Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life TonightEmilie Education Project
WAM Theatre is delighted to announce the Northeast Regional Premiere of Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight by Lauren Gunderson as its fall production.
Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight had its world premiere in 2009 at South Coast Repertory Theatre. The play has been described as ‘fiercely inquisitive and joyfully sexy’ (The San Francisco Chronicle), ‘An evening of humor and heartbreak’ (BroadwayWorld) and as an ‘ambitious, highly theatrical romp that literally crackles with electricity’ (LA/OC Examiner).
Today she is best known for her fifteen-year liaison with Voltaire, but Emilie Du Chatelet (1706-1749) was more than a great man’s mistress. She was one of the leading interpreters of modern physics in Europe, as well as a master of mathematics and linguistics, during the Age of Enlightenment. After marrying a marquis at the age of eighteen, she proceeded to fulfill the prescribed-and delightfully frivolous-role of a French noblewoman of her time. But she also challenged it, conducting a highly visible affair with a commoner, writing philosophical works, and translating Newton’s “Principia” while pregnant by a younger lover. In this play Emilie must defend her life by tallying her achievements in Love and Philosophy—and searching for a formula that will convince the world of her worth.
In keeping with WAM Theatre’s double philanthropic mission, a portion of proceeds from the box office will be donated to an organization that benefits women and girls. The beneficiary for Emilie is the Rite of Passage and Empowerment Program for Girls, founded by Pittsfield community leader Shirley Edgerton.
Suzanne Ankrum (Soubrette) REGIONAL: Tartuffe, Merry Wives of Windsor, Woyzeck, Fuddy Meers, A Christmas Carol (Clarence Brown Theatre); The Seagull, Much Ado About Nothing (Henley Street Theatre Company); Twelfth Night, Henry IV, Part 2 (Richmond Shakespeare); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Tennessee Shakespeare Company); The Eight:Reindeer Monologues (Richmond Triangle Players). Education: MFA, University of Tennessee.
Brendan Cataldo (Gentleman) A native of Albany, NY, Brendan holds a BFA in Theatre Studies (Performance) from Niagara University. New York City stage: MacBeth (Gallery Players, NY). Selected regional credits include: Black Tie (Adirondack Theatre Festival, NY), Pride and Prejudice (PCPA Theaterfest, CA), It’s a Wonderful Life (Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, IN), Altar Boyz (American Stage Theatre Co., FL) and Love, Sex and the I.R.S. (Prather Entertainment Group, FL). www.brendancataldo.com.
Joan Coombs (Madam) appears on stages in the Berkshires and Capital Region. Shakespeare & Co: The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife and Tartuffe; Leap Year. She has appeared in productions at The Theater Barn and will be seen there in September in Better Late. She worked with WAM in the ensemble for the 10x10on10 Festival and in two 24 Hour Theatre Projects. Also: All My Sons; Death of a Salesman; The Cocktail Hour; Lettice & Lovage; Enchanted April. She is also currently narrating a series of enhanced eBooks.
Kim Stauffer (Emilie) NEW YORK : Much Ado About Nothing, Mary Stuart, Macbeth (New York Classical Theatre). REGIONAL: Circle Mirror Transformation (Kansas City Repertory Theatre); A Streetcar Named Desire, The Crucible (Barrington Stage Company); Othello (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis); Dracula (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Lady Windermere’s Fan, The Tempest, Macbeth, Pericles, Lorenzaccio (The Shakespeare Theatre Company, DC); Proof (Triad Stage); A Christmas Carol (Virginia Stage Company); Taming of the Shrew, The Crucible (Capital Repertory Theatre); Crime and Punishment (Chester Theatre); Merchant of Venice, The Tempest (North Carolina Shakespeare Festival); Othello, Galileo, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night (Theatre of the Seventh Sister). TV/FILM: Hence the Stars, Pearl Divers, Small Shots: The Amish Matrix. Education: MFA University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
Oliver Wadsworth (Voltaire) NATIONAL TOUR; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. OFF BROADWAY: Endpapers (Variety Arts); Well (The Public Theater); REGIONAL: Mystery of Irma Vep (Arizona Theatre Company), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Fulton Theater); Misalliance (Old Globe and Seattle Repertory); An Enemy of the People (Long Wharf Theatre); Santaland Diaries, Dracula and Christmas Carol (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Peter Pan (Denver Center Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Syracuse Stage); Fully Committed (Metroland Best Performance), The Taming of the Shrew, Take Me Out and Art (Capital Rep.); Noises Off, Murder on the Nile (Dorset Theatre Festival), Shipwrecked, (AriZoni Award Best Supporting Actor), Angels in America Part l and ll (AriZoni award, Best Actor), Pillowman, Lieutenant of Inishmore, Nickel and Dimed (Actors Theatre Phoenix). Stones In His Pockets (Metroland Best Performance), (Adirondack Theatre Festival); The Art Room (Woolly Mammoth). TV & FILM: Upcoming “Beware the Night” with Eric Bana, “Ed’s Next Move”, “Dotty Gets Spanked” and “Law and Order SVU”. OliverWadsworth.com.
Lauren Gunderson (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright living in San Francisco. She studied at Emory University and NYU’s Tisch School of Performing Arts where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Her work has been produced and developed at companies across the US including South Cost Rep (Emilie, Silent Sky), The Kennedy Center (The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful And Her Dog!), Berkeley Rep, TheatreWorks, Crowded Fire, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre, The Magic, Actors Express, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage, Playwrights Foundation, Impact Theatre, The Lark, and The O’Neill. Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight is published with Samual French. The first play in her Shakespeare Cycle, Exit, Pursued By A Bear, is now published with Playscripts, as is the second, Toil and Trouble. She is a Playwright in Residence at The Playwrights Foundation, and a proud Dramatists Guild member. Los Angeles Times calls Gunderson someone who ‘possesses an antic imagination that seeks to invent its own rules. As soon as we’re drawn in, she shakes and whisks us 10 or 15 paces ahead’.
Kristen van Ginhoven (Director) is WAM’s Artistic Director. For WAM Theatre, Kristen’s directing credits include: The Old Mezzo (World Premiere), The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls and Sarah Ruhl’s Melancholy Play. She recently was a director for the 10×10 New Play Festival at Barrington Stage Company, where she also was assistant director for Sleuth and Absurd Person Singular. Elsewhere as a director, Kristen has worked at the Stratford Festival of Canada, Capital Repertory Theatre, Majestic Theatre, Cohoes Music Hall, and Emerson College. Kristen is a member of the 2013 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.
Brad Berridge (Sound Design) With WAM: The Old Mezzo, The Attic,The Pearls, and Three Fine Girls. Recent off-Broadway; Nightmare Alley, 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti, Himself and Nora, Cactus Flower Regional: Himself and Nora for the American Theatre Group; The Best of Enemies at George Street Playhouse, The Sparkly Clean Funeral Singers, The Sister Rosensweig,and Superior Donuts at Capital Repertory. The Black Suits, The Whipping Man, The Best of Enemies, and Pool Boy (world premieres) at Barrington Stage. The Crucible, A Streetcar Named Desire and many others at BSC. Brad is the Resident Sound Designer for The Sharon Playhouse. He is also the Creative Director for the sound art collective, Push The Button. Their work has been featured at the 2011 Prague Quadrennial in the Czech Republic and the 2011 Long Beach, CA SoundWalk. Brad lives in the Berkshire Mountains of Western MMassachusetts with his wife Ashley and children, Emma and Charles.
Ariel Bock (Vocal Coach) Ariel is a longtime member of Shakespeare & Company, where she has many acting credits, is a faculty member and serves administratively. A Designated Linklater Voice Teacher, she coaches privately and has been on the faculty of many New England colleges. Ariel has worked at the Wharton Salon and Mixed Company and with the Ensemble for the Romantic Century in NYC, playing Nadhezda Von Meck, Fanny Mendelsohn, Sonia Tolstoy and Anna Akhmatova.
Sam Craig (Technical Director) With WAM: The Old Mezzo, The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls. After over thirty years of experience in professional theatre, as a scenic designer, technical director, and production manager, Sam currently enjoys doing freelance specialty scenic projects for area theaters. He also enjoys woodcarving. He lives in Hinsdale with his wife Kate and Summer, their Labrador retriever.
Kelly Galvin (Associate Producer) In addition to serving as WAM’s Assistant to the Artistic Director, Kelly has collaborated with WAM on 10x10on10 and as director of My Seminarian in the Berkshire Fringe Festival. She is a company member at Shakespeare & Company where she has performed in King Lear, The Winter’s Tale, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses among others. She directs in the Fall Festival of Shakespeare, and teaches in the company’s education program. Regionally, Kelly has worked with the Wellesley Summer Theatre, Kitchen Theatre Company, and The Boston Publick. She attended Wellesley College where she studied Theatre and Political Science.
Norah Scheinman (Stage Manager) holds an MFA in Stage Management from Rutgers University. Most recently she served as PSM at Franklin Stage Company and worked for The Flea Theater on the extension of Johnathan Caren’s The Recommendation. Other companies she has had the pleasure to work with include The Atlantic Theater Company, FringeNYC, The Pearl Theatre Company, 13th Street Repertory, and The Santa Fe Opera. In January, she will be ASM for Yale Opera’s production of La Boheme.
Govane Lohbauer (Costume Design) is in her thirty fourth year with Shakespeare and Company where she is a primary designer and has been Costume Director for the last 13 years. This year she designed Master Class, Loves Labors Lost, Kaufman’s Barbershop and Leap Year. Selected credits at S&Co.: King Lear, The Liar, The Learned Ladies, Women Of Will, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Taster, Mengelberg and Mahler. She also has designed for Theatre 37 in Stockbridge for the last 12 years. As Adjunct Faculty/Designer, Simon’s Rock of Bard College: Cloud Nine, Our Country’s Good.
Emily Lutin (Movement Director) As a Movement Director, Dancer, Choreographer, Educator, & Yoga Instructor, Emily works with all ages and abilities towards strengthening movement awareness through the mind-body connection. With a BA in Dance and Arts & Education from Hobart & William Smith, and one course away from a MALS in Arts from Wesleyan University, she has performed and taught throughout with Mabou Mines Theater Company; The School for Gifted Children NY, NY; ESS/Danceworks, NY, NY; Nagunama Dance, NY, NY; Time Lapse Dance, NY, NY; Clark Dance Theatre, New Haven, CT; Young Audience’s; Catapult Entertainment and many more. Emily is currently the Director of Dance at Choate Rosemary Hall and founder of The Movementality.
Andi Lyons (Lighting Design) Andi has designed more than two hundred productions in a variety of professional and academic venues. Favorite recent credits include Imagining Madoff at Stageworks/Hudson; Twelfth Night at Williams College; Tosca at Tri-Cities Opera; Distant Music at Theater for the New City; Lonely Planet at Oklahoma State University; and Looking Over the President’s Shoulder at Capital Repertory Theatre. She is the Resident Designer at UAlbany, SUNY. Andi received her MFA from Yale’s School of Drama.
Vincent Olivieri (Composer) Broadway: High. Off-Broadway: The Water’s Edge, Omnium Gatherum and Fatal Attraction: A Greek Tragedy. New York & regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Barrington Stage Company, Center Stage (Baltimore), Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Geffen Playhouse, The Juilliard School, Pasadena Playhouse Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Portland Center Stage, The Public (New York), South Coast Repertory, Syracuse Stage, Woolly Mammoth and Yale Repertory Theatre. Mr. Olivieri has created designs & music for a variety of world-premiere productions. For three seasons, he was the Resident Sound Designer at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where he designed for the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Mr. Olivieri is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and serves on the faculty at University of California-Irvine.
Erin Ouellette (Assistant Scenic Design) Erin is a graduate of the Theatre Department at SUNY Albany where she studied performance and scenic painting; and is a graduate of the Conservatory at Shakespeare and Company. Erin has worked as an actor, scenic painter, and costumer/makeup artist in theatres throughout the northeast including Shakespeare and Company, Weston Playhouse, Northern Stage, Mac-Haydn Theatre and Hubbard Hall.
Juliana von Haubrich (Scenic Design) transplanted from NYC to the Berkshires 9 years ago. During her career, she designed productions in Detroit (Mosaic Youth Theatre), Los Angeles (Paramount Studios, Echo Theatre Co.), and NYC (The Juilliard School, The Acting Company, and Present Company Theatre). She has an MFA in Scenic Design from CalArts, and is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she received a BA in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. She has been designing for WAM Theatre since Melancholy Play in 2010.
Nate Wiessner (Production Manager) is Technical Director of Dance and Presenting Production Manager for the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance at Williams College. He is happy to be bringing his production experience to his work with WAM. Nate and his wife, Kimberly, live in North Adams, MA. He is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, CT.