Hosted by the Acclaimed Jayne Atkinson
LENOX, MA (June 7, 2022) — Producing Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven, Managing Director Molly Merrihew, and the WAM Theatre team are proud to present a special one-night-only benefit cabaret at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA. hosted by Tony Award and Drama Desk Nominee Jayne Atkinson (House of Cards, Criminal Minds, Bluff City Law). WAM invites the community to join us in celebration on Thursday, July 7, 2022 at 7:30pm for A MisCast Cabaret—a performance to support WAM Theatre’s Education and Community Engagement programs—empowering and uplifting women and girls. Tickets are on sale now.
In this MisCast Cabaret, WAM artists, accompanied by live musicians, will perform favorite Broadway songs from roles in which they would not traditionally be cast. In line with WAM’s mission, the event provides a fun way to question traditional gender roles – while singing along. Audiences can expect to hear their favorite songs from The Sound of Music, Hamilton, Follies, Gypsy, A Chorus Line, City of Angels, Fun Home, Fiddler on the Roof, Pirates of Penzance, and more.
“All of us at WAM are looking forward to this celebratory night out,” said Producing Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven. “ We are eager to gather live with our Berkshire Community for a one night only joyful and moving celebration of our resilience in making our way through this pandemic.”
WAM’s MisCast Cabaret brings together a dynamic ensemble of local musical theatre performers, including actors from previous WAM Theatre shows: Kyle Boatwright (Bright Half Life), Jasmine Rochelle Goodspeed (Kamloopa), Wendy Welch (ROE), KD McTeigue (The New Galileos, ROE), Tom Truss (The Thanksgiving Play), Alika Hope (The New Galileos), Molly Parker Myers (The Thanksgiving Play), and host Jayne Atkinson (ANN). They will be joined on stage by Craig Pinder (West End’s Mamma Mia! and Fiddler on the Roof, as well as the original company of Les Misérables), Lynn Festa (former WAM Board of Directors), and Berkshire musicians Bob Shepherd and Daniel Broad.
“At a time of immense turbulence, WAM’s MisCast Cabaret will be a joyful space to celebrate the transformative potential of live performance,” says Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston. “All the featured singers will tell stories from their own casting experiences and then will sing songs that speak to their hearts. In this way, it fits in with our 2022 season of dynamic stories of people defying expectations and stereotypes and stepping into power in unexpected ways.”
“I’m thrilled by the evening Kristen and Talya have put together, and I know it’s going to be a wonderful night out,” said Managing Director Molly Merrihew. “The talent of our artists here in the Berkshires is immense, and I’m excited to see these actors perform songs meaningful to them, as we gather to create more opportunities for women and girls here in Berkshire County.”
The MisCast Cabaret will be performed at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230) at 7:30pm on Thursday, July 7th. In line with WAM’s accountability work patrons are able to pick their price point and their seat with sliding-scale ticket prices ranging from $50-$250. For tickets and more information visit wamtheatre.com/miscast.
This special performance is underwritten by Arwen Lowbridge and Mike Lane, Ellen Ring, and Hannelore Voness. WAM is also grateful for the support of the MisCast Benefit Committee that includes Carolyn Butler, Nina Keneally, Karen Richards, and Wendy Welch.
AT A GLANCE:
A MisCast Cabaret
A special one-night-only benefit performance
Hosted by the acclaimed Jayne Atkinson
Thursday, July 7, 2022 at 7:30pm
at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Great Barrington, MA
MORE ABOUT WAM’S MISCAST ARTISTS:
JAYNE ATKINSON (she/her) has enjoyed a long and varied career as an actress, director, and producer. Current Role With WAM: MisCast Cabaret Host. Previous WAM: Ann, Motherhood Out Loud. Broadway: Jayne made her Broadway debut in a revival production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons. Other Broadway credits include The Rainmaker (Tony nomination), Our Town with Paul Newman, Enchanted April (Tony nomination, Drama Desk nomination; Outer Critics Circle Award) and Blithe Spirit with the wonderful Angela Lansbury. Selected Off-Broadway: The Art of Success (Drama Desk nomination) and The Skriker (Drama Desk nomination). Selected Film: Free Willy 1&2, The Village and Syriana. Selected TV: On television she is known for her guest appearances on the hit series The X-Files, Gossip Girl, Chicago Med and The Good Wife, among others. As a recurring character, she has played Karen Hayes on the award-winning 24, Erin Strauss on Criminal Minds, Secretary of State Catherine Durant on the popular Netflix Series House of Cards, Vice President Teresa Hurst on Madam Secretary, Georgie in The Walking Dead, Daria Reese in Castle Rock, and most recently Della Bedford in Bluff City Law and Ruth Martin in Clarice. Producing: Jayne has produced for WAM and the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. She also runs Jadana Productions, which specializes in entertainment development. Education: Northwestern University and Yale Drama School. Etc: Jayne’s other areas of expertise include coaching and teaching. In her spare time, she promotes women’s causes, travels, participates in fundraisers. She is married to actor Michel Gill. Together they have one son.
KYLE BOATWRIGHT (she/her) is an actor, musician, and writer based in the Pioneer Valley. Current Role With WAM: MisCast Cabaret performer. Previous WAM: Vicky (Bright Half Life) Selected Theatre Credits: The Revolutionists (Marianne), Significant Other (Vanessa), Boeing Boeing (Gloria), Seminar (Izzy), RENT (Mimi), A Year with Frog and Toad (Frog). Affiliations: Kyle is the co-founder of Rise Up Productions, an Amherst-based collective of performing artists that produces shows to support social justice organizations. She also works as a developmental editor and sensitivity reader for new musical and literary works, and is on the creative team of Legacy Boy: The Musical.
DANIEL BROAD (he/him) is a bassist who continues to be one of the most sought after musicians in the New England area. Selected Performance Credits: Dan has toured and performed throughout the USA and several European countries. Past projects include Two Worlds Jazz, The Limbshakers, Great American Songbook Live, Sounds of Sinatra, and The Michael Junkins Group.
LYNN FESTA (she/her) is an Occupational Therapist/coach and an aspiring professional singer and actor. WAM Theatre: former board member. Selected Theatre Credits Elsewhere: The Sound of Music, Showboat, Irene, Guys and Dolls,The King and I, Kiss Me Kate, Oklahoma. Additional artistic credits: TEDx speaker. Creative inspiration: social connection through volunteering and philanthropy, open water swimming, enjoying solitude. Community Engagement/Activist work: member of Massachusetts Medical Response, helped organize Pittsfield Women’s’ March 2017, board member-WAM Theatre, Berkshire Music School. Membership/Affiliations: International Positive Psychology Association, American Society of Hand Therapy Selected training: Vocal lessons 2017-present with Keith Spencer (Berkshire Music School) Awards/proudest achievements: TEDx talk: “creating sustainable connections with Integrity based medicine”, Swim around the Rock 2012, solo vocal recital. Final word: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou. Connect: www.lynnfesta.com
JASMINE ROCHELLE GOODSPEED (she/they) is a Massachusetts based Native American actor and playwright from the Hassanamisco Nipmuc Tribe. Having produced and written a musical titled 1675 about the Tragedy of King Philip’s War and Deer Island at UMass Amherst, Jasmine aspires to create theatre that uplifts Native stories. Her passion lies in classical and musical theatre. WAM Theatre: Edith/IFN1 in Kamloopa. Theatre Credits Elsewhere: Jasmine just finished a collaboration with Ohketeau and Double Edge Theatre’s Freedom in Season. She also works with local playwrights at Playincubation. Her most recent show was Weaving Penelope, wherein she played the title role. Jasmine was a featured artist as both an actor and director in the 2020 NYC Safe Harbors Native Directors showcase, as well as projects with the group throughout the pandemic. Pre-Pandemic, Jasmine was in collaboration with Double Edge Theatre for both Leonora’s World (2019) and the touring production of Leonora and Aljehandro (2020). Some past roles also include: Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress, Louisa in The Fantastiks, and Eliza in My Fair Lady. Selected training: University of Massachusetts, Amherst (BA in Theatre, & English), Five College Certificate in Native American Studies. Training at AMDA NYC.
ALIKA HOPE (she/her) is a woman whose soul soars in the heavens with feet grounded solidly on Earth…sometimes. WAM Theatre: Dr. Beth Whitney in The New Galileos, Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England. Selected Theatre Credits Elsewhere: Margaret Garner (Opera Company of Philadelphia, Cincinnati Opera), Intimate Apparel (New Century Theatre), Good People (New Century Theatre), Philomel (Off-Broadway), Medea in Corinth (Off-Broadway), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bronx Opera). Additional artistic credits: Co-Host, New England Perspective TV (CBS-Springfield), Host, Alika Hope and Change Podcast. Creative inspiration: Every creative thing I do is inspired by, and in honor of, the ancestors. Community Engagement/Activist work: Founder of The Ray of Hope Project, using music and spoken word to amplify under-heard voices across the US. Membership/Affiliations: AEA, SAG-AFTRA. Selected training: University of Notre Dame (BA); Columbia University (MA); Cornell University (post-grad). Awards/proudest achievements: Ms. New England America 2019, Gold Global Music Award, Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award, being mom to E and G. Final word: Hope is a Verb. Connect: @alikahope across all social media; www.rayofhopeproject.com
KD MCTEIGUE (she/her) is an actor from the Hudson Valley. WAM Theatre: Helen & others in The New Galileos, ROE, Samsara, The Oregon Trail. Elsewhere: Troy Foundry Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. Film: Dear Helen (dir. Henry Caughey) Television: Diabolical (Investigation Discovery Channel) Training: Kelly Kimball, U-Shin Kim, Will Bryan, Russell Sage College. Awards: Recipient of the Bruce Rainer award for Most Promise in Theatre. Connect: @kdmcteigue.
MOLLY PARKER MYERS (she/her) is a performing artist and singer based in the Hudson Valley. WAM Theatre: The Thanksgiving Play. Selected Theatre Credits Elsewhere: Bananas/House of Blue Leaves, Emilie/Emilie: La Marquise de Chatalet Defends her Life Tonight (Wellesley Rep), Huldey/The Moors (Bridge Street Theatre), Amanda/Private Lives, Bella/Lost in Yonkers, Sally/Talley’s Folly, Sarah/The Norman Conquests Trilogy, Donna/Mamma Mia (Winnipesaukee Playhouse), Papermaker, The Ladies Man (Shadowland Stages), The Baker’s Wife/Into The Woods, Desiree/A Little Night Music, The Drowsy Chaperone/The Drowsy Chaperone (Rhinebeck Center for Performing Arts). Radio/Recordings: Audiobook Narrator, multiple titles. Selected Training: Mount Holyoke College (BA), Karen Kohlhaas, M. Chekhov Studio Et cetera: Molly also works as a preschool and drama teacher and is the mom of two amazing and righteous teenage daughters. Creative Inspiration: working actors, artists and activists creating transformation. Final word: “Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater… can change the world.” — Alan Rickman Connect: mollyparkermyers.org
CRAIG PINDER (he/him) is originally from the Bahamas and his acting credits include leading roles in London’s West End. WAM Theatre: debut. Selected Theatre Credits Elsewhere: Craig has worked several times with director Trevor Nunn and was an Original Cast member of Les Misérables in London where he went on to play Jean Valjean at the Palace Theatre. Other London credits include Tevye/company in Fiddler on the Roof, The Best Man, Floyd Collins, Veteran’s Day, The White House Murder Case, Macbeth with Mark Rylance, Mamma Mia!, Sunset Boulevard and Children of Eden. Craig has spent seasons at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, and the Royal Exchange in the UK. He was in the Opening Season of Shakespeare’s Globe in London with Mark Rylance and has played various roles in rep theatres both in the UK and the USA. He has made several film and television appearances. A scheduled US tour of Romantics Anonymous was Covid-canceled; Craig is thrilled to be performing once again in theaters and theatres! Creative inspiration: The acting process gives an opportunity to live in another person’s skin which can lead to a greater understanding of others’ feelings and behavior. Community Engagement/Activist work: New Paradigm Theatre, CT Membership/Affiliations: AEA, British AE. Selected training: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Acting Diploma), Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (MA, Actor Training and Coaching, with distinction). BSc. (Chemistry with Mathematics), University of Reading. Awards/proudest achievements: Most Promising Actor award at RADA, 1981. Final word: The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return. Connect: craigpinder.org
BOB SHEPHERD (he/him) is a pianist who offers a lifetime of experience in solo, small jazz groups and big band formats and is a first-call vocal accompanist in western New England, specializing in the Great American Songbook. Selected Performance Credits: Bob has appeared onstage with Marvin Hamlisch, Dick Haymes, Al Hibbler, Silvia Syms, Bob Brookmeyer, Jimmy Guiffre and many others. Singers appreciate his easygoing, supportive manner as well as his ability to tailor arrangements in any key and in any style at a moment’s notice. Connect: bobshepherdmusic.com
TOM TRUSS (he/him) lives in Great Barrington and straddles the worlds of community based artist/educator, professional dancer and actor, deviser of work and cashier. Current role with WAM: MisCast Cabaret singer. WAM Theatre: The Thanksgiving Play. Selected Performance Credits Elsewhere: Liz Lerman/Dance Exchange (‘89-’93), Tom Truss Dance Company (‘94-’01), Community Artist at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (‘94-’99), Pappa Taramuhara, Tokyo, Japan (‘03-’04). Creative Inspiration: Tom finds the best way to deal with life and understand how it works is to make art about it, walk in nature or sit in his bathtub. Community Engagement/Activist Work: Through Berkshire Pulse, Tom teachers classes for the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts and a class called Moving Life Stories for Immigrants and their Allies in Berkshire County. Membership/Affiliations: American Society of Alexander Technique, Phi Kappa Phi, Equity Member Candidate. Selected Training: MFA in Acting from the University of Texas, MFA in Choreography from the University of Iowa, Bachelor of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the College of Wooster, AmSAT certification from The Berkeley Alexander Educational Center. Awards/Proudest Achievements: ongoing development of ReWritten, an evening-length multimedia work that examines the relationship between Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne; 2022 New England New Works Grant for ReWritten; surviving Covid by creating a podcast called Ask Your Gay Uncle with his nephew Ben Palacios. Final Word: If we applied the creative, kinesthetic and reflective knowledge that somatic dancers have to conflicts, world problems, the military and prison complexes, inequalities, and social injustices, our world would be massively different. Connect: @Makerbakershaker.
WENDY WELCH (she/her) is a recent transplant to the Berkshires and is inspired by the creative inclusive community she’s found here. Current role at WAM Theatre: MisCast Cabaret singer. WAM Theatre: ROE. Selected Performance Credits Elsewhere: Kate Hamill’s Pride and Prejudice (Mrs. Bennet), A Little Night Music (Madame Armfeldt), Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike (Sonia), Caroline, or Change (Rose Stopnik Gellman), The Light in the Piazza (Margaret Johnson), Death of a Salesman (Linda Loman), The History Boys (Dorothy Lintott), Follies (Sally Durant Plummer), The Matchmaker (Dolly Levi), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Storyteller), The Dining Room (Actress #2), Talking Pictures (Mrs. Jackson), Sexy Laundry (Alice). Film/TV: award winning documentary Shatter the Silence, Occupy Texas, Murder Made Me Famous, Upstream Color, Sweet Tornado, Deadline Crime. Numerous Commercials and Voiceovers. Training: B.F.A. Acting S.M.U., where she was mentored by Margaret Loft. Apprentice Chelsea Theater Center NYC. Awards: DFW Critics Forum (3) Best Actress, Leon Rabin Award Best Supporting Actress. Et Cetera: Adjunct Professor S.M.U., Richland College, Northlake College, Master Class series, Private voice/coaching studio. Online: wendywelch.net
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 Brabson Library and Educational 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