(l-r) ‘Flora and Fauna’ stage manager Shannon McManus; actress Lori Evans (Ginnie); director Molly Clancy; and actress MaConnia Chesser (Adele) (photo Nick Webb)
(WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – “The Flora and Fauna” by Alyson Mead, winner of the Arizona-based Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre New Work Contest, will kick off the WAM Theatre 2017 Fresh Takes Readings Series at No. 6 Depot Roastery and Café on Sunday, March 19, at 3:30pm. The play chronicles the celebrations and challenges of a female friendship that spans almost 30 years. WAM artistic associate and Fresh Takes curator/producer Molly Clancy will direct.
Additionally, this opening reading of the Fresh Takes Series will be a partnership with the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, with a portion of the box office proceeds from the reading going to the Festival.
The Bridge Initiative is an Arizona nonprofit working to identify and empower female artists in the Southwest region. One of its cofounders and co-producing artistic directors, Tracy Liz Miller, was a director for WAM’s Fresh Takes reading series in 2013.
The Bridge Initiative’s New Work Contest received more than 163 eligible plays and musicals, submitted from 25 states, the District of Columbia, and international locations. Over the course of six months, the works were adjudicated by a team of professional theatre practitioners from both Arizona and across the country, including representatives from WAM, who produce, act, direct, write, and teach. Every submission was scored anonymously, on criteria of originality, storytelling, dialogue, characters, and an X factor (“I want to see this play”).
Fresh Takes Play Reading Series
Curated by WAM Theatre’s Artistic Associate Molly Clancy and hosted by No. Six Depot Roastery and Café on 6 Depot Street in West Stockbridge, MA, on select Sundays at 3:30 pm.
There are only 30 tickets available per reading. Tickets are $20, which includes a post-show conversation and the opportunity to meet the cast and director. Refreshments will be available for purchase at the Café. For tickets and more information visit Fresh Takes Readings Series
About The Playwright: ALYSON MEAD
Alyson Mead studied at Yale University, the Slade School of Art in London, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and with iO West, UCB and Tectonic Theatre Project. Her award-winning plays have been staged at Off-Off Broadway and regional theaters around the country and in London, including La MaMa, St. Mark’s Church, 8BC, Pasadena Playhouse, Venus Theatre, Women Playwrights Conference, Limelight, the Other Space Theater, the Hudson, Atwater Village Theater and Sacred Fools, among others. She’s published by Original Works Publishing, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Playwriting Unit and the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative.
About the Director: MOLLY CLANCY
WAM Theatre: Artistic Associate, Fresh Takes Play Reading Series Curator & Producer, Director for Water by the Spoonful and The Last Wife, Assistant Director for In Darfur, How The World Began and Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England. Regional Theatre: Molly currently works at Shakespeare & Company as the Publicity Director and previously worked at Florida Studio Theatre (Sarasota, FL) and Home Made Theatre (Saratoga Springs, NY). Additional Directing: SDC Foundation Observership Class 2015 – 2016, Charlotte’s Web and The Wizard of Oz (Forest Lake Theatre) and The Rwandans’ Visit (Lougheed Festival of the Arts at SUNY Potsdam). Additional Assistant Directing: Alice Reagan’s Or, (Shakespeare & Company), Taibi Magar’s Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare & Company) Training: SUNY Potsdam (BA in Theatre and English).
ABOUT THE BRIDGE INITIATIVE
The Bridge Initiative is an Arizona nonprofit working to identify and empower female artists in the Southwest region, with the aim of gender parity across all theatrical disciplines. Its mission also includes bridging the gap between academia and the professional world to encourage students to envision a clearer path to becoming lifelong artists.
ABOUT WAM THEATRE
Based in Berkshire County, Mass., WAM Theatre is Where Arts and Activism Meet. The company was co-founded in 2010 by Canadian director, actor, educator, and producer Kristen van Ginhoven. WAM’s vision is to create opportunity for women and girls through the mission of theatre as philanthropy.
Inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, WAM donates a portion of the proceeds from its theatrical events to organizations that benefit women and girls.
Since 2010, WAM Theatre has donated more than $30,000 to eleven nonprofit organizations and provided paid work to more than 200 theatre artists. In addition to the main stage productions and special events, WAM Theatre’s activities include a comprehensive educational outreach program and the Fresh Takes Play Reading Series.
ABOUT THE BERKSHIRE FESTIVAL OF WOMEN WRITERS
The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers “inspires, nourishes and strengthens women’s creative voices by offering stimulating workshops and events year-round designed to encourage women and girls to engage with one another and their communities, and develop as creative leaders.” For the past six years, hundreds of women writers of all ages, from teens to seniors, have participated in the annual Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, held in March, Women’s History Month, featuring workshops, readings, performances and screenings at venues throughout Berkshire County MA and the adjacent Berkshire region.