WAM Theatre sets cast for digital 'Roe'

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The Berkshire Eagle

LENOX — Tara Franklin, Tracy Liz Miller, and Susanna Guzman head the cast of WAM Theatre's digital production of Lisa Loomer's "Roe," which will be available for viewing Oct. 17-20.

WAM producing artistic director Kristen van Ginhoven directs the area premiere of Loomer's drama which centers around Roe v. Wade — the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established a woman's right to an abortion.

Franklin plays Norma McCorvey, the woman who became "Jane Roe;" Miller plays lawyer Sarah Weddington.

Guzman plays Norma's longtime partner, Connie Gonzales, and Catherine Dickerson appears as Roxy.

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Franklin has performed with Berkshire Theatre Group and also Chester Theatre Company, where she starred in the company's 2019 production, "On the Exhale."

Miller appeared in Saratoga Shakespeare Company's "The Tempest" and has worked with WAM as a Fresh Takes reading director.

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Guzman's credits include the TV series "The Outsider" and "New Amsterdam." Dickerson is "Roe's" assistant director and appeared in the University at Albany production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

MaConnier Chesser and Ryan Winkles head an acting ensemble whose members each play multiple roles. Also in the ensemble are Vivian Burnham, KD McTeigue, Daniel Rios, Jr., and Wendy Welch.

Complete ticket and production information is available online at wamtheatre.org.

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"Roe" was commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2012 as part of its American Revolutions Cycle. It was developed at the University of Texas and The Kennedy Center (as part of DC's Women's Voices Festival) as well as at OSF's Black Swan Lab before it played for 70 performances in Ashland, OR, and then had runs at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., Berkeley Rep in Berkeley, Calif., and Asolo Rep in Sarasota, Fla. In keeping with WAM's double philanthropic mission, a portion of the proceeds will be given to an organization taking action for women and girls. The beneficiaries for "Roe" are Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts, Railroad Street Youth Project, and SisterSong.

ARFWM is a community-based, all-volunteer organization dedicated to overcoming barriers to abortion health care. They promote access by providing financial and logistical support to pregnant people through compassionate caller-centered care that respects their dignity and human rights. WAM's donation will help provide assistance facilitating access to time-sensitive, essential care during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Railroad Street Youth Project empowers young people by supporting youth-inspired projects that promote responsibility, self-worth, and intergenerational communication. The staff then pairs these youth-generated ideas with community resources. WAM's donation will help train new educators in the only evidence-based sexual health education in the area, serving 250 students in South County schools

Launched in 1997 by 16 women-of-color-led organizations, SisterSong is the oldest and largest multi-ethnic reproductive justice organization, and the only one headquartered in the South. Their mission is to amplify and strengthen the collective voices of Indigenous women and women of color to ensure reproductive justice through securing human rights. WAM's donation will support their Birth Justice program in Georgia. Through this program, SisterSong organizes advanced doula trainings, advocates for community midwives and birth workers, and creates community and learning space with their Mama Talks.


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