NEW ENGLAND PREMIERE
October 30–November 16 $15–$40 ($4.50 charge for booking online)
Shakespeare & Company Berry Family Studio (Studio 3) Elayne P. Bernstein Center 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA
“A theatrical offering that is also a call to arms.” — Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater
By WINTER MILLER Directed by KRISTEN VAN GINHOVEN
In Darfur is the provocative tale of three lives that intersect in the most challenging of circumstances: a camp for internally displaced persons. The story 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. In Darfur is a journey of courage and humanity in the face of peril.
In Darfur was the result of playwright Winter Miller’s work as researcher for The New York Times’ columnist Nicholas Kristof during the genocide in Darfur. “In Darfur’s based on a real case that I once reported on… (Winter) turned it into this incredibly powerful play,” says Kristof, whose book ‘Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity’ co-authored with Sheryl WuDunn, inspired Kristen van Ginhoven to create WAM Theatre. In Darfur premiered at The Public Theater in New York for a sold-out run; this is the New England premiere.
In Darfur is for ages 16+
Tricia Alexandro (Maryke) WAM Theatre debut. Previous credits: The Goddess (NYC Premiere, The Looking Glass Theatre Co.), Closing Costs, According to the Chorus, Short Stuff, Expecting Isabel and The Family Jewels (The Barrow Group Theatre), The Madwoman of Chaillot (MTBStudio), Italian-American Reconciliation (Gene Frankel Theatre), Love and Art (The Shelter), The Lions Meet for Lunch (NYU), Urban Momfare (Emerging Artists Theatre). Film credits include: Red and Dale, Boomerang, Happy New Year, The Big Fall, and Stealing Martin Lane. Training: Binghamton University (BA), Manhattan Film Institute, The Barrow Group School, LAByrinth Intensive Ensemble and Playhouse West (LA). Et Cetera: Tricia would like to express her tremendous gratitude to Jessica Provenz and Kristen van Ginhoven for the opportunity to tell this vital and indelible story. Website: www.triciaalexandro.com.
Christina Gordon (Jan) WAM Theatre debut. Previous credits: Good People (The Public Theatre & Shadowland Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Reasons to be Pretty. Television credits: Person of Interest and Guiding Light. Additionally, she is a company member with the nationally touring children’s theater company, The Pushcart Players, performing: Little Red Ridding Hood & Other Stories and Stone Soup & Other Stories. Training: Rutgers University (MFA in Acting) Et Cetera: Big thank you to all her family and friends for the love and support, and to God for giving her this wonderful opportunity! Website: www.ChristinaGordon.com
Shannon Harris (Hamida) WAM Theatre debut. Recent credits: Queen Margaret in Unsex Me Here (HERE Arts Center) and Mama in Fortune at this year’s MITF in NYC. Other select credits: The Winter’s Tale (in NJ & London) (Paulina/Time/Dorcas & Hermione), AUDELCO Award nominated Dream Deferred (Lovey Jones & Angela Walker), Romeo and Juliet (Nurse), Mama Africa (Mama), Comedy of Errors (Adriana), for colored girls… (Lady in Red), AMSND (Titania), and Trojan Women (Hecuba). Training: Royal CSSD (MA, Classical Acting – Distinction); AADA-LA; Barnard College (BA, English).
marcus d. harvey (Male Ensemble) WAM Theatre debut. UK Credits: Fes in An American Dream (Old Vic, London) Selected NY Credits: Pains of Youth (Alt/NY Premiere), Julius Caesar (Julius Caesar), Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice (Father), The Fairy Garden (Roman), A Bright Room Called Day (Husz). Regional credits: Fences (Cory), Master Harold…and the boys (Willie), The Colored Museum, Blues for Mister Charlie (Richard) Training: UNC-Chapel Hill (BA), NYU (MA in Dramatic Writing), Brooklyn College (MFA in Acting). Teaching: Lecturer, Baruch College. Et Cetera: Favorite role is being Krystle Cohen’s fiancé. Thanks WAM Theatre, cast and crew for this amazing journey. Website: www.themarcusdharvey.com
Warren Jackson (Male ensemble), WAM Theatre debut. National Tour: Macbeth (Fleance,, Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Romeo & Juliet (Benvolio, Chicago Shakespeare Theater). Regional credits: Shoes (World Premiere, Victory Gardens Theater: BTA Nominee Best Featured Actor); Cymbeline/Pericles (Philario/Leonine, Court Theater), Tempest (Ariel, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival); Fences (Cory, Clarence Brown Theater; Lyons, Gloucester Stage); Talking to Westfield (Premier Stages); Railroad Bill (Chester Theater Co.). Off-Off Broadway: Pecong, Romeo & Juliet (Romeo, American Globe Theater), King Lear (Edmund, Inwood Shakespeare Festival), Henry V (Fluellen, Classical Theater of Harlem), Merry Wives of Windsor (Fenton/Simple, Brave New World), Coriolanus (Titus Lartius, Harlem Shakespeare Festival), The Long Christmas Dinner (Charles). Television: Green Screen Adventures (Chicago, Midwest regional Emmy Ensemble Nominee). Training: University of Arizona (MFA). Et. Cetera: A company member with Brave New World Repertory in Brooklyn, NY.
Richard Lounello (Carlos) WAM Theatre debut. Recent credits: Kenny in Laughter On The 23rd Floor (Oldcastle Theatre), Toddy Koovitz in Take Me Out (Capital Rep), Marc in M. Butterfly (Capital Rep), Victor Fleming in Moonlight & Magnolias (Theater Barn), Alan in The Boys In the Band (Chandler Theatre). Film credits: Fourth Man Out opposite Kate Flannery (“The Office”), The Ticket opposite Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”), and the Emmy nominated Prohibition Story as Jack “Legs” Diamond. Website: www.richardlounello.com
SIPIWE MOYO (Hawa) WAM Theatre debut. Off-Broadway: Prometheus Bound (Classic Stage Company), Trojan Women (The Classical Theatre of Harlem). Off-Off Broadway: Pink Melon Joy (Brave New World Theatre/Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival). Regional credits: Henry V (New Theatre-Miami, FL), Metamorphoses (Pittsburgh Public Theatre), The Overwhelming (Contemporary American Theatre Festival). Television: The Blacklist. Training: NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (BFA). Et. Cetera: Member of Big Apple Playback Theatre Company and a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association. Many thanks to her family, friends, management team and loving husband for all their support! Website: www.sipiwe.com
WINTER MILLER (Playwright). WAM Theatre debut. NYC Theatre: an award-winning playwright and founding member of the Obie-recognized collective 13 Playwrights. In Darfur premiered at The Public Theater, followed by a standing room only performance at their 1800-seat Delacorte Theater in Central Park, a first for a play by a woman. In Darfur won the 2006 “Two-Headed Challenge” commission from the Guthrie and the Playwrights Center. She traveled with her former boss, New York Times Pulitzer-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof to the Sudan border to research on the ground. In Darfur has been produced in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Florida, Canada and staged nationally for benefits. Other plays: The Penetration Play (produced by 13P), Paternity (Cherry Lane Mentor Project, mentored and directed by Craig Lucas), the musical Amandine (developed at Joe’s Pub, Orchard Project, NYTW Monday@3, Theatreworks), The Arrival (developed at Sundance Institute, Playwrights Center, The New Group), Seed (developed at Playwrights Center, upcoming NYTW Mondays@3). Training: Columbia (MFA) and graduated cum laude from Smith College. Et Cetera: She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist. Website: www.wintermiller.com
BRAD BERRIDGE (Sound/Projection Design/Composer/WAM Associate Artist) WAM Theatre: Emilie and The Old Mezzo (world premiere), The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls. Off-Broadway: Loot, Nightmare Alley, 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti, Himself and Nora, Cactus Flower. Regional Theatre: The Whipping Man, The Best of Enemies (world premieres), The Crucible, A Streetcar Named Desire and many others (Barrington Stage). Other Desert Cities, Gypsy, The God Game, A Christmas Carol, The Sister Rosensweig, and others (Capital Repertory). Brad is the Resident Sound Designer for The Sharon Playhouse. He is also the Creative Director for the sound art collective, Push The Button. Et Cetera: Brad lives in the Berkshires with his wife, WAM Board President Ashley Berridge and their children, Emma and Charles. Website: www.bradberridge.com
MOLLY CLANCY (Assistant Director) WAM Theatre: Artistic Associate, Fresh Takes Play Reading Series Curator. Assistant Director for How The World Began and Seven Homeless Mammoth Wander New England. Regional Theatre: Molly works at Shakespeare & Company as Publicity & Playbill Director and has worked at Florida Studio Theatre and Home Made Theatre. Additional assistant directing: Charlotte’s Web and The Wizard of Oz (Forest Lake Theatre) and The Rwandans’ Visit (Lougheed Festival of the Arts at SUNY Potsdam). Training: SUNY Potsdam (BA in Theatre and English).
STEPHANIE KLAPPER (New York Casting Consultant) WAM Theatre debut. Previous credits: Her work is frequently seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, internationally, on television, film, and the Internet. Bronx Bombers, A Christmas Story: The Musical, Dividing the Estate. She is the resident casting director for Primary Stages, The Pearl Theatre Company, New York Classical Theatre and Fuerza Bruta/Wayra. NY Casting for many Regional Theatres. Independent films: Stag, Stood Up, Alice Jacobs is Dead, Roberta, Feast of the Goat; Sidewalk Stories. Eve Ensler’s One Billion Rising, the video; Webisode: Battery Park, Highlights of a Mom’s Life, Parking Lot Chronicles. Television: Lazytown. Et Cetera: She recently worked with Kristen van Ginhoven on The Whale (Adirondack Theatre Festival). Member of The Casting Society of America and League of Professional Theatre Women.
SAM CRAIG (Technical Director) WAM Theatre: Emilie, The Old Mezzo; The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls. Past Credits: 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. Et. Cetera: He lives in Hinsdale with his wife Kate and Summer, their Labrador retriever.
CHRISTOPHER SHANE DONOVAN (Production Manager) WAM Theatre: The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls, The Old Mezzo and 24 Hour Play Festival (2012 and 2013). Regional Theatre: The Golem of Havana, Southern Comfort, 10×10 2012, 2013 and 2014, The Suicide and The Crucible (Barrington Stage Company), The Screwtape Letters National Tour and a season at Northern Stage. Christopher is also Production Manager for Starry Night Theater Company’s Vincent. Et Cetera: Christopher is a proud member of the WAM family! Much love to my family and friends for their continued support and for always reminding me that it’s not how much you make, it’s what you make.
LAURA KATHRYNE GOMEZ (Stage Manager) WAM Theatre debut Off-Broadway: 17 Orchard Point (DiMaggio House Creative), The Architecture of Becoming (Women’s Project Theater), Philip Goes Forth (Mint Theater Co.), Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking! (47th Street Theatre), Wild With Happy (The Public Theater), Sleep No More (Emursive), American Jornalero (INTAR). Regional Theatre: Life Science (Berkshire Playwrights Lab), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Shakespeare & Company). Et Cetera: Proud member AEA. Thank you to Joey for being something awesome!
GOVANE LOHBAUR (Costume Designer) WAM Theatre: Emilie. Regional Theatre: She is in her 34th season with Shakespeare & Company where she is Costume Director and a principle designer. Select credits include Shakespeare’s Will, The Complete Works of Wm. Shakespeare (Abridged), Private Eyes; It’s a Wonderful Life, Private Lives, Loves Labors Lost, King Lear, The Liar, The Learned Ladies, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Taster, Twelfth Night, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Ladies Man, Enchanted April, Ice Glen. Selected other: Red Noses, Metamorphosis, Top Girls, H.M.S. Pinafore, Gianni Schicci, Carousel, The Merry Widow. Et Cetera: Govane is thrilled to be on the team again.
JESSICA PROVENZ (Coordinating Producer) WAM Theatre debut. Producing credits: Jessica produced the film Nothing Happened, which screened at three dozen festivals worldwide. Regional Theatre: A writer for the stage, screen, and print, Jessica was commissioned to write the libretto of Matchbook (The Araca Group). True Art (Pioneer Theatre, National Arts Club, The Directors Company), A Wake on Chappaquiddick (Cape Cod Theatre Project, Irish Rep, and New Georges), Truth or Consequences (DR2), Better than Chocolate and Andromeda (Berkshire Playwrights Lab) and sweet perfume (The Barrow Group). Training: Playwright-in-Residence at The Juilliard School and Northwestern University (BS). Et Cetera: A regular contributor to Berkshire Magazine, Jessica served as Anthony Weiner’s Policy Director in his run for Mayor. Jessica was a two-time recipient of the Lecomte du Noüy Award for best emerging playwright.
MELISSA RAO (Assistant Stage Manager) WAM Theatre: Emilie (Second Production Assistant). Regional theatre: Shakespeare’s Will, Julius Caesar, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (all Wardrobe at Shakespeare & Company).Tennessee Williams – Straight Up…and Salted with a Twist of Durang (Stage Manager at Blue Horse Repertory Company), Gypsy (Wardrobe at Capital Repertory Theatre), and wardrobe for the 2013 season at Mac-Haydn Theatre, The Cherry Orchard (Stage Manager at Walking the Dog Theatre), Hair (Wardrobe at Cohoes Music Hall), The Merchant of Venice (Ensemble, Intern at Saratoga Shakespeare Company), HamletIRAN (Bernardo, Guildenstern at Siena College). Et Cetera: Melissa is thrilled to be working with WAM Theatre again! Many thanks to her family, friends, and boyfriend for their unwavering support!
MEGAN REISEL (Movement Coach) WAM Theatre debut. Previous Credits: Megan has been teaching dance, martial art and movement therapy for over 40 years. She holds two degrees in Dance, certification in Laban Movement Analysis, is a registered Somatic Movement therapist and owner of the Kinesphere Gyrotonic studio in Lee, MA. She has coached dancers and actors for performances here and in Los Angeles. Et Cetera: Thanks to Kristen for being open to having a Movement coach on site!
NATALIE ROBIN (Lighting Design) WAM Theatre debut. NYC credits: Natalie is a NYC-based lighting designer, the associate producer of American Realness, a founding company member of Polybe + Seats, an Associate Artist of Target Margin Theater, and an adjunct faculty member at NYU Tisch. Upcoming projects: White (danspace project), The Brightness of Heaven (VHTD/Cherry Lane) and Placebo (Playwrights Horizons). Training: Columbia (BA) and NYU/Tisch (MFA) Et. Cetera: Natalie is the winner of the Apollo Lighting 2011 Standing O Award, a Live Design Magazine 2008 Young Designer to Watch, and a nominee for the Rolex Mentors and Protégés Arts Initiative. Natalie is a contributing writer to Live Design Magazine and Stage Directions. Website: www.natalierobinlighting.com
DOUGLAS SELDIN (Fight Director) WAM Theatre debut. Regional Theatre: fight director and teacher for Shakespeare & Company, Worcester Shakespeare Company, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Seattle Rep, Barrington Stage Company, Las Vegas Stunt Team, New England Youth Theatre, Saratoga Shakespeare Company, Boston College, University of Washington, Caffè Lena, and Skidmore College. Training: Skidmore College (BS) and founding member of The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company. Et Cetera: Doug is also a Certified Advanced Actor-Combatant through Dueling Arts International & The Society of American Fight Directors.
JULIANA VON HAUBRICH (Scenic Designer/WAM Associate Artist) WAM Theatre: Emilie, The Old Mezzo, The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls, and Melancholy Play. Regional Theatre: The Whale (Adirondack Theatre Festival), All My Sons (Main Street Stage), Taming of the Shrew (The Acting Company), Pudd’nhead Wilson (The Acting Company), La Cenerentola (The Juilliard School), Richard II (The Juilliard School), A Place Like This (Present Company), Word to No One (Present Company), The Mermaid (NY Fringe 2000), In Real Life (Center Theatre Group), Ghosts in the Cottonwood (Echo Theatre Company). Training: University of Michigan (BA), California Institute of the Arts (MFA). Website: www.julianadesignsvonhaubrich.com
Beneficiary for the production: Mother of Peace Orphanage in Illovo South Africa
The beneficiary of this year’s philanthropic donation, who will receive 25% of the box office proceeds from the production, is the 13 mothers at the Mother of Peace Orphanage in Illovo South Africa. These 13 women have dedicated their lives to raising the children as their own and WAM’s donation will honor and celebrate their work. WAM first heard about the Mother of Peace Orphanage from Berkshire resident Susie Weekes, who, since 2002, has been involved with the orphanage and who, in the midst of her many other worthy endeavours, is committed to doing what she can for the children and women there. When WAM Theatre artistic director Kristen van Ginhoven first met Susie, she talked about her dream to honor and celebrate the 13 mothers with some recognition and money of their own. Through WAM’s production of In Darfur, she will be able to do just that.
WAM Theatre has organized an art exhibition that features work by award-winning photojournalists and , both of whom have spent extensive time on assignment in Sudan. Recognized for documenting humanitarian crises across the globe, they are represented by striking images that reflect the themes of In Darfur: life in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps; the plight of women in conflict zones; and the ravages of disease in South Sudan. Also on exhibit is work by local artists from the recent show, Paper Dresses, created by PRESS Gallery Chief , which addresses the roles and expectations of women in society. The exhibition also provides an intimate look at the beneficiaries of In Darfur: the 13 housemothers at Orphanage in Illovo, South Africa.
Following each performance is WAM’s “Part 2: An Open Conversation”, a moderated conversation with various notable professionals with extensive experience in social justice, work in conflict zones, racial aggression, women’s rights or front line experience. Joining us for these talks are:
October 31 & November 1: Playwright Winter Miller
Award-winning playwright Winter Miller, who was inspired to write In Darfur by her first-hand experience in a refugee camp on the Chad border as a researcher for New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof during the Darfuri genocide. A founding member of the Obie-recognized collective 13 Playwrights, Miller recently attended a rehearsal of WAM Theatre’s production to provide insight to the cast and crew. “I’m really excited for WAM to do this show,” says Miller. “Everyone I have met from WAM is really open and warm-hearted, and that’s special to find. It’s a privilege for me to work with people who are so invested in bringing this play to life.”
November 2: Denise Ellis
A professor who teaches graduate social work students at Kean University and makes frequent international presentations on international social work, social and economic justice, human rights, social welfare policy, democracy, and economic issues, Denise Ellis is also a consultant on issues related to child sexual abuse and intervention.
November 7: Charles Jones
A veteran professor who has taught courses in criminal law and civil rights at various law schools, including Rutgers-Newark School of Law, Harvard Law, Seton Hall Law School, and Seattle University School of Law, Charles Jones is currently working on a book analyzing American hate speech and hate crimes.
November 8: Kristen van Ginhoven & cast members
An accomplished director, actor, and educator, van Ginhoven was inspired to create WAM Theatre in 2010 after reading Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. She is an associate member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, a freelance artist for ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association, an organization devoted to international youth theatre education), and was a member of the 2013 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. She will lead a talk back/Q&A with members of the cast of In Darfur, professional actors who bring not only their talent and technique to this project, but also their deep passion to share this important story.
November 9: Brenda Oppermann
With over 25 years of experience working primarily in international development and stability operations in fragile states and areas of conflict and post-conflict in Africa, Central Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, Brenda Oppermann has served as an advisor, researcher, and senior program manager specializing in women and conflict, gender issues, traditional justice, civil society, governance, and counterinsurgency for organizations including NATO, the UN, the US Department of Defense, the US Army, USAID, and the US Institute for Peace.
CLICK HERE to read “Hawks, Doves and Canaries: Women and Conflict,” an article by Oppermann published in Small Wars Journal on August 14, 2014.
November 14: Jennifer Browdy & Pauline Dongala
Jennifer Browdy is the founding director of the Berkshire Festival for Women Writers and a professor of comparative literature, gender studies, and human rights at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. She is the co-editor, with Pauline Dongala, of the anthology African Women Writing Resistance (University of Wisconsin Press, 2010) and for more than a decade has organized an annual conference in observance of International Women’s Day, focusing on women’s human rights worldwide.
Originally from Congo-Brazzaville, where she worked for 14 years at the American Embassy in Brazzaville, Pauline Dongala moved to the United States in 1999 after a series of civil wars took the lives of many of her family members. She is the founder of a women’s empowerment project in Congo and has shared her perspectives on African women’s human rights with many audiences, both internationally and domestically.
November 15: Theo Padnos
After teaching poetry to prisoners in a Vermont jail – experience that served as the subject matter of his first book, My Life Has Stood a Loaded Gun – Theo moved to Yemen and to study Islam. Following the publication of his second book, Undercover Muslim, a critique of Islamic extremism, he was kidnapped in 2012 and held hostage for nearly two years, until he was released by al-Nursa Front in August 2014.
CLICK HERE to read “My Captivity,” an article by Padnos about his time as a captive of Al-Qaeda, published in the New York Times Magazine on Sunday, November 2, 2014.
November 16: Check Presentation to Mother of Peace
Berkshire-based activist and philanthropist Susie Weekes will be on hand to receive the check on behalf of the 13 housemothers at Mother of Peace Orphanage in Illovo, South Africa, who care for 81 children who have been orphaned, abused, or impacted by HIV/AIDs. WAM Theatre will honor their important work and selfless dedication by giving them 25% of the box office proceeds from this production of In Darfur. Significantly, most of the housemothers plan to use this donation to invest in education for themselves and members of their families.