(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – In keeping with its double philanthropic mission, WAM Theatre donated $1,750 in receipts from its acclaimed November production of The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls to the Berkshire United Way’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. The check presentation was made on December 16, 2011, at the Berkshire United Way Headquarters in Pittsfield.
Kristen van Ginhoven, WAM Theatre’s artistic director, said, “Having Berkshire United Way’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI) as the beneficiary for this production was WAM’s way of supporting the agencies, organizations and volunteers who are working together to address teen pregnancy as part of TPPI. We are delighted that the success of the production led to our largest donation to date and thank all the audience members for making it possible.”
“WAM’s commitment to organizations that benefit the lives of women and girls in our community is aligned with the mission of the TPPI. Teen pregnancy prevention obviously isn’t only a women’s issue, but our strategies to improve sexual health information, increase access to contraceptives and help our kids see a bright future will help improve the lives of young women throughout Berkshire County,” said Kristine Hazzard, president and CEO of Berkshire United Way.
The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls marked the end of WAM’s successful second year in existence. WAM also produced ‘The O Solo Mama Mia Festival’ in May, presented in both Troy, N.Y., and Pittsfield, which raised $650 towards the training of a community midwife at Edna’s Hospital in Somaliland.
In addition, WAM co-produced the first sold out 24-hour Capital Region/Berkshires Theatre Project, in which over 50 theatre artists came together to produce five new works by women playwrights in a mere 24 hours.
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 theater artists and/or the stories of women and girls; second, to donate a portion of proceeds from those events to organizations that benefit women and girls. WAM Theatre is based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and the Capital Region of New York State.