LENOX, MA (October 4, 2022) – WAM Theatre, an activist theatre company centering gender equity and located in central Berkshire County, is proud to announce two child care options, at no added cost for parents/caregivers, for their upcoming mainstage production of Cadillac Crew.
Cadillac Crew is a dynamic new play by Tori Sampson performed Thursdays-Sundays October 13-29 at Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse in Lenox, MA. WAM has spent the last three seasons improving our accessibility for all audiences (other initiatives include sliding-scale ticketing, virtual programs, and efforts to make their website and print materials more readily accessible to all), and is excited to deepen access through this new innovation for families, caregivers, and parents.
In order to better facilitate parents and guardians to attend WAM Theatre’s Fall production, WAM is offering two options for FREE child care. On-site care will be available for children ages 5-12 at Shakespeare & Company during the matinee performance on Sunday, October 23. WAM’s on-site care will include theatre games and crafts facilitated by WAM Teaching Artists. WAM can accommodate up to 15 children.
Additionally, WAM will offer home babysitting care subsidies for any Cadillac Crew Performance. These special stipends are intended for parents/guardians of younger children (ages birth-5), and WAM will reimburse 15 households up to $75 to cover their caregiving costs. Parents/Guardians can apply for this program by filling out a simple form on the WAM website: www.wamtheatre.com/childcare
“In line with WAM’s mission, we are thrilled to offer childcare for parents and caregivers,” said Managing Director Molly Merrihew. “As a new parent, I know too well the juggling act of making time for ourselves and our children. This year, WAM is excited to remove another barrier to our audiences–-childcare costs–as well as the emotional labor around organizing care. WAM continues to strive to make our performance accessible to all, and accessible childcare is part of that work. We are grateful to partner with Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation to make it possible.”
“WAM Theatre’s free on-site child care directly addresses a known barrier for those who wish to attend arts and culture events but may not because of cost,” said Emily Bronson, Senior Community Engagement Officer at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. “Combined with compelling and relevant content, this service is a powerful example of new approaches to Community Engagement that we are pleased to fund through our Arts Build Community initiative.”
Parents and guardians will have the opportunity to attend Cadillac Crew by Tori Sampson, directed by taneisha duggan. The play opens with four female activists working in a Virginia civil rights office on the day of a much anticipated speech by Rosa Parks. From the Civil Rights Movement to the present day, Cadillac Crew illuminates forgotten leaders who blazed the trail for desegregation and women’s rights. With remarkable insight, explosive storytelling, and unexpected humor, the play asks, what happens when Black women refuse to be written out of history?
For those utilizing WAM’s on-site child care, our experienced Teaching Artists are planning a fun slate of activities from engaging and fun theatre games to more contemplative craft activities to accommodate children with a variety of needs and emotions. “There will be four of us in a large, airy rehearsal studio,” stated lead Teaching Artist and WAM’s Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston, “so the children will get individual attention in addition to participating in group activities.“
WAM has been preparing for this new venture through consultation with Broadway Babysitters and PAAL (Parent Artist Advocacy League), who have been sharing best practices from the childcare that they run in New York. WAM’s initiative is among the first to offer Berkshire County theatre audiences access to free childcare for performances.
For more information and to apply for the free child care opportunity, please visit our website and fill out a simple online application.
In addition to offering child care, WAM is proud to offer equitable seating for all and encourages patrons to select the ticket price that best fits their needs. Tickets range from $25-$100 for live performances and $15-$75 for digital performances. WAM invites audience members to choose from one of the suggested price levels.
WAM also offers discounted tickets for EBT card holders and a group ticket rate (for groups of ten or more). More information about these programs and discounts can be found here.
At the same time WAM builds this innovative child care initiative for audience members the organization also deepens their commitment to artists and staff caregivers. In 2022 WAM has increased the dedicated funds for reimbursing artists and staff for some of their child and elder care expenses. Working together with organizations like the Parents Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) WAM is proud to be able to keep growing this modest budget line.
“PAAL’s mission is to elevate the standard of care for all parents and caregivers in the performing arts,” said Rachel Spencer Hewitt, PAAL Leadership, “and we’re proud to support organizations like WAM theatre that not only break ground in the work produced on stage but also in how the work is executed off stage, intentionally creating support for the parents and caregivers on their teams and in their companies as an integral component of gender parity, anti-racism, inclusion and authentic activism. For the arts, specifically, the activism exhibited in WAM’s caregiver initiative will directly impact artists’ ability to remain creative contributors and sustain lives that continue to generate the work that impacts us all.”
For tickets to the live performance or digital performance of Cadillac Crew please call (413) 637-3353 or visit WAM online here. For more information about the 2022 Season and WAM Theatre’s programs, events, and artists, please visit wamtheatre.com.
Thurs., Oct. 13 at 7pm – Preview
Fri., Oct. 14 at 7pm – Preview
Sat., Oct. 15 at 7pm – Preview
Sun., Oct. 16 at 2:30pm – OPENING
Thurs., Oct. 20 at 2:30pm
Fri., Oct. 21 at 7pm
Sat., Oct. 22 at 7pm
Sun., Oct. 23 at 2:30pm (Child Care Performance)
Thurs., Oct. 27 at 10am (also available online)
Fri., Oct 28 at 7pm (also available online)
Sat., Oct. 29 at 2:30pm (also available online)
Sat., Oct. 29 at 7pm (also available online) – CLOSING
For more information about Cadillac Crew and the artists, please visit: www.wamtheatre.com
To apply for Cadillac Crew childcare/subsidies, please fill out the simple form here: www.wamtheatre.com/childcare/
BERKSHIRE TACONIC COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
Established in 1987, Berkshire Taconic manages a growing family of over 550 funds created by generous individuals, families and businesses that together put nearly $8.5 million into action each year. Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation provides advice, giving options, investment management and back-office strength to help make giving easy and grant-making transformative.
Parent Artist Advocacy League
Parent Artist Advocacy League for Arts + Media (PAAL) is a national community, resource hub, and solutions generator for individuals with caregiver responsibilities and institutions who strive to support them. For more information visit www.paaltheatre.com.
WAM Theatre’s child care for Cadillac Crew is an initiative underwritten by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Rapid Response Grant.
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