LENOX, MA (February 9, 2022) – By popular demand, WAM Theatre is thrilled to announce the return of its acclaimed Teen Ensemble this April. WAM invites Berkshire teens to join the company on a  journey of empowerment through creativity, teamwork, and devised theatre. WAM is accepting applications for its 2022 Teen Ensemble now through March 1.

“Theatre is a powerful source for social change,” said Talya Kingston, Teaching Artist and Associate Artistic Director.  “It’s always so thrilling to be in the room with passionate teenagers using theatrical tools to wrestle with big ideas.  This year, after a two year hiatus due to COVID, it’s particularly exciting to be able to bring teenagers from across the region together to create in person.”

Held over the school Spring Break, April 19-23, 2022, at The Foundry, West Stockbridge, this year’s ensemble will be challenged to imagine new visions for the future, inspired by the genres of Afrofuturism and science fiction. Ensemble participants will be guided in devised theatre methods and practices to envision and build new worlds.  

“I will never forget the people and the amazing conversations,” said 2018 Teen Ensemble Participant Kris Rock, “plus sharing my thoughts and music with other awesome humans, and learning that I actually CAN sing out loud!”

Led by WAM Teaching Artists Tatiana Godfrey and Talya Kingston, the Teen Ensemble is a paid theatre workshop for young people aged 13-18. Former experience in theatre is not necessary; the only criteria for participation is enthusiasm and the creative impulse to voice your feelings and/or ideas through artistic expression. Students will be taught the practice of devised theatre, a collaborative process where an ensemble uses a variety of techniques—including writing, improvisation, games, movement, brainstorming, and more—to create original theatre. 

Since 2018, WAM has paid Teen Ensemble Members a stipend for their participation to help off set participation costs. WAM believes this contributes to a more diverse group of young artists from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. 

“We know that teens could spend their April break working to earn money,” said Kingston,, “and we don’t want that to be a barrier to participation.”

The Teen Ensemble promotes teamwork, self-confidence, and creativity. Parents, councilors, teachers, and community leaders are encouraged to nominate students who would thrive in a collaborative creative environment. Questions and nominations for Teen Ensemble  can be sent to WAM Teaching Artist and Teen Ensemble Program Director Tatiana Godfrey at tatiana@wamtheatre.com.

WAM is accepting applications now through March 1. Interested students can apply online at: www.wamtheatre.com/engage/teen-ensemble/.

Additional WAM Theatre Community Engagement programming will be announced in the Fall in connection with our mainstage production that will include student matinee performances, study guide, facilitated conversations and workshops.  For more information, visit wamtheatre.com/engage.

At A Glance

WAM Teen Ensemble
Led by WAM Teaching Artists Tatiana Godfrey and Talya Kingston
April 19-23, 2022
at The Foundry, West Stockbridge, MA

Apply online at: www.wamtheatre.com/engage/teen-ensemble/.
Application deadline: March 1, 2022

More about WAM’s Teaching Artists

Tatiana Godfrey (Company Dramaturg and Teaching Artist) is a dramaturg, improviser, educator, and Co-Artistic Director of Impro Theater Company in Los Angeles. WAM Theatre: ROE (Assistant Dramaturg), Kamloopa (Production Dramaturg), Flying Cloud/WAM workshop for 8-10 year olds (Teaching Artist).  Theatre Teaching: Instructor and Teaching Assistant for dramaturgy courses at the University of Massachusetts; five years teaching drama at the Cincinnati School for Creative & Performing Arts; improv and acting classes taught at Los Angeles’ Impro Theatre, Improv Cincinnati, Ohio State Thespian Conference, Georgia State Thespian conference, Teacher’s Assistant at the Atlantic Acting School. Community Engagement/Activist work: She works directly with the students of Operation Exodus, a faith based organization that provides education and family resources to the underserved community in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.  Selected Dramaturgy Credits: No Dogs Allowed (Atlantic Theatre Company), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company), The Revolutionists (Silverthorne Theater Company), Good Hair (Pipeline Theatre Company PlayLab). Selected Performance Credits: Phil Spector (HBO) and Outside (Rio Contrada), and as an Improvisational Comedian at: Improv Cincinnati, ComedySportz Cincinnati, Impro Theatre. Creative inspiration: Tatiana believes in being in the room and drawing her inspiration from those with her in the present moment. Training: Tatiana holds a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and an MFA in dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. www.tatianagodfrey.com

Talya Kingston (Associate Artistic Director & Teaching Artist) is a dramaturg, playwright and educator, who is inspired by the live interactions between artists and audiences and how these can be a catalyst for social change.  Theatre Teaching: Lecturer in Dramaturgy at UMass, Amherst, 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.  Dramaturgy: WAM Theatre (ROE, Lady Randy), 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, Playwrights Incubation Collective, Dramatists Guild and North-East Regional VP for LMDA Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.

WAM 2022 Sponsors
WAM Theatre is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act for the National Endowment for the Arts. Recently, WAM was  recommended for an American Rescue Plan grant from the National  Endowment for the Arts. 

WAM’s sponsors include Adams Community Bank, Blue Q., Berkshire Roots, Blue Spark Financial, Downright Pro, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Garden Gables Inn, Guidos Fresh Marketplace,  Health Professional Coaching, Heller & Robbins Attorneys at Law, Interprint, Only in my Dreams Events, Onyx Specialty Papers, Outpost Productions, Prix Fixe, RB Design Co., T Square Design Studio, Toole Insurance, a. von schlegell & co, and the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts.

WAM Theatre’s 2022 Season is also supported in part by grants from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Berkshire Bank,  Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation,  The Feigenbaum Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), Mass Humanities, Lee Bank Foundation, Scarlet Sock Foundation and U.S. Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant; as well as grants from the Dalton Cultural Council, Lee Cultural Council, Lenox Cultural Council, Pittsfield Cultural Council, Northern Berkshire Cultural Council,  Otis Cultural Council, Sandisfield Cultural Council, and Washington Cultural Council.

About WAM Theatre
WAM Theatre is a professional theatre company based in Berkshire County, MA, that operates at the intersection of arts and activism. WAM creates theatre for gender equity and has a vision of theatre as philanthropy. 

In fulfillment of its philanthropic mission, WAM donates a portion of the proceeds from their Mainstage productions to carefully selected beneficiaries. Since WAM’s founding in 2010, they have donated more than $80,000 to 23 local and global organizations taking action for gender equity in areas such as girls education, teen pregnancy prevention, sexual trafficking awareness, midwife training, and more. 

In addition to Mainstage productions and special events, WAM’s activities include innovative community engagement programs and the Fresh Takes Play Reading Series. To date, WAM has provided paid work to more than 500 theatre artists, the majority of whom are female-identifying.

As a civic organization that embraces intersectional feminism (feminism that acknowledges how multiple forms of discrimination overlap), WAM understands that to address one piece of systemic discrimination means we have to address them all. This is on-going personal and professional work at WAM for the staff and board, detailed in their recently released accountability plan.

WAM Theatre has been widely recognized for having a positive impact on cultural and community development in the region. WAM is the recipient of the Creative Economy Standout Berkshire Trendsetter Award and previously, was named Outstanding Philanthropy Corporation of the Year by the Western MA Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Kristen van Ginhoven, WAM’s Producing Artistic Director, was honored by the Berkshire Theatre Critics Association (BTCA) with the prestigious Larry Murray Award, presented at the discretion of the BTCA Board to a person or theatre project that advances social, political, or community issues in Berkshire County. 

For more information, visit www.wamtheatre.com

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