WAM (Women’s Action Movement) Theatre was co-founded in 2010 by Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven and theatre professional Leigh Strimbeck. Inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, WAM Theatre is based in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Since launching in 2010, WAM Theatre has donated over $10,500 to six beneficiaries from their maintstage productions and provided paid work to nearly 100 theatre artists.

WAM Theatre will celebrate their first five seasons on August 24th with a panel discussion of extraordinary people effecting positive change through the arts. The members of the panel are author and playwright Jessica Blank, playwright and founding member of the collective 13 Playwrights, Winter Miller, National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer, and filmmaker Cynthia Wade.


  Thursday, August 14th at 4pm, The Berkshire Theatre Group - in partnership with Chesterwood - will present "Lincoln's Favorite Shakespeare" - an afternoon reading of President Abraham Lincoln's favorite writing by Shakespeare.

  A quartet of noted actors are donating their performances to the event which has been assembled and annotated by noted Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer and is produced and directed by Gordon Hyatt.

One of the actors is Chris Noth, who is best known for his work on Law & Order, Sex and the City, and The Good Wife.

    The final performance for the 2014 season at the Berkshire Playwrights Lab is The Season, and it looks at the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day in the Berkshires through the eyes of one summer home owning family.

The playwright, Michael Brady, most well known for the award-winning For Gillian on her 37th Birthday, which was made into a film starring Peter Gallagher and Michelle Pfeiffer, is a 30 year resident of the Berkshires and also well known to Great Barrington in his other life working in the local CVS.

We welcome Michael Brady and co-artistic director of Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Joe Cacaci.

    The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival began in 1987 with an outdoor production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, performed under the stars at Manitoga, industrial designer Russell Wright's home in Garrison, New York. The following year HVSF was officially born. Boscobel House and Gardens, in Garrison, became its new home and HVSF grew dramatically, from its first audience of 230 to over 35,000 in 2013. Twenty-eight years later, HVSF is a critically acclaimed regional theater, attracting audiences from the tri-state area and beyond, and operating a year-round education program. 

This year, Hudson Valley Shakespeare presents the bard's Othello, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and David Ives’ The Liar. The shows run in rep through the end of this month. They also present a family-friendly 90-minute production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream on August 18th and 19th. 

  The final show on The Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer is a magical lo-fi musical storytelling feat created and co-directed by PigPen Theatre Co. - The Old Man and the Old Moon runs from August 6th to August 17th.

PigPen Theatre Co. began creating their unique brand of music, film, and theatre as freshman at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2008. They have produced their original plays Off-Broadway and at regional theaters around the country.


   Barrington Stage Company will be presenting the world premiere of Dancing Lessons, the new romantic comedy by playwright and BSC Associate Artist Mark St. Germain from August 7th – 24th.

Directed by Barrington Stage Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, Dancing Lessons stars John Cariani and Paige Davis. John Cariani made his BSC debut as ‘Dogberry’ in last summer’s Much Ado About Nothing. Cariani is also the playwright of the play Almost, Maine. Paige Davis is known for Broadway’s Chicago and TLC’s Trading Spaces.

    In The Visit, her Williamstown Theatre Festival debut, Broadway legend Chita Rivera embodies Claire Zachanassian, the oft-widowed richest woman in the world, who returns to the hardship-stricken town of her birth. The locals pray that her wealth will bring them a new lease on life, but the carefully plotted renewal she offers carries a dreadful price.

Sardonic and morally complex, The Visit asks: What can your heart afford?

Rivera is joined by Roger Rees, Jason Danieley, and Judy Kuhn and directed in this Kander and Ebb musical by John Doyle.

Here she speaks with Joe Donahue about working on the show, her reverence for a productions creative team, and keeping her sense of humor - always.

The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice promotes the human voice as an instrument of healing, peace and artistic expression through presenting world class performances in Phoenicia, New York and surrounding areas. From opera to gospel, world music to Broadway, the Festival celebrates the human voice in all its multi-faceted glory. This year’s festival takes place July 30th through August 3rd.

Kevin Sprague Photography

    Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitemore is currently running on Barrington Stage Company’s Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield, MA through August 2nd.

Starring Mark H. Dold and directed by Joe Calarco, Breaking the Code tells the true story of famed mathematician and computer science pioneer Alan Turing, who solved the German Enigma code during World War II, not knowing that, as a gay man, he’d fight a much harder personal battle at home.

  The 7th annual Mount Tremper Arts Summer Festival is up and running through August 23rd featuring groundbreaking music events, visceral dance works and boundary-pushing theater. The festival showcases risk-taking work, but also fosters an environment where audiences and artists can come together to form a community that values dialogue and experimentation.

The festivals remaining events this year include four world premieres!

Co-founder and Artistic Director Mathew Pokoik and Executive Director Abigail Guay join us to tell us more.