[Capdist-announce] PRESS RELEASE: WAM Theatre Ensembles Launch THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT

Gail Burns gail at wamtheatre.com
Thu Jul 9 14:00:02 EDT 2020

July 9, 2020

Contact: Gail Burns, Marketing and Publicity Associate

www.wamtheatre.com <http://www.wamtheatre.com/#_blank>


Photos available here

WAM Theatre Ensembles Launch THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT
Public invited to Opening Reception on July 26

[Lenox, MA - July 9, 2020] - WAM Theatre’s Elder Ensemble and People of
Color Ensemble are proud to present an online exhibit of original art
centered around the theme of suffrage and citizenship. The individual
pieces - including visual art, songs, monologues, poetry, dramatic scenes,
dance and photography - will be showcased in a free online gallery on the
WAM website throughout July and August. The gallery includes reflections on
the 100 year anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in
combination with powerful statements about marginalized groups in this
country who are still fighting for full and unwavering citizenship. In
celebration and culmination of the four-month collaboration, WAM will host
a special Opening Reception for THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT (held on zoom) on
Sunday, July 26 at 3pm.

WAM’s Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston, one of four Teaching
Artists who facilitated the ensembles, expressed her excitement about
opening the gallery to the public. “The pieces were created in social
isolation all over the region, but taken together they are a compelling
testament to the importance of continued community engagement in the

Kingston adds, “We are also hoping that visitors to the gallery will be
inspired to create their own art, as an empowering creative act during this
time, and that they will join us by exhibiting it on their social media
platforms using #WAMsuffrage.”

WAM’s Elder Ensemble, led by Kingston and Amy Brentano and brand new
intergenerational People of Color Ensemble, led by Lia Russell-Self and
Trenda Loftin, have been meeting weekly for three months, experimenting
with devising new group pieces over zoom and holding space for
conversations about citizenship in the United States at this time of
anti-racism uprisings. Two of these short group pieces will premiere at the
Opening Reception.

WAM Associate Artist Lia Russell-Self, who co-led the People Of Color
Ensemble (POC), states that: “Ensemble members are eager to keep the
conversation going, staying up to an hour past when the meeting ended just
to continue lifting up each other’s work and experiences. The POC ensemble
has already transformed from just being a place to possibly create to one
of deep vulnerability.”

Co-Leader of the POC Ensemble Trenda Loftin adds, "Together as an ensemble,
we're striving to be a space where we all can show up and fully engage the
complexities of our identities. This ensemble is anchored in cultivating
meaningful connection, creative exploration, and transformational change."

Elder Ensemble member Nancy Tunnicliffe echoes this sentiment saying “What
it means to me to be creating in this time of COVID-19 pandemic is hope.
To be together with all my beloved sisters as though we were in the same
room via zoom, creating and making something beautiful together, gives me
hope that we will in fact get through this together.”

“While we definitely miss creating together in a physical space, this
moment of pause and adaptation has made the true purpose of our devising
ensembles clear to me.  It is always more about the process of creation
than the production,” Kingston explained. “Devised theatre naturally
absorbs and reflects the time and conditions into which it is created. The
most important part of theatre is connection - and we need that now more
than ever.”

The WAM Ensembles look forward to sharing their art with you at the online
gallery, and at the Opening Night Reception held on July 26th at 3pm. For
more information or to register, please visit:



Created by the WAM Theatre Elder Ensemble and POC Ensemble

Gallery live online: Monday July 13, 2020

Opening Reception (on zoom): Sunday July 26th at 3pm

Gallery will be live through the end of August and visitors are invited to
participate by posting their own original art pieces on their social media
platforms using #WAMsuffrage

For more information please visit:

WAM TEACHING ARTISTS: Amy Brentano, Talya Kingston, Trenda Loftin, and Lia
Russell-Self.  View their bios here

Elliot, Z Estime, Elisabeth Castellon Goncalves, Veronica Horne, Esme
Mamousette, Merudjina Normil, Dylan Redd, Julissa Rodríguez, Jen Salinetti,
Noelia Salinetti, and Jenn Smith.

ELDER ENSEMBLE PARTICIPANTS: Flo Brett, Barbara Cortez-Greig, Karen
McNulty, CD Nelsen, Molly Pomerance, Edy Pye, Nancy Tunnicliffe, and Nina


The Suffrage Project is generously supported by grants awarded by Berkshire
Bank, Feigenbaum Foundation, and Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s
Arts Build Community initiative with funding from the Barr Foundation.

WAM’s 2020 sponsors include Adams Community Bank, Berkshire Bank, Berkshire
Hand to Shoulder Center, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Blue Q,
Blue Spark Financial, Brabson Library & Educational Foundation, Canyon
Ranch, Chez Nous, Custom Business Solutions, The Dylandale Foundation,
Frankie’s Ristorante Italiano, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Guido’s Fresh
Marketplace, Haven Cafe and Bakery, Health Professional Coaching, Heller &
Robbins, Interprint, J.H. Maxymillian, Inc., Lake House Inn. Lee Bank,
Massachusetts Cultural Council, Only in My Dreams Events, Onyx Specialty
Papers, Outpost Productions, RB Design Co., The Rookwood Inn, T Square
Design Studio, Toole Insurance, a. von schlegell & co., and the Women’s
Fund of Western Massachusetts.

WAM Theatre is also supported in part by grants from Alford-Egremont
Cultural Council, Lenox Cultural Council, Pittsfield Cultural Council,
Sandisfield Cultural Council, Washington Cultural Council, and the West
Stockbridge Cultural Council – local agencies supported by the
Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


WAM Theatre is a professional theatre company based in Berkshire County,
MA, that operates at the intersection of arts and activism. WAM creates
theatre for gender equity and has a vision of theatre as philanthropy.

In fulfillment of its philanthropic mission, WAM donates a portion of the
proceeds from their Mainstage productions to carefully selected
beneficiaries. Since WAM’s founding in 2010, they have donated more than
$75,000 to 19 local and global organizations taking action for gender
equity in areas such as girls education, teen pregnancy prevention, sexual
trafficking awareness, midwife training, and more.

In addition to Mainstage productions and special events, WAM’s activities
include innovative community engagement programs and the Fresh Takes Play
Reading Series. To date, WAM has provided paid work to more than 400
theatre artists, the majority of whom are female-identifying.

As a civic organization that embraces intersectional feminism (feminism
that acknowledges how multiple forms of discrimination overlap), WAM
understands that to address one piece of systemic discrimination means we
have to address them all. This is on-going personal and professional work
at WAM for the staff and board.

WAM Theatre has been widely recognized for having a positive impact on
cultural and community development in the region. WAM is the recipient of
the Creative Economy Standout Berkshire Trendsetter Award and previously,
was named Outstanding Philanthropy Corporation of the Year by the Western
MA Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Kristen van
Ginhoven, WAM’s Producing Artistic Director, was honored by the Berkshire
Theatre Critics Association (BTCA) with the prestigious Larry Murray Award,
presented at the discretion of the BTCA Board to a person or theatre
project that advances social, political, or community issues in Berkshire

For more information, visit www.WAMTheatre.com <http://www.wamtheatre.com>


Gail M. Burns (She/Her/Hers)

*Marketing + Publicity Associate*

*Our 2020 Season!*
THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT <https://www.wamtheatre.com/suffrage-project/> | ROE
<https://www.wamtheatre.com/roe/> | THE THANKSGIVING PLA

Make a donation now <https://www.wamtheatre.com/donateonline/> to WAM
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