WAM Theatre Accepting Applications for New Elder Ensemble

WAM Theatre Accepting Applications for New Elder Ensemble

LENOX, MA (February 11, 2019) — Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven, Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston, and the WAM team are proud to launch their much-anticipated Elder Ensemble – a performance group for a diverse cohort of women over 65 years. In July 2019, this group will spend three weeks creating an original performance using devised theatre methods.  An informational workshop will be held on March 2nd, 2019, from 11am-1pm at Lenox Yoga.

The criteria for participation is enthusiasm and the creative impulse to voice feelings and ideas through multiple forms of artistic expression. Devised theatre is a collaborative process where an ensemble uses a variety of techniques – writing, improvisation, games, movement, brainstorming, and more – to create original performance material.  Performance experience welcome but not necessary.

“As a theatre artist, there is nothing more satisfying than starting from scratch, not knowing where you will end up, then savoring the surprising, rich result of the process,” WAM Teaching Artist Amy Brentano, who will be directing the ensemble, explained. “Devising original material gives participants a deep sense of ownership while allowing them to delve into themes drawing from all of their diverse talents, interests, personal experiences, wisdom, and bias. Senior artists bring a depth of vision and delicious narrative to the work, often offering all of us inspiration while sharing their fierce life force.

The Elder Ensemble will rehearse over three weeks beginning July 8, 2019, and then will present four public performances in connection with the WAM Teen Ensemble July 23-28, 2019. The two ensembles will be working at the same time around the same theme to ultimately create an inter-generational piece that will premiere at the WAM gala at the Stationery Factory in Dalton on July 24, 2019.

Tuition for this program is $300.  There are eight spots available for this ensemble.  Scholarships are available, please ask.

A free workshop for all interested participants will be held on March 2nd, 11am-1pm at Lenox Yoga Studio, 4 Main St, Lenox. At this workshop we will give more information about the Elder Ensemble and do some creative activities together. Attendance at this workshop is not mandatory for participation in the summer program.

To sign up for the March 2 workshop, express interest in the summer program, or for more information, please contact Talya Kingston at (413) 274.2024 or by email at talya@wamtheatre.com.


AMY BRENTANO (Teaching Artist) WAM Theatre: Teaching Artist for WAM’s Teen Ensemble (Mis-Labelled, What’s That Sound, Seeking Justice, The Boy Who Cried Wolf), Teaching Artist for In-School Teen Ensemble at Richmond Consolidated School and Pittsfield High School. Elsewhere: She was the film and theatre director at Berkshire Country Day School for four years, and she teaches and directs theatre at Richmond Consolidated School. In the past she has worked for Berkshire Theatre Group, Barrington Stage Playwright Mentoring Project, and the Southern Berkshire Regional School District. Brentano was the Co-artistic Director for Red Earth Ensemble and Producing Director for Don Quijote Experimental Children’s Theatre at Lincoln Square Theatre in New York City. She performed under the direction of Moises Kaufman at Theatre for the New City; and at La MaMa ETC as an ensemble member of Teatron. She appeared in an original piece at Shire City in Pittsfield with Kickwheel Ensemble and is currently the Co-Artistic Director of Bazaar Productions.

TALYA KINGSTON (Associate Artistic Director and Teaching Artist) WAM Theatre: Administrator and Teaching Artist for the Teen and Elder Ensemble programs and Curator for the Fresh Takes Play Reading Series.  Theatre Teaching: Guest Artist at Mount Holyoke College, Visiting Professor of Theatre at Hampshire College, Co-Teacher UMass Study Abroad Program at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, Education Director at Hartford Stage, Visiting Professor at Capital Community College, Educational Program Coordinator at the New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco.  Playwriting: Campus Unrest (2018 Play by Play Festival, finalist in the 2019 Bechtel Test Fest), Wave Goodbye (reading at Theatre Truck, semi-finalist  for Provincetown Playhouse’s New Plays for Young Audiences), Sheryl Addresses the PGO (The New England Monologues Project), Wishing on Satellites. Dramaturgy: Hartford Stage (Necessary Targets, Write On! Teen Playwrights Series, My Hartford Teen Performance Ensemble Oral History Project), New York Fringe Festival (Helmet), Ko Festival (Seriously..  What Did You Call Me? Written and performed by Onawumi Jean Moss), UMass, Amherst (Gum, Christmas Carol, Bovver Boys, The Last Five Years, Life is a Dream, Late Style).  Publications: Scene Magazine, Theater Journal, The Moving Voice, European Stages, Howlround and The Valley Advocate. Training: MFA University of Massachusetts, Directing Fellow at Julliard. Etc: proud member of the Northampton Playwrights Lab, and North-East Regional VP for LMDA Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.

WAM Tenth Anniversary Sponsors

Our 2019 sponsors include Adams Community Bank, Baystate Financial, Berkshire Magazine, Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing, Blue Spark Financial, Brabson Library & Educational Foundation, Custom Business Solutions, The Dylandale Foundation, Frankie’s Ristorante Italiano, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, Haven Cafe and Bakery, Interprint, J.H. Maxymillian, Inc., Lee Bank, Maggie Barry, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Only in My Dreams Events, Onyx Specialty Papers, RB Design Co., The Rogovoy Report, The Rookwood Inn, Salisbury Bank, T Square Design Studio, Toole Insurance, a. von schlegell & co.

WAM Theatre is also supported in part by grants from the Alford-Egremont Cultural Council, Lenox Cultural Council, Cultural Council of Northern Berkshires, Hinsdale-Peru Cultural Council, Otis Cultural Council, Richmond Cultural Council, Sheffield Cultural Council, West Stockbridge Cultural Council– local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LADY RANDY is sponsored in part by an anonymous donor and PIPELINE is sponsored in part by Carolyn Butler.


Based in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, WAM Theatre is celebrating its 10th anniversary of being a place Where Arts and Activism Meet. The company was co-founded in 2010 by Canadian director, actor, educator, and producer Kristen van Ginhoven. WAM’s vision is to create opportunity for women and girls through the mission of theatre as philanthropy.

Inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, WAM donates a portion of the proceeds from its theatrical events to organizations that benefit women and girls.

Since 2010, WAM Theatre has provided paid work to more than 200 theatre artists and donated more than $56,500 to fifteen local and global organizations taking action for women and girls in areas such as girls education, teen pregnancy prevention, sexual trafficking awareness, midwife training and more. In addition to the main stage productions and special events, WAM Theatre’s activities include a comprehensive educational outreach program and the Fresh Takes Play Reading Series. For more information, visit www.WAMTheatre.com