In keeping with WAM Theatre's double philanthropic mission, their acclaimed October World Premiere Production of 'The Old Mezzo' by Susan Dworkin led to a $2400 donation to the production's beneficiary, Shout Out Loud Productions, a local non-profit taking action to address sexual trafficking. The check presentation was made following the final performance at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield.
Kristen van Ginhoven, WAM Theatre's Artistic Director says, "We are delighted with the success of our first World Premiere. In 2012, our third year in operation, WAM Theatre performed for over 1,000 people, provided paid contract work to nearly 30 theatre professionals and now, made our largest donation to date to a beneficiary. We are very proud of these accomplishments and thankful to all who support our work to create theatre for everyone that benefits women and girls."
WAM Theatre began its 2012 season in April with the second sold out 24hr Capital Region/Berkshires Theatre Project hosted at Shakespeare & Company, in which over 50 theatre artists came together to produce 5 new works by women playwrights in 24hrs. The 2013 WAM/MopCo 24hr collaboration will take place on May 18 at Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady, NY.
In August, WAM Theatre was company in residence at the WordxWord festival in Pittsfield, presenting the first workshop performance of 'like/unlike', created and directed by Leigh Strimbeck, Artistic Advisor and co-founder of WAM Theatre. 'like/unlike' was created over five days in residence with a team of seven theatre professionals who explored the impact of social media on the lives of women today. The project was funded by WordxWord, the Brabson Library and Educational Foundation, Pittsfield Cultural Council and presented Upstairs at Spice Dragon.
Also in 2012, Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven was the recipient of a Martha Boschen Porter Fund Award, a fund administered by the Berkshire Taconic Foundation. The award supported the World Premiere production of 'The Old Mezzo'. The play, presented in October at the Berkshire Museum, revolved around the political awakening of a great opera singer and was deemed 'a winner' by critics.
Ashley Berridge, WAM Theatre President of the Board, says, "WAM Theatre is grateful to all our audiences, donors and to Mission Bar & Tapas, our season sponsor, plus the following 2012 corporate sponsors for making our season possible: Adams Community Bank, Arizona Pizza, Berkshire Bank Foundation, Cohen Kinne Valicenti & Cook LLP, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Interprint, MadMacs and Pittsfield Coop Bank.
van Ginhoven continues, "Other organizations and foundations who helped make our 2012 productions possible include Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Museum, Berkshire Theatre Group, Brabson Library and Educational Foundation, Dylandale Foundation, Greenbergs, Luminix Light, Martha Boschen Porter Fund, Pittsfield Cultural Council, Sonoco, Space Dev Foundation and Williams College. Our work is possible in large part due to their generosity and support."
WAM Theatre's 2013 season will be announced in the new year. WAM Theatre is a theatre company based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and the Capital Region of New York State. Inspired by the book 'Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide' by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, WAM Theatre was founded in 2009 by professional theatre artists Kristen van Ginhoven and Leigh Strimbeck. WAM's philanthropic mission is two-fold; first, producing theatrical events for everyone, with a focus on women theatre artists and/or stories of women and girls; second, to donate a portion of the proceeds from those events to organizations that benefit women and girls. WAM has donated over $7000 to its beneficiaries by creating professional theatre for everyone that benefits women and girls. www.wamtheatre.com