A newly devised work created by WAM’s Elder Ensemble celebrates the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment while acknowledging its complicated history. This year marks 100 years since the 19th Amendment was passed which allowed women full rights to vote. Full removal of racial disenfranchisement of citizens was not secured until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 gained passage through Congress following the Civil Rights Movement. For state elections, it was not until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966) that all state poll taxes were declared unconstitutional as violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This removed a burden on the poor, including some poor whites who had been disenfranchised. It is in celebration of this centennial, as well as in acknowledgment of its complicated history and the battles of citizenship still to be won, that WAM has chosen this topic for our 2020 ensembles.
THE SUFFRAGE PROJECT will culminate in an original performance devised by WAM’s Elder Ensemble. In addition to the Elder Ensemble, WAM Teaching Artists will be running devising workshops on the topic of suffrage and citizenship with Immigrants (in collaboration with BRIDGE’s Women to Women Group), Veterans (in collaboration with Soldier On!) and with a new intergenerational People of Color Ensemble led by WAM’s Associate Producing Director Lia Russell-Self.
WAM Theatre was co-founded in 2010 by Canadian director, actor, educator, and producer Kristen van Ginhoven to create professional theatrical events for everyone, with a focus on women theatre artists and/or stories of women and girls.
AMY BRENTANO (director) is a 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. 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 is currently the Co-Artistic Director of Bazaar Productions.
TALYA KINGSTON (director) is the Associate Artistic Director of WAM. Her directing credits include: Swallow, Paradise, (Fresh Takes Play Readings) The Suffrage Project, Seeking Justice, Crying Wolf, Fractured Dreams (Teen/Elder Ensembles). Institution (Play by Play Festival), Revolt (The Foundry), The Lonely Soldier Project (immersive testimonial theatre), Elemeno pea, The Metal Children, Collapse (Beer and a Play), Of Who We Used to Be (Hampshire College), The Mother of Modern Censorship (UMass). She has served as dramaturge for ROE, Lady Randy (WAM Theatre), Necessary Targets, Write On! Teen Playwrights Series, My Hartford Teen Performance Ensemble Oral History Project (Hartford Stage), Helmet (New York Fringe Festival), Seriously…What Did You Call Me? written and performed by Onawumi Jean Moss (Ko Festival), Gum, Christmas Carol, Bovver Boys, The Last Five Years, Life is a Dream, Late Style (UMass, Amherst). In addition, Talya is currently a Lecturer in Dramaturgy at UMass, Amherst, the North-East Regional Vice President of LMDA and a proud member of the Northampton Playwrights Lab.
The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.