Tickets are now on sale for WAM Theatre's World Premiere production of The Old Mezzo by Berkshire-based playwright Susan Dworkin. The production runs October 12-28 at the Berkshire Museum at 39 South Street, Pittsfield, Mass. In keeping with WAM's double philanthropic mission, the beneficiary for the production will be Berkshire-based Shout Out Loud Productions, a non-profit helmed by Jeanet Ingalls that takes action to address sexual trafficking. Shout Out Loud will receive up to 25 percent of the box office proceeds.
WAM Theatre's artistic director, Kristen van Ginhoven, says, "WAM Theatre is excited to follow in the footsteps of other professional Berkshire theatres by producing at the Berkshire Museum, which has welcomed us with open arms. As a nomadic theatre company, WAM Theatre always tries to find the perfect location for the play we are producing and the Museum's theater is ideal for The Old Mezzo, our first World Premiere, which is set in a lecture hall and takes the form of a master class."
The Old Mezzo concerns the political awakening of a great opera singer. Alyssa, the old mezzo, is driven by the recent death of a famous conductor to teach a master class concerning the Politics of Singing. The class becomes a play within a play where we revisit important scenes from Alyssa's past. She has assigned parts to four of her students and as the exercise unfolds, we see how Alyssa had to risk her fame and success to preserve the freedom that is so essential to the arts. By the end of the play, through a surprising connection to recent events, the importance of politics in art is revealed.
"Berkshire Museum is delighted to host WAM Theatre this fall," says Van Shields, Berkshire Museum's executive director. "The innovative nature of their work, from their dedication to producing art that engages the community to their unique philanthropic model, makes collaborating with them most rewarding. And that they have chosen to produce a play by a Berkshire-based author makes this production particularly appropriate for presentation in our theater."
The Old Mezzois written by Berkshire-based playwright Susan Dworkin. Ms. Dworkin is best known for her books The Viking in the Wheat Field and The Nazi Officer's Wife as well as her play All Day Suckers. She was also a finalist for the Susan Blackburn Prize in 1980-1981 for her play Deli's Fable. Ms. Dworkin was one of the original writers and editors at Ms. Magazine.
Gloria Steinem, when asked about Ms. Dworkin, recently said, "As a writer and as a human being, Susan Dworkin has always had the ability to draw us into new dreams of justice, and to make them irresistibly practical, humorous and human. She makes clear that progress and pleasure go together."
The show will play Friday, October 12 @ 8pm (Preview); Saturday, October 13 @ 8pm (Opening Performance); Sunday, October 14 @ 5pm*; Friday, October 19 @ 8pm; Saturday, October 20 @ 8pm; Sunday, October 21 @ 5pm*; Friday, October 26 @ 8pm; Saturday, October 27 @ 8pm; and Sunday, October 28 @ 5pm.
*Performance followed by a talkback.
TICKETS: $25 adults; $15 students + groups of 10 or more; $20 adults/ $12 students + groups (Preview Price for Friday, October 12 8pm Performance). Purchase by calling 1-800-838-3006 or online at www.WAMTheatre.com.
Director-Kristen van Ginhoven
Scenic Designer- Juliana von Haubrich
Costume Designer-Rita Watson
Lighting Designer-Meryl Joseph
Sound Designer-Brad Berridge
Stage Manager-Chris Donovan
Technical Director-Sam Craig
Associate Producer-Corissa Bryant
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 nearly $5,000 to its beneficiaries by creating professional theatre for everyone that benefits women and girls.