Posts Tagged ‘WAM’

THEATER REVIEW: “The Bakelite Masterpiece” @ the Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
David Adkins and Corinna May in WAM Theatre’s Bakelite Masterpiece (photo: Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware)

David Adkins and Corinna May in WAM Theatre’s Bakelite Masterpiece (photo: Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware)

Review by Macey Levin

Under what circumstances would a convicted art forger gain his freedom by forging another masterpiece? The current production of The Bakelite Masterpiece by Kate Cayley, jointly produced by WAM Theatre and Berkshire Theatre Group at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, explores an historical incident in the Netherlands during the late stages of World War II.

Han van Meegeren (David Adkins) has been sentenced to be executed for having sold an original painting by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer to Nazi leader Hermann Goering. His defense is that the painting was his forgery. The prosecutor Geert Piller, (Corinna May) an art historian and resistance fighter, conducts one last interview demanding Meegeren sign a prepared confession. He refuses citing the fact that the painting was not the original. To prove his facility at forgery he requests that he be allowed to demonstrate his ability to recreate another Vermeer. Out of curiosity, Piller agrees.

He tells her he will reproduce Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery, the “long-lost” painting he sold to Goering, if she will pose for him in a blue dress. Reluctantly, she agrees. Instead he paints an interpretation of Vermeer’s Woman in a Blue Dress. Both are attempting to define their respective version of the truth; he to demonstrate the validity of his claim; she to reinforce the case against him. As van Meergeren starts to paint, he and his watchdog develop a relationship of mutual respect. After feinting and parrying through several conversations each becomes concerned for the other.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Three Glorious Nights in February: WAM Takes Its Hit Show “Emilie” on Tour [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
There’s more to an enhanced “reading” than you might imagine.

There’s more to an enhanced “reading” than you might imagine.

By Gail M. Burns

WAM Theatre has been invited to present an enhanced staged reading of their critically acclaimed 2013 production of Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight by Lauren Gunderson at three different locations in Berkshire County and the Capital Region, beginning at 7:30pm tonight (Tuesday, February 10) at Williams College’s Adams Memorial Theatre in Williamstown.

Directed by WAM Theatre Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven, much of the acclaimed original cast returns. Kim Stauffer reprises the title role as Emilie and is joined by returning cast members Suzanne Ankrum, Brendan Cataldo and Joan Coombs as Soubrette, Gentleman and Madam, respectively, along with new cast member Timothy Carter (national tour of The Lion King, Adirondack Theatre Festival’s The Whale) as Voltaire.

This enhanced staged reading will feature some audio and visual elements from the original production, of which Berkshire On Stage and Screen said, “WAM’s brilliantly staged production of ‘Emilie’… is totally entertaining.” The Berkshire Eagle deemed the 2013 production “…highly imaginative…highly theatrical…” and Berkshire Fine Arts stated it was “an absorbing evening of theatre for a sold out audience.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

WAM Chooses “In Darfur” for Season Five with a Change Makers Benefit Panel Aug. 24 [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, August 22nd, 2014
Playwright Winter Miller took these photos at a Darfuri refugee camp in Chad.

Playwright Winter Miller took these photos at a Darfuri refugee camp in Chad.

As WAM (Women’s Action Movement) Theatre prepares to celebrate its fifth season at the August 24 Change Makers benefit, artistic director Kristen van Ginhoven has announced that this year’s fall production will be the New England premiere of In Darfur.

In Darfur is the provocative account of three intertwined lives at a camp for internally displaced persons. The story follows an aid worker’s mission to save and protect lives, a journalist’s pursuit to deliver a front page story, and a Darfuri woman’s quest for safety. It is a searing story of urgency and international significance.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Jessica Swale’s London Hit “Blue Stockings” Gets USA Reading by WAM Theatre in West Stockbridge [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, April 4th, 2014
Jessica Swale’s play examines the trials and tribulations of four brilliant, passionate young women who are desperate to become scientists.

Jessica Swale’s play examines the trials and tribulations of four brilliant, passionate young women who are desperate to become scientists.

With only 25 seats, the first in a series of Sunday afternoon new play readings by WAM Theatre will certainly be a rare experience for those lucky enough to be there. When first announced, few details were known about just who would be doing the reading but with the announcement of the cast, it is obvious that this is more than a simple reading, it will be an afternoon filled with drama, and if you want, great coffee and comestibles.

Blue Stockings is set in 1896 at Girton, the first college in Britain to admit women. It’s a moving, comical and eye-opening story about four young women fighting for education and self-determination against the backdrop of women’s suffrage. This critically acclaimed play dramatizes the fight for education, equality and access for women; issues that are prized by WAM Theatre and its audiences.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

WAM’s Brilliantly Written and Staged Production of “Emilie” is Totally Entertaining [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Kim Stauffer as Emilie in the WAM production at the St. Germain Theatre in Pittsfield through Nov. 24.

Kim Stauffer as Emilie in the
WAM production at the St. Germain Theatre in Pittsfield through Nov. 24.

Review and Discussion by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Gail M. Burns: I am a sucker for the story of a remarkable woman well told, and that is exactly what Lauren Gunderson has done in her ponderously titled Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight about the life and work the titular lady, who lived from 1706-1749. She was a mathematician, a physicist, an author, a wife and mother, and the lover of Voltaire (ne François-Marie Arouet, 1694-1778).

WAM Artistic Director and the director of the production, Kristen van Ginhoven, reports that she got chills the first time she read the script. She has transferred that initial excitement into a fine production, beautifully designed by three more talented women – Juliana von Haubrich (sets), Govane Lohbauer (costumes) and Andi Lyons (lights) – and performed by a cast of five (three women, two men) anchored by a heartbreakingly perfect performance by Kim Stauffer in the title role.

Larry Murray: I gave up on male writers trying to fathom the mind of a woman a long time ago. But this Emilie gave me one of the best looks inside a woman’s mind to date. What the playwright Lauren Gunderson has done – through her near stream-of-consciousness script – is make it clear that when the clash of the sexes takes place, with Emilie it was her heartfelt desire for truth that led her to break society’s rules, while with Voltaire, it was ego and desire to protect the established order that led him to undermine her. And as it turns out this is a good topic for entertaining theatre.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“Claiming Her Place” Benefit for WAM, Hosted by Jayne Atkinson Set for June 30

Friday, June 28th, 2013
Jayne Atkinson

Jayne Atkinson

WAM Theatre – recently announced as a finalist in the Creativity/Innovation category of the Berkshire Trendsetter awards – is delighted to present Claiming Her Place, a benefit for WAM to be held Sunday, June 30 at 7pm at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington.

Co-produced and hosted by Tony nominee Jayne Atkinson, currently appearing in “The Lion in Winter” at Berkshire Theatre Group, the evening will feature a celebrity panel discussing the challenges women face in the entertainment industry. The panel includes: Lauren Ambrose (“Six Feet Under”), Michel Gill (“House of Cards”), Marin Mazzie (Tony nominee), Linus Roache (“Law & Order”) and Debra Jo Rupp (“That ’70s Show”).

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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