‘In Darfur’ to Get New England Premiere by WAM at Shakespeare & Co.

Sipiwe Moyo portrays Hawa, a Darfuri woman who has lost nearly everything

Sipiwe Moyo portrays Hawa, a Darfuri woman who has lost nearly everything

(LENOX, Mass.) – WAM Theatre will present the New England premiere of “In Darfur” by Winter Miller at Shakespeare & Company in the Berry Family Studio of the Elayne P. Bernstein Center from Thursday, October 30, through Sunday, November 16, 2014. Each performance of the play is followed by a conversation with a noted expert in the diverse themes presented in the play.

The story of “In Darfur” follows an aid worker’s mission to protect lives, a Darfuri woman’s quest for safety and a journalist’s pursuit to deliver a front page story to call world attention to a humanitarian crisis.

Playwright Winter Miller was inspired to write “In Darfur” by the turmoil she witnessed as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s researcher at the start of the Darfuri genocide in 2004. After winning the 2006 “Two-Headed Challenge” commission from the Guthrie Theater and the Playwrights’ Center, Miller traveled with Kristof to villages and refugee camps along the Chad/Sudan border. “In Darfur” premiered at the Public Theater in Manhattan for a three-week sold-out run; a subsequent staged reading in the Public’s 1800-seat Delacorte Theater in Central Park – a first for a play by a woman – drew a standing-room-only crowd.

The cast of “In Darfur” includes Sipiwe Moyo, portraying Hawa, a Darfuri woman who has lost nearly everything yet maintains a quiet dignity in the face of constant peril. Rich Lounello takes on the role of Carlos, an aid worker striving to save the lives of Darfuri refugees and protect them from other ever-present threats. Tricia Alexandro tackles the role of Maryke, a journalist pursuing a front-page story to call attention to a humanitarian crisis.

Sipiwe Moyo, who has performed Off-Broadway in Prometheus Bound at Classic Stage Company and Trojan Women at The Classical Theatre of Harlem, as well as on the James Spader NBC drama The Blacklist.

Rich Lounello has appeared in Take Me Out and M. Butterfly at Capital Repertory Theatre and Laughter on the 23rd Floor at Oldcastle Theatre, and has wrapped film projects with Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) and Kate Flannery (The Office).

Tricia Alexandro.jpg

Tricia Alexandro tackles the role of Maryke, a journalist pursuing a front-page story to call attention to a humanitarian crisis.

Tricia Alexandro has appeared in Off Broadway productions with The Barrow Group, Looking Glass Theatre, and Gene Frankel Theatre, as well as in several independent films.

Rounding out the cast are Christina Gordon (The Public Theatre and Shadowland Theatre; television’s Guiding Light); Shannon Harris (HERE Arts Center, Midtown International Theatre Festival); marcus d. harvey (Old Vic, London and various NYC stages); and Warren Jackson (Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Chicago’s Court Theatre).

WAM artistic director Kristen van Ginhoven says, “WAM Theatre has worked hard to find the ensemble of actors who will bring this story to life. These seven accomplished professional actors bring not only their talent and technique to this project, but also their deep passion to share this story with our audiences. I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome them to the Berkshires and to WAM Theatre.” Van Ginhoven directs the play.

In keeping with WAM Theatre’s double philanthropic mission, one-quarter of the box office proceeds from this production will be donated to the Mother of Peace Illovo orphanage in South Africa, where 13 women have dedicated their lives to raising children who have lost their families. By selecting the Mother of Peace Illovo as this year’s philanthropic beneficiary, WAM honors and celebrates the selfless dedication and important work of these women.

Playwright Winter Miller and WAM artistic director Kristen van Ginhoven

Playwright Winter Miller and WAM artistic director Kristen van Ginhoven

Over the past five years, WAM Theatre has donated more than $10,500 to six nonprofit organisations 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. For more information, visit www.WAMTheatre.com

The Rogovoy Report is proud to be a media sponsor of this production.

Performances take place on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $15-$40 and are available for purchase in person or by phone at the Shakespeare & Co. box office: 413-637-3353 or online here.
Theatrical run

October 30 – November 16, 2014

Previews: Thursday, October 30 & Friday October 31, 7 pm

Opening night: Saturday, November 1, 7 pm (SOLD OUT)

Sunday, November 2, 2:30 pm

Friday, November 7, 7 pm

Saturday, November 8, 7 pm

Sunday, November 9, 7pm

Friday, November 14, 7pm

Saturday, November 15, 7pm

Sunday, November 16, 2:30pm

NOTE: Each performance is followed by a conversation with a noted expert in the diverse themes presented in the play. The list of speakers will be announced shortly.

Based in Berkshire County, Mass., WAM 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 organisations that benefit women and girls.

 

 

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