WAM THEATRE BRINGS READING OF PIPELINE BY DOMINIQUE MORISSEAU TO CLARK ART INSTITUTE

July 26, 2018
[Digital images available upon request]
 
Williamstown, Massachusetts—The WAM Theatre 2018 Fresh Takes Play Reading Series continues with Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau on Sunday, August 12 at 2 pm at the Clark Art Institute—a play Variety calls “an emotionally harrowing, ethically ambiguous drama that raises barbed questions about class, race, parental duty, and the state of American education.” The event will be held in the Clark’s auditorium, located in the Manton Research Center. After the reading, WAM leads a dynamic post-show conversation about race, parenting, and education.
 
Tickets are $25 (general admission), $20 for educators, and $15 for patrons under 30. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.wamtheatre.com/pipeline/. All ticket sales are final.

Morisseau won a 2018 Obie Award for Playwriting for the Lincoln Theatre Company production of Pipeline. WAM is proud to present a reading of this cutting-edge new play, which Village Voice critic Michael Feingold praised as “powerful, passionate, and intelligent.” Dawn M. Simmons will make her WAM directorial debut with this reading.
 
In Pipeline, Nya, an inner-city public high school teacher, is both committed to her students and desperate to give her only son opportunities they’ll never have. When a controversial incident in his upstate private school threatens to get him expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices as a parent. Pipeline is Dominique Morisseau’s beautiful and deeply moving story of a mother’s fight to give her son a future without turning her back on the community that made him who he is.
 
“I love the idea of using a piece like this that is so powerful and heartbreaking to spark dialogue,” director Dawn M. Simmons said. “The writing is crystalline, the characters are real, and the story is now. I hope that Dominque's words touch the audience in such a way that they can't help but speak or ask questions during our post-show discussion. We don't have to have answers, but the text is the perfect window into our universal humanity if we just let ourselves see and feel the pain and frustration of Nya and her son Omari.”
 
Pipeline brings together a stellar company of actors, including Erica Tryon (WAM’s Noms de Guerre, Everywoman, Like/Unlike) and Jean-Remy Monnay (WAM’s Samsara and the Founder and President of the Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate New York), as well as WAM Theatre’s Associate Artist Barby Cardillo (Facing Our Truth, The Attic, the Pearls and Three Fine Girls, Measure for Measure) and WAM Theatre Advisory Board Member Kevin Craig West (WAM’s Noms de Guerre). Recent University of Massachusetts, Amherst theatre graduates Isaiah Michael Grace and Sandra Seoane-Serí make their WAM debut to round out the cast.
 
Pipeline is co-sponsored by the Clark Art Institute. WAM Theatre is dedicated to telling the stories of women and girls, and the Clark’s summer exhibit Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 (on view through September 3) tells the stories of an international group of women artists who overcame the gender-based restrictions of their time to make remarkable creative strides, taking important steps in the fight for a more egalitarian art world. A visit to the exhibition is the perfect complement to the afternoon’s reading.
 
Support for WAM Theatre’s reading of Pipeline has been provided by the Clark Art Institute, Anonymous, Jadwiga and Donald Brown, and the Rookwood Inn.
 
ABOUT THE CAST
 
BARBY CARDILLO (Laurie) WAM Theatre: Facing Our Truth, The Attic, the Pearls and Three Fine Girls, 10x10 on 10, 24 Hour Theatre Project, Measure for Measure reading, Education Associate and Teaching Artist/Director: Girls INC, Girls Ensemble. Elsewhere: Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, Boston Playwright’s Theatre, Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park, Mixed Company, New Stage, Whitney Arts Center, Berkshire Fringe Festival. Training: Shakespeare & Company, North Shore Music Theatre. Awards: One of the 25 most Dedicated, Influential, Creative: Berkshire Magazine 2014. Et cetera: Founding member and player of Royal Berkshire Improv Troupe and The Majesters Improv Troupe, Artistic Director, Leave It to Beaver  Improv troupe Co-creator Shrimp on the Barby- a slightly naughty Cabaret. Education Artist for Community Access to the Arts, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, Barrington Stage.
 
ISAIAH MICHAEL GRACE (Omari) WAM Theatre: Debut.  Elsewhere: University of Massachusetts: Liliane (Ensemble); Ta’zieh: Between Two Rivers (Ali Akbar/Doctor); Working on It (Joe); Jesus Hopped the A Train (Angel); Infants of the Spring (Raymond Taylor); Spell Number 7 (Alec). Training: University of Massachusetts, B.A. in Theater (on-going).  Awards: Ed Golden Acting Scholarship Recipient (Endowed by: Rob Corddry, Jeffrey Donovan, and Bill and Tamara Pullman). Online: LinkedIn-Isaiah Grace, [email protected]_michael_grace
 
JEAN-REMY MONNAY (Xavier) WAM Theatre: Samsara Elsewhere: Grew up in Haiti and has been acting since he was about 8 years old in French and Creole. He moved to New York in the 80’s and continued performing in his native language with a Haitian troupe. In the Capital Region, he appeared in over 100 plays and directed a few including Eclipsed, Slow Dance On The Killing Ground, Fences, Wedding Band, I Just Stopped to See The Man, Camp Logan, and Meridian Mississippi and appeared in many of Joe Starzyk’s full and one–act plays. Film: Credits include – The Revolution, a 13 parts miniseries on the History Channel; Rachael’s Ward, 2007 Edwood Film Festival (awarded best short film). Et cetera: Remy is the Founder and President of the Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate New York. The mission of the troupe is to foster better cross-cultural understanding through the performing arts and to promote more diversity on the local stage.
 
KEVIN CRAIG WEST (Dun) WAM Theatre: Noms de Guerre, Advisory Board Member
Off-Broadway: Sonnets for an Old Century at The Barrow Group; Joe Fearless at The Atlantic Theatre Company. Regional Theatre: Actors Theatre of Louisville: Dracula; Capital Repertory Theatre: The Trip to Bountiful, Race, Metamorphoses, To Kill a Mockingbird, Take Me Out, Midsummer Nights Dream and Friend of a Friend; Northern Stage: Race; Florida Repertory Theatre: To Kill a Mockingbird.  Elsewhere: Leatherstocking Theatre Company: Master Harold and the boys; Oldcastle Theatre: Panache; Siena: My Children! My Africa!; NYSTI: Macbeth, Of Mice and Men, A Tale of Cinderella. Film: The Way Forward, Bumpin Uglies, I Hate Being Black, Lazer Town, Twilight Storytellers-The Groundskeeper, Little Bi Peep. Et cetera: Kevin is an award-winning filmmaker. Online: www.kevincraigwest.com.
 
SANDRA SEOANE-SERI (Jasmine) WAM Theatre: Debut.  Elsewhere: University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Theater Department: Infants of the Spring (Aline); Play Lab: Snowflakes or Rare White People (Fei); Runways (Lidia).;The Happiest Song Plays Last, (Shar). UMass Student Productions: Glengarry Glen Ross, (John Williamson); Cloud Tectonics (Celestina Del Sol); Marisol (Marisol). Boston Latin Academy: The Crucible (Abigail Williams); Cinderella (Stepmother). Training: University of Massachusetts Amherst B.A. in Theater, Certification in Film Studies. Online: Instagram-tripleesse.
 
ERICA TRYON (Nya) WAM Theatre: Nom de Guerre, Everywoman, Like/Unlike. Regional Theatre:  To Kill a Mockingbird, Petticoats of Steel, and Friend of a Friend and the annual Next Act! Reading Series at Capital Repertory Theatre; extensive experimental theatre credits in Chicago, IL. Training:  MA from Brown University, studied Shakespeare in London, and performance in Buenos Aires and the Ivory Coast. Teaching: Theatre Teaching Artist in Albany and Rensselaer public schools, Director of Theatre and the Coordinator of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion at Emma Willard School. Et Cetera: Mother of two little ones. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
 
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: DOMINIQUE MORISSEAU
 
Dominique Morisseau (playwright) WAM Theatre: Debut. Plays: The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle) which includes the following plays: Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre), and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Additional plays include: Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theatre), Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theatre); Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre) and Follow Me to Nellie’s (Premiere Stages). She is also the book writer on the new musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Berkeley Repertory Theatre). Theatre Commissions: Her work has been commissioned by Steppenwolf Theater, Women’s Project, South Coast Rep, People’s Light and Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival/Penumbra Theatre. Film/TV: She most recently served as Co-Producer on the Showtime series “Shameless”. Awards: Spirit of Detroit Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper Prize, TEER Trailblazer Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Audelco Awards, NBFT August Wilson Playwriting Award, Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, OBIE Award, Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, and being named one of Variety’s Women of Impact for 2017-18. Et Cetera: Dominique is an alumna of The Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group, Women’s Project Lab, and Lark Playwrights Workshop and has developed work at Sundance Lab, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Eugene O’Neil Playwrights Conference.
 
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: DAWN M. SIMMONS
 
Dawn M. Simmons (Director)  WAM Theatre: Debut, Elsewhere: Lyric Stage Company of Boston (The Wiz, Warrior Class, Saturday Night Sunday Morning), Greater Boston Stage Company (The Irish and How They Got That Way), SpeakEasy Stage Company (Men On Boats), Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Apprentice Program (The Tempest), Bad Habit Productions (The Real Inspector Hound), Boston Public Works (Hard and Fast: A Love Story), New Exhibition Room (Smile), Suffolk University’s Performing Arts Department (The T Plays, Spring Awakening, Identity Crisis), Fresh Ink Theatre (The Embryos),  Online: www.frontporcharts.org.
 
 
ABOUT WAM THEATRE AND FRESH TAKES
 
Based in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, WAM Theatre is Where Arts and Activism Meet. The company was co-founded in 2010 by Canadian director, actor, educator, and producer Kristen van Ginhoven. WAM’s vision is to create opportunity for women and girls through the mission of theatre as philanthropy.
 
Inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, WAM donates a portion of the proceeds from its theatrical events to organizations that benefit women and girls.
 
Since 2010, WAM Theatre has donated more than $41,500 to thirteen nonprofit organizations and provided paid work to more than 200 theatre artists. In addition to the main stage productions and special events, WAM Theatre’s activities include a comprehensive educational outreach program and the Fresh Takes Play Reading Series. Now in its fifth season, Fresh Takes is curated by WAM Associate Artistic Director Talya Kingston. For more information, visit www.WAMTheatre.com.
 
Press contact:
[email protected]