WAM Theatre Donates $9,000 to Soldier On Women’s Program

LEE, MA [November 7, 2017] — Every year WAM Theatre donates a portion of the box office proceeds from their fall Main Stage production to agencies that benefit women and girls locally, nationally, or internationally. The success of their production of The Last Wife by Kate Hennig enabled the company to present their largest donation ever to a single beneficiary – $9,000 to the Soldier On Women’s Program.


WAM Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven presents a donation of $9.000 to Bruce Buckley, CEO of Soldier On, Sara Scoco, Executive Director of Soldier On Women’s Program, and Stephanie Ovitt, Wellness Coordinator. (Photo by Emma K. Rothenberg- Ware.)

In keeping with WAM Theatre’s double philanthropic mission, the check presentation to the beneficiary was made following the sold-out closing performance on Sunday, November 5.  Since its founding in 2010, WAM Theatre has now donated more than $41,500 to thirteen nonprofit organizations.

Playwright Kate Hennig said, “How proud I am that my play has been used to make this wonderful contribution to these women and their lives. WAM Theatre is a real game-changer. Well done!”

“I think I speak for all at Soldier On when I say that we were completely overwhelmed by the generosity of WAM and all of the donors who contributed to the amazing gift that we received,” Sara Scoco, Executive Director of the Soldier In Women’s Program said. “ The play was incredibly moving, and the residents of our program felt  honored to not only be invited to such a prestigious event, but also to receive such a wonderful donation.  We are thrilled  to be part of the WAMily and look forward to many more collaborations in the future!”

WAM’s donation will support care during the transition to independent or family life for the formerly homeless female veterans in residence at the Soldier On Women’s Program.

“WAM’s unique philanthropic efforts have impacted areas such as girls education, teen pregnancy prevention, sexual trafficking awareness, midwife training, and now women military veterans,” said Kristen van Ginhoven, WAM’s Artistic Director. “We couldn’t be more proud to use theatre as philanthropy. We hope our vision inspires other arts organizations to do the same—imagine the social change that would create!”


Cast and crew, WAM Team members, board members, sponsors, friends, and staff and residents from Soldier On Women’s Program celebrate on The Last Wife set after the closing performance on November 5. (Photo by Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware.)

The Last Wife, a modern take on Katherine Parr’s marriage to Henry VIII, opened on October 15 to critical accolade and enthusiastic audience response, both at the performances and on social media. Audience members said:

Go Parr! A modern frame brings to light the possibilities of girls and women during that period. I enjoyed The Last Wife.

The play was great. Your cause is great. You are great. Keep up the good work.

So good!!!!! Go see it, everyone!!!! Awesome play and superb production. YAY WAM!

Was in attendance Sunday afternoon, yet another great history lesson with WAM Theatre. Great job all!

And the press agreed…

Insightful and engaging…epic in sweep and profound in ambition…Rich in nuance…Henry…is brought to exuberant life by John Hadden. – The Albany Times-Union

 …very good theater. It is compelling and enthralling…WAM’s production won’t last forever, which is a pity, for it should be seen by as many people as possible. – The Berkshire Edge

 In addition, WAM offered three free post-show conversations focusing on Patriarchy, Women in Power, and Sexual Politics. A special Friday matinee was attended by 75 students from area schools, with tickets subsidized by our Education and Show Spotlight Sponsors, including Advanced Image Artistry, CWM Retirement Plan Services, LLC,  Onyx Specialty Papers, Sawyer LLC, Wax Family Law, and Zumba Instructor Sharon Daley.

This are WAM’s thirteenth beneficiary. Past recipients include: the Berkshire Immigrant Center, Suzi Banks Baum’s New Illuminations initiative in Gyumri, Armenia, Hands in Outreach, Sisters for Peace, Mother of Peace Orphanage in Illovo, South Africa, the Rites of Passage and Empowerment Program for Girls (ROPE), Shout Out Loud Productions, Berkshire United Way’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, Edna’s Hospital in Somaliland, The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, and Women for Women International. This is in addition to providing paid contract work to over 200 theatre professionals.


WAM Theatre is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; and by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Our 2017 sponsors include Adams Community Bank, the Appelbaum-Kahn Foundation, Berkshire Magazine, Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing, Blue Q, Brabson Library & Educational Foundation, Canyon Ranch, Custom Business Solutions, The Dylandale Foundation, The Feigenbaum Foundation, Futures Education, the Garden Gables Inn, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, In Touch Printing, International Schools Theatre Association, Interprint, Dr. Jay Wise, DDS & Dr. Casey Jones, DMD,  Lee Bank, Massachusetts Cultural Council, MAXYMILLIAN Technologies, Methuselah Bar and Lounge, No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, RB Design Co., Redfin, The Rookwood Inn, Rouge Restaurant & Bistro, The Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, T Square Design Studio, Toole Insurance, a. von schlegell & co., and Zonta.

WAM Theatre is also supported in part by grants from the Alford-Egremont Cultural Council, Dalton Cultural Council, Lenox Cultural Council, New Marlborough Cultural Council, Pittsfield Cultural Council, Cultural Council of Northern Berkshires , Otis Cultural Council, Richmond Cultural Council, Sandisfield Cultural Council, Stockbridge Cultural Council, Washington Cultural Council, and West Stockbridge Cultural Council – local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


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. For more information, visit www.WAMTheatre.com

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