Dates: October 13 – November 5, 2017
Location: Presented at Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St, Lenox, MA
Tickets: Info coming soon!
Please note all sales are final. No refunds available. Patrons may exchange tickets up to 48 hours before curtain– not including special event one-night performances. No refunds or exchanges for already discounted tickets.
The Last Wife
By Kate Hennig
Northeast Regional Premiere
The Last Wife premiered at the Stratford Festival in 2015 and enjoyed a completely sold-out and extended run.
WAM Theatre opened our 2016 Fresh Takes play reading with The Last Wife, to a sold out and enthusiastic crowd. This is the first Fresh Takes play to be chosen as a WAM Mainstage Production.
A contemporary retelling of the compelling relationship between Katherine Parr and Henry VIII, The Last Wife is a funny, powerful examination of patriarchy, sexual politics, and women’s rights.
Kate Parr is smart, confident, and passionate: a rising star in a world of intense competition. But her obligatory marriage to Henry is rife with the threat of violence and lure of deceit; her secret liaisons with Thom, her husband’s former brother-in-law, could send her to an early grave; and her devotion to the education and equal rights of Henry’s daughters is putting an even bigger strain on her marriage. Does Kate risk her life to gain authority in both her relationship and her political career? Which love will she be led to if she follows her heart? And what kind of future is there for her children if she makes a crucial mistake?
In keeping with WAM’s double philanthropic mission, a portion of proceeds from this production will be donated to WAM’s thirteenth beneficiary, the Soldier On Women’s Program.
Since 2005, Soldier On has been providing services to women veterans and currently offers a transitional housing program for up to sixteen homeless female veterans in a trauma informed care setting. Soldier On provides a safe, comfortable, structured environment that promotes healing and healthy life choice, helping veterans realize their full potential by providing them with activities and opportunities that embrace mind, body, and spirit. WAM’s donation will support care during the transition to independent or family life for the residents of the Soldier On Women’s Program.
What the Critics Said…
“a very smart piece of writing” – Chicago Tribune
“a superb first play” – The Star
“racy, in the sense of both pungency and speed” – National Post
“a riveting meditation on power, family, intimacy…sexual politics and women’s rights” – Ottawa Citizen
“an audacious, clever play” – Victoria Times-Colonist
NEHASSAIU deGANNES* (Kate) WAM Theatre: Debut. Elsewhere: Intimate Apparel, Door of No Return, Or, (Shakespeare & Co), The Convert (Underground Railway Theatre), King Lear (Chicago Shakes), Marisol, Tallest Building In The World (Luna Stage), Doubt, A Song For My Father, (Oldcastle), Door of No Return, EQUUS with Alec Baldwin (John Drew Theatre, Guild Hall), Brave New World (Litmus/ Theatre Passe Muraille), Hamlet (Driftwood), Romeo and Juliet, Three Musketeers (Stratford Festival of Canada); and in NYC: T.B. Sheets (Buran Theater), Gertrude Stein Lab (director) & Three Gifts for Lenny Bruce, Celia (Target Margin), readings & new play development with Ensemble Studio Theatre, Red Bull, The Lark, New Dramatists, New Georges, Columbia U. Training: Trinity Rep Conservatory, Brown University MFA. Awards: Berkshire Theater Award Outstanding Supporting Actor for Or,. Center For Book Arts National Poetry Award. Etcetera: Part-Time Lecturer, Theater Program, Princeton University. Thank you Kristin, Kelly, Kate Hennig & WAM! Thank you Princeton & Jane Cox too! Online: nehassaiu.com @NehassaiuActor
JOHN HADDEN* (Henry) WAM Theatre: Debut. Elsewhere: John is a founding member of Shakespeare & Co (2016 “Berkie” award-winner), co-founder/artistic director of Counterpoint Theater (Boston), was artistic director at Hubbard Hall (Cambridge, NY), and associate artist with We Players (San Francisco). He has acted in and directed about 100 plays here and abroad, and his own plays, including stray dogs, Hard Rain, King Fool, and Women at War, have been seen at LaMaMa ETC, PS 122, EST, the National Arts Club, Arsenal Center for the Arts, The Colonial, Mixed Company, the Wharton Salon, and The Good Ear Review. Et Cetera: A solo show, based on his book Conversations with a Masked Man: My Father, the CIA, and Me (Arcade 2016), is currently on tour. Online: johnlhadden.com.
DAVID JOSEPH* (Thom) WAM Theatre: Debut. Elsewhere: David has been at Shakespeare & Company for twelve seasons, past roles include: The Wharton Comedies, George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, Lysander in A Midsummer Nights Dream, Elyot in Private Lives, Dorante in The Liar, Sebastian in The Tempest, Clown 2 (12 Characters) in 39 Steps. Other recent roles include Michael in Can You Hear Me Baby ( NYC & The Goodwill Theatre), George in WORD PLAY at Playwrites Horizons, (NYC), Johnny in Hotel California (NYC), Coleman in I Married The Icepick Killer at Stella Adler Theatre (NYC). David is in post-production for the feature film he produced and starred in, Penny Land. Damsel by Douglas Burgdorf, another feature film, premiered at the Spain International Film Festival. Other Film credits: Romeo in Romeo & Juliet for The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, Glowing Screens Magdalena’s Brain. Et Cetera: David recently earned a Best Actor nomination for playing Charlie Chaplin in The Consul, The Tramp and Americas Sweetheart at Oldcastle Theatre. In 2008 and 2010, David sang the National Anthem at Fenway Park.
LILY LINKE (Mary) WAM Theatre: Debut. Elsewhere: Recent credits include Good (New Repertory Theatre), Julius Caesar, 1984, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Classic Repertory Company), and The Wastelands Project (Children of the Wild). Training: She received her BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University. Et Cetera: Lily is primarily a teacher and actor/educator, and has worked in schools, theaters, and after school and summer programs on both coasts. She currently manages New Repertory Theatre’s Education department.
ALICIA PIEMME NELSON (Bess) WAM Theatre: Debut. Elsewhere: Buck Hill Productions (As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale, The Taming of the Shrew), Bay Area Children’s Theatre (The Rainbow Fish Musical, Five Little Monkeys), Boston University (Don Juan Comes Back from the War, The Cherry Orchard, Mad Forest, The Duchess of Malfi, The Tall Girls), One Year Lease – Apprenticeship (Σε Τουτο το βουνο), Tabard Theatre (You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown). Training: BFA Acting – Boston University, Physical Theatre/Clowing – Accademia dell’Arte Awards: KCACTF Region VII Finalist Online: ampnelson.com
KATE HENNIG (Playwright) WAM Theatre: 2016 Fresh Takes Reading Series. Writing: Her writing includes poetry, stories, articles for industry publications, a dissertation, two blogs, and a research paper. As a playwright Kate has been a member of the Groundswell Playwrights’ Unit 2003 (More), Tarragon Playwrights’ Unit 2004 (More), and the Banff Playwrights’ Colony 2007 (More) and 2008 (Waterworks). Her play, The Eleventh David was produced in August 2006 as part of the SummerWorks Festival, to great critical and audience acclaim. Kate has written a monologue for movement and voice called The Penelope Principle. She has written two highly subscribed blogs documenting her acting experiences with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and with Billy Elliot: The Musical on Broadway. Her play Waterworks was given a reading at the Stratford Festival in 2012. Venues: The Banff Centre, Nightwood Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Blyth Festival, Grand Theatre, Shaw Festival, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Aquarius, Theatre Passe Muraille, and Volcano. Et Cetera: Kate’s writing has been funded by the Toronto Arts Council, and by the Ontario Arts Council through the Creators’ Reserve.
KELLY GALVIN (Director) WAM Theatre: Emilie remount (Associate Director), Artistic Associate (2012-2014), Fresh Takes Inaugural Playreading Series (Curator and Producer), Blue Stockings reading (Director), Emilie (Producer). Elsewhere: Directing: Southwest Shakespeare Company (Photograph 51), Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (Memorial), Shakespeare & Company (The Clean House reading, Fall Festival of Shakespeare 2008-2013, Bankside Preludes), Boston University School of Theatre (The Cherry Orchard, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Duchess of Malfi, The Tall Girls, Changes of Heart). Assistant Directing: Bedlam NYC, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Boston Center for American Performance, Shakespeare & Company. 2016 Directing Observership, Huntington Theatre Company. 2017 Artistic Development & Directing Internship, Arena Stage. Training: MFA Directing and Certificate in Arts Administration, Boston University. Wellesley College (BA, Political Theory and Theatre Studies).
About Soldier On
Soldier On has a single purpose mission of providing a continuum of programs to ensure that homeless veterans and their families have access to immediate and long-term housing with an array of supportive services delivered to them where they live. Soldier On’s goal is to help veterans become fully franchised and contributing members of their community by helping them to regain physical, mental, economic and housing stability within an environment of integrity, dignity and hope.
Since 2005 SOLDIER ON has been providing services to women veterans and currently offers a transitional housing program for up to sixteen homeless female veterans in a trauma informed care setting. Soldier On provides a safe, comfortable, structured environment that promotes healing and healthy life choice, helping veterans realize their full potential by providing them with activities and opportunities that embrace mind, body, and spirit.
Soldier On Women’s Program website: http://www.wesoldieron.org/wom