(WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – “Waxworks,” a new play by Trina Davies about Madame Tussaud, will have one of its first public readings as part of WAM Theatre’s Fresh Takes Play Reading Series at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café on Sunday, September 21 at 3pm.
“Waxworks” tells the story of Madame Tussaud, an extraordinary artist who developed the first worldwide entertainment brand. Waxworks is the fifth and final presentation in the new Fresh Takes play reading series, which offers new and reimagined works that tell women’s stories. The series has proven popular with audiences, selling out its first four readings.
The cast of Waxworks features Shanae Burch (Can’t Wait Productions The Da Vinci Commission), Kathleen M. Carey (Hubbard Hall’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Zoe Laiz (Stella Adler Studio’s Alls’ Well That Ends Well), Robert Lohbauer (Shakespeare & Company’s Heroes), Josh McCabe (Shakespeare & Company’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), Susannah Melone (One Year Lease’s Phedre), Amy Prothro (Majestic Theatre’s Proof) and Josephine M. Wilson (PA Centre Stage’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie). WAM Theatre’s Artistic Director, Kristen van Ginhoven, will direct the reading.
With France on the verge of revolution, a young Madame Tussaud (Marie Grosholz) is called from her post at Versailles back to Dr. Curtius’ Wax Salon in the heart of Paris. There she is introduced to the most influential people in Paris. But as the revolution descends, Marie is forced to confront the remains of those she has befriended – whose waxen images must be set with signs that identify them as ‘patriots’ or ‘enemies’. An exploration of the tales we are told and the heroes and villains we create, Waxworks tells the story of an extraordinary artist who developed the first worldwide entertainment brand. This WAM reading will be one of the first public readings of this not-yet-published play.
“One day I was killing time in a small city and went into a dusty wax museum on a lark, thinking it would be a funny diversion,” says playwright Trina Davies. “I found myself staring at a tableau of Madame Tussaud holding a head and a plaster cast, and a sign that said only this: ‘Madame Tussaud was forced to cast the guillotined heads of people she had known from working at the Palace of Versailles.’ That sent me on a multi-year journey – through rare nineteenth century books, to London England where I visited a fantastic archivist at Tussauds London, and onto Paris to walk the streets where Marie (Tussaud) had lived. She was an extraordinary woman who lived through extraordinary times, who overcame dangerous obstacles and made the most of her situation. This amazing woman created the first worldwide entertainment brand in history.”
There are only 25 tickets available for this reading. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling 1-800-838-3006 or online. Due to the limited availability, advance booking is highly recommended. Food and drink will be available for purchase at the café prior to the reading, which will begin in the gallery at 3pm.
The Fresh Takes Play Reading series is curated by WAM Theatre’s Artistic Associate Kelly Galvin.
Based in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, WAM (Women’s Action Movement) Theatre was co-founded in 2010 by Canadian director, actor, educator, and producer Kristen van Ginhoven, who was inspired to take action by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. WAM Theatre’s philanthropic mission is two-fold: first, to create theatrical events for everyone, with a focus on women theatre artists and/or stories of women and girls; and second, to donate a portion of the proceeds from those events to organizations that benefit women and girls.
Over the past five years, WAM Theatre has donated more than $10,500 to six nonprofit organizations that help women and girls, and provided paid work to more than 100 theatre artists. In its fifth year, artistic director van Ginhoven has expanded WAM Theatre’s activities to include more performances in various venues, including educational outreach and the new Fresh Takes Play Reading Series at Six Depot Roastery and Café in West Stockbridge.