TICKETS ON SALE NOW
LENOX, MA (March 2, 2023) – WAM Theatre and Berkshire Theatre Group are proud to announce casting for their Spring Main Stage production of What The Constitution Means To Me by Heidi Schreck, directed by WAM’s Producing Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven. After three preview performances, the production will open on Sunday May 21st, on the Larry Vaber Stage at The Unicorn Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group, and runs through June 3. Tickets are on sale now.
WAM Theatre and Berkshire Theatre Group are proud to announce that two-time Tony Award nominated actor and Broadway and local favorite, Kate Baldwin, will be playing the role of Heidi. Making her WAM debut, Kate is a familiar face on Berkshire Theatre Group stages, having been seen onstage in A Little Night Music, Bells Are Ringing and Constellations.
Kate McGuire, Artistic Director and CEO of Berkshire Theatre Group, stated: “It is a privilege to support the wonderful Kate Baldwin once again at Berkshire Theatre Group. Our audiences have come to love the warmth and formidable talent she always brings to the stage!”
“Encountering What the Constitution Means to Me was a flashpoint for me in my development as an artist and activist,” explained Kate Baldwin. “As our nation grapples with its many imperfections, Heidi Schreck’s carefully provocative work showed me how sharing a personal narrative can fire the aching hope that resides in all of us. I’m honored to further her work’s legacy in a place I return to over and over: the Berkshires.”
Director Kristen van Ginhoven further shared: “The role of Heidi is one that I, and so many other women I know, relate to on a deep level. What’s unique about this role, beyond the fact that it centers a middle aged woman, is that the actress ends up playing herself and doing a live debate onstage!” She goes on to state that: “I’m thrilled to collaborate with Kate Baldwin as our Heidi. Getting to know her, witnessing her deep ease with storytelling, her delightful sense of humor, her passion for the future of our country, and her incredible skill as an actress. I am very excited for audiences to join us in May and watch Kate grapple, as herself and in real time, with whether the Constitution is the source of our problems or the solution.”
Alongside Kate, in the role of Legionnaire, the male ally who supports Heidi in the telling of her story, will be local award winning actor Jay Sefton. Jay is a familiar face to WAM stages and is delighted to be making his Berkshire Theatre Group debut.
Van Ginhoven shared, “Jay Sefton is someone WAM has loved from the first time we ever saw him perform and whom Berkshire Theatre Group is excited to welcome to their stages. An incredibly talented performer, he brings the sensitivity and support required for this role. The actor playing this role first appears as an assertive American Legionnaire monitoring the speech and debate, and a stickler for the rules/law and then, later turns into Heidi’s ally and assistant, playing himself. The role requires an actor who is reflective and genuine with positive male energy and Jay fits that bill perfectly. We are excited for audiences to get to know Jay better and to see Kate and Jay perform in this play together.”
Sefton explained that he is “thrilled to be working with WAM and Berkshire Theatre Group on such a timely and poignant play that dives deep into the debate of incremental change versus wholesale change, and asks each of us what this moment in our country’s evolution is calling for.”
Working alongside Kate Baldwin and Jay Sefton in this boundary breaking play that breathes new life into the Constitution is the all female creative team of What the Constitution Means to Me, with direction by Kristen van Ginhoven, dramaturgy by Talya Kingston, scenic design by Juliana van Haubrich, costume design by Shivanna Sooknanan, lighting design by Lara Dubin, sound design by Caroline Eng and stage management by Samantha Leahan.
WAM Theatre and Berkshire Theatre Group are proud to offer equitable seating for this production and encourage patrons to select the ticket price that best fits their needs. Tickets range from $26-$96. WAM invites audience members to choose from one of the suggested price levels, while keeping in mind that the higher ticket price you are able to select, the more we will be able to donate to our recipients (who will be named later this month). WAM Theatre and BTG also offer group tickets (for groups of ten or more) and $5 for EBT card holders.
Tickets to the performances of What the Constitution Means to Me are now on sale. To purchase tickets, visit wamtheatre.com or BerkshireTheatreGroup.org or contact The Colonial Theatre Ticket Office by calling 413-997-4444.
For in person purchasing, the ticket office is open Tuesday through Sunday, 12pm-5pm, or on any performance day from 12pm until curtain. BTG’s Pittsfield Campus is located at 111 South Street (The Colonial Theatre) in Pittsfield, MA.
For more information about the 2023 Season and WAM Theatre’s programs, events, and artists, please visit wamtheatre.com
What the Constitution Means to Me
A Co-Production with WAM Theatre and Berkshire Theatre Group
written by Heidi Schreck
directed by Kristen van Ginhoven
At Berkshire Theatre Group’s Larry Vaber Stage at The Unicorn Theatre
6 East Street, Stockbridge, MA.
Previews: Thursday, May 18 at 7pm; Friday, May 19 at 7pm; Saturday, May 20 at 7pm
Opening/Press Night: Sunday, May 21 at 2pm
Sensory Friendly:Wednesday, May 31 at 6pm
Closing: Saturday, June 3 at 7pm
Tickets: $26 – $96: Friend: $26 Standard: $56 Supporter: $96
Sensory Friendly Tickets: $15
Thursday, May 18 at 7pm (Preview)
Friday, May 19 at 7pm (Preview)
Saturday, May 20 at 7pm (Preview)
Sunday, May 21 at 2pm (Opening/Press Performance)
Thursday, May 25 at 7pm
Friday, May 26 at 7pm
Saturday, May 27 at 2pm
Saturday, May 27 at 7pm
Sunday, May 28 at 2pm
Wednesday, May 31 at 6pm (Sensory Friendly)
Thursday, June 1 at 7pm
Friday, June 2 at 7pm
Saturday, June 3 at 2pm
Saturday, June 3 at 7pm (Closing)
ABOUT THE PLAY
Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful, and achingly human play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. Addressing themes such as women’s rights, immigration, domestic abuse, and the history of the United States, this timely and galvanizing play became a sensation off-Broadway before transferring to Broadway where it received two Tony Award nominations, was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama among countless other accolades.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Kate Baldwin (she/her) is an American actress and singer, born and raised in the midwest, now based in New York, who believes the arts are for everyone. Current role with WAM: Heidi in What the Constitution Means to Me WAM Theatre: Debut! Selected Theatre Credits Elsewhere: Broadway: Hello Dolly, Big Fish, Finian’s Rainbow Public Theatre: Giant, Second Stage: Superhero, Keen Company, John & Jen, Old Globe: The Women, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ: Henry V, BTG: Constellations, Bells Are Ringing, A Little Night Music.Additional artistic credits: TV: Law & Order SVU, Just Beyond, First You Dream Film: Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best Albums: Let’s See What Happens, She Loves Him. Creative inspiration: Collaboration is everything. “The answer lies in the other person’s eyes” (Bud Beyer) “Protect the possibility of a happy ending” (Jerry Zaks) Community Engagement/Activist work: Proud advisory board member of Maestra www.maestramusic.org. Ambassador for Active Minds www.activeminds.org Membership/Affiliations: AEA, SAG, AFTRA Selected training: Northwestern University (BS) Awards/proudest achievements: Recipient of the 2017 Sarah Siddons Award. Proudest achievement: Colin Rowat, amazing 12 year old. Final word: Let’s root for each other and watch each other grow. Connect: @realkatebaldwin
Jay Sefton (he/him) is an actor and licensed mental health counselor, originally from Philadelphia, and currently based in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Current Role with WAM Theatre: Actor, The Legionnaire (What the Constitution Means to Me). Selected WAM Theatre Credits: Honor Killing, Paradise (Fresh Takes Reading Series). Selected Theatre Credits Elsewhere: Unreconciled (Writer/Performer upcoming workshop production at Chester Theatre), Million Dollar Quartet, Outside Mullingar (The Majestic Theater), Two Rooms (Silverthorne Theatre Company), The Most Mediocre Story Never Told (Writer/Performer), A Life in the Theatre, Dark Rapture (Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre), King Lear (Theatricum Botanicum, Los Angeles) Membership/Affiliations: Actors’ Equity, SAG-AFTRA. Creative Inspiration: A psychotherapist and actor, Jay explores the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and the world, to understand if they enlarge or diminish our evolution so we can decide if these stories stay or go. Community Engagement/Activist work: Jay works with other male survivors of childhood clergy abuse and has published several essays on the topic. He donates his time to community mental health initiatives as a clinician. Awards/Proudest Achievement: He is the recipient of the LA WEEKLY Award for Best Solo Performance for The Most Mediocre Story Never Told, and a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant for his solo show Unreconciled. Final word: Thank you to Melenie for all her love and support. Connect: jaysefton.com
Kristen van Ginhoven (she/her) is a dual Canadian/American citizen based in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Kristen co-founded WAM Theatre in 2010 and serves as WAM’s Producing Artistic Director. Selected WAM Theatre Directing Credits: ROE, Ann, The Bakelite Masterpiece, In Darfur (New England Premiere), Emilie (New England Premiere) Selected Theatre Credits Elsewhere: Ann (Arena Stage, Dallas Theatre Center), Disgraced, I and You (Chester Theatre), The Whale (Adirondack Theatre Festival), 10 Minute Play Festival (Barrington Stage Company) Selected Training: Dalhousie University (BA), Queen’s University (BEd), Emerson College (MA). Membership/Affiliations: Member of the Berkshire Race Task Force and Inclusive Leadership Cohort; Mentor with Berkshire Business and Professional Women; Member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers; Member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab; Participant in the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction at the Stratford Festival of Canada; Creative Inspiration: An artist, feminist, and highly sensitive person, she values healthy practices like meditating and walking, time affluence, and social connection. Awards/Proudest Achievement: Being honored by the Berkshire Theatre Critics Association (BTCA) with the prestigious Larry Murray Award, presented to a person or theatre project that advances social, political, or community issues in Berkshire County. Final Word: Talent is universal but opportunity is not. Here’s to creating opportunity.
ABOUT BERKSHIRE THEATRE GROUP
The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires. In 2010, under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, the two organizations merged to form Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG). Berkshire Theatre Group’s mission is to support wide ranging artistic exploration and acclaimed performances in theatre, dance, music and entertainment. Every year, BTG produces and presents performances to over 68,000 attendees and, through our Educational Program, serves over 11,000 Berkshire County school children annually. In July 2020, Berkshire Theatre was the first company in the United States to earn approval from Actors’ Equity Association to produce a musical (Godspell) in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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 2022/2023 Season is also supported in part by grants from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Berkshire Bank, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Bradson Education & Library Foundation, The Feigenbaum Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), Mass Humanities, Mill Town Foundation, Inc., 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 $85,000 to 25 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