFA Acting – Boston University, Physical Theatre/Clowning – Accademia dell’Arte Awards: KCACTF Region VII Finalist Online: ampnelson.com
Raoul Silver (Eddie)
WAM Theatre: Debut Film/TV: A Bread Factory Training: HB Studios, School of Rock, Brooklyn Music Factory Et cetera: Raoul is 11 years old and lives in Columbia County, NY. Upcoming: New York: Once Upon The Bronx (Theater for the New City Dream Up Festival 2017) Online: www.youtube.com/raoulsilver
About Soldier On
Soldier On has a single purpose mission of providing a continuum of programs to ensure that homeless veterans and their families have access to immediate and long-term housing with an array of supportive services delivered to them where they live. Soldier On’s goal is to help veterans become fully franchised and contributing members of their community by helping them to regain physical, mental, economic and housing stability within an environment of integrity, dignity and hope.
Since 2005 Soldier On has been providing services to women veterans and currently offers a transitional housing program for up to sixteen homeless female veterans in a trauma informed care setting. Soldier On provides a safe, comfortable, structured environment that promotes healing and healthy life choice, helping veterans realize their full potential by providing them with activities and opportunities that embrace mind, body, and spirit.
Soldier On Women’s Program website: http://www.wesoldieron.org/womens-program/
OUR SEASON SPONSORS
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; and by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Our 2017 sponsors include Adams Community Bank, the Appelbaum-Kahn Foundation, Berkshire Magazine, Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing, Blue Q, Brabson Library & Educational Foundation, Canyon Ranch, Custom Business Solutions, The Dylandale Foundation, The Feigenbaum Foundation, Futures Education, the Garden Gables Inn, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, In Touch Printing, International Schools Theatre Association, Interprint, Dr. Jay Wise, DDS & Dr. Casey Jones, DMD, Lee Bank, Massachusetts Cultural Council, MAXYMILLIAN Technologies, Methuselah Bar and Lounge, No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, RB Design Co., Redfin, The Rookwood Inn, Rouge Restaurant & Bistro, The Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, T Square Design Studio, Toole Insurance, a. von schlegell & co., and Zonta.
WAM Theatre is also supported in part by grants from the Alford-Egremont Cultural Council, Dalton Cultural Council, Lenox Cultural Council, New Marlborough Cultural Council, Pittsfield Cultural Council, Cultural Council of Northern Berkshires , Otis Cultural Council, Richmond Cultural Council, Sandisfield Cultural Council, Stockbridge Cultural Council, Washington Cultural Council, and West Stockbridge 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.
Since 2010, WAM Theatre has donated more than $32,500 to twelve nonprofit organizations and provided paid work to more than 200 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