Who We Are

Kristen van Ginhoven

Artistic Director, co-Founder kristen@wamtheatre.com

Reading Half the Sky made me believe, for the first time in my life, that I could make a difference. By co-founding WAM, I have found a way to help turn oppression into opportunity. Doing philanthropy through the arts is working and it feels great.

Kristen van Ginhoven

About Kristen

Kristen’s WAM Theatre credits include directing the New England Premiere of  “In Darfur” by Winter Miller (beneficiary: 13 Housemothers at the Mother of Peace Orphanage in Illovo, South Africa); Northeast Regional Premiere of “Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight’ by Lauren Gunderson (beneficiary: Flying Cloud Institute (2017), The Rites of Passage and Empowerment for Girls Program(2013)); World Premiere of “The Old Mezzo’ by Susan Dworkin (beneficiary: Shout Out Loud Productions); ‘The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls’ by Martha Ross, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Jennifer Brewin, Alisa Palmer and Leah Cherniak (beneficiary: Berkshire United Way Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative);  ‘Melancholy Play’ by Sarah Ruhl (beneficiary: Women’s Fund of Western MA) and ‘The Last Standing Protestor’ by Lydia Styk for ‘A WAM Welcome’ (beneficiary: Women for Women International). She is a participant of the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction at the Stratford Festival of Canada, where she will assistant direct the 2015 production of “The Physicists”. Additional directing credits include “I and You” (Chester Theatre Company) “The Whale” (Adirondack Theatre Festival), “10×10 Festival” (Barrington Stage Company, 2013/2014), “The Cabbage Patch” (Majestic Theatre), “Petticoats of Steel”(Capital Repertory Theatre). Kristen has also directed at Sienna College, Emerson College and Cohoes Music Hall. Selected assistant directing: 42nd Street (Stratford Festival of Canada) Two Men of Florence (Huntington Theatre) Sleuth, Absurd Person Singular (Barrington Stage Company,). She is a member of the Society of Stage Director’s and Choreographers, a member of the Canadian Actor’s Equity Association (CAEA) and was a member of the 2013 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Kristen was a member of the 2017 1Berkshire Leadership Training Program. As a theatre educator, Kristen has worked as an artist in residence and adjunct faculty at various colleges and universities, including Emerson College and Queen’s University. She is a freelance artist and consultant for ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association), an association devoted to international youth theatre education who hold events and festivals worldwide where young people, teachers and artists come together to explore theatre through intense collaboration. Kristen has a Masters in Theatre Education from Emerson College, where she received the Presidential Fellowship, a Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s Universitywww.kristenvanginhoven.com

Talya Kingston

Associate Artistic Director

I’m thrilled to join WAM at a time when it is more important than ever to empower women and girls by listening to their stories.  I have spent 20 years working at the intersection of theatre and education, and believe that theatre is a powerful medium to inspire empathy, incite conversation and activate change.  Above all, I love a good story well told, and the community that is created in its telling

Talya Kingston

About Talya

Talya Kingston is a dramaturg, playwright and educator with a particular interest in new play development and theatre for social change. Prior to joining WAM, she was a Visiting Professor of Theatre at Hampshire College.  She has also held the positions of Education Director at Hartford Stage and of Educational Programs Coordinator at the New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco. Talya is originally from Britain and returned for five recent summers to co-teach a University of Massachusetts course at the Edinburgh Festival. Talya’s writing on theatre has appeared in Theater JournalThe Moving VoiceEuropean Stages, HowlRound, and the Valley Advocate. Her professional dramaturgy credits include: the premiere of Eve Ensler’s Necessary Targets at Hartford Stage/Variety Arts Theatre, the US premiere of Helmet by Douglas Maxwell at the New York Fringe Festival, an immersive production of The Lonely Soldier Project by Helen Benedict, Seriously… What Did You Call Me? written and performed by Onawumni Jean Moss at the Ko Festival and Late Style, a stage adaptation of conversations between Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim featuring performances by members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.  Talya is a member of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and the Northampton Playwrights Lab, and holds an MFA in dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Gwendolyn Tunnicliffe

Philanthropy and Outreach Coordinator

Theatre helps me to better understand the history, belief systems, and needs of others. WAM Theatre excels at creating inquisitive theatre that encourages audiences to continue their conversations after the performance has ended. By diversifying the stories told in theatre, WAM provides the opportunity for a broader range of people to connect.

Gwendolyn Tunnicliffe

About Gwendolyn

Gwendolyn Bliss Tunnicliffe is an arts administrator and performer with a passion for community based work. As a Berkshire native, she is thrilled to be a part of an organization that actively seeks to promote and enrich dialog in her community. Gwendolyn’s recent administrative work includes serving as the Marketing Intern and Stage Manager for Hampshire Shakespeare Company, Stage Manager for The Lonely Soldier Project, which partnered with the VA Northampton branch and Soldier On, and serving as House Manager for Bennington College’s music venue. As a performer, some of her favorite roles include Wendy in “Peter Pan” at UMass Amherst, Susanna in “Le Nozze di Figaro” at Williams College, and The Transcendentalist in “The Emily Dickinson Project” with TheatreTruck. She recently completed the Professional Certificate in Arts Management through the Arts Extension Service at UMass Amherst.

Max Galdos-Shapiro

General Manager

WAM not only tells important and compelling stories but does this while supporting women and girls both locally and abroad. At a time when the fight for gender rights is at the forefront of our societal consciousness I am delighted to have this opportunity to be a part of the WAM team. 

Max Galdos-Shapiro

About Max

Max is a Berkshire based educator and theater maker with experience in both creative and technical work. His recent credits include serving as Production Manager for WAM Theatre’s production of “The Last Wife” and Assistant Director for “Passage” a new play written and produced by Kickwheel Ensemble Theater. When not in the theater Max works as an environmental educator teaching ecology and outdoor skills to young people. 

Gail Burns

PR & Marketing Associate

As a theatre critic, I have seen many companies come and go in this region. What set WAM apart from the very start was their clear mission. Everyone says “We’re going to mount great shows,” but WAM established a clear agenda for supporting women and girls in all areas of life, whether its the artists they employ, the beneficiaries of their fall productions, or the themes of their excellent panel discussions. When an opportunity came for me to join the WAM Team I knew immediately that it was a perfect fit for my own skills and values. Who doesn’t want to play for the winning team? Gail Burns

About Gail
Gail M. Burns has been a professional, independent theatre critic since 1997. She studied theatre at Sarah Lawrence College with Obie Award-winner Shirley Kaplan and Tony Award-winner Wilford Leach. She has been working with young people in the theatre since 1971. The Burns family own and operate the Starlight Stage Youth Theatre in Williamstown, MA, which will celebrate its 40th season in 2015! Gail is a direct descendant of Eleanor of Aquitaine, among many, many other people.

WAM Theatre’s graphic design work is done by Tina Sotis and T Square Design Studio.

       tsquare logo