WAM Theatre slates 'Paradise' reading

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LENOX — WAM Theatre winds up its 2019 Fresh Takes Reading Series this weekend with Laura Maria Censabella's "Paradise," directed by WAM associate artistic director Talya Kingston, who also curates the Fresh Takes series.

The reading is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday in Shakespeare & Company's Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St.

"Paradise" tells the story of Yasmeen Al-Hamadi, a Muslim Yemeni-American senior at a struggling inner-city Bronx high school. Dr. Guy Royston is her disaffected science teacher, a former Evangelical with a mysterious past. An unlikely research team, together they embark on a neurological study, leading to stormy conflicts over love, faith, and culture.

The play, which has been produced all over the country, was an Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan-commissioned play and finalist for the 2016 Saroyan/Paul Playwriting Prize for Human Rights.

The two-member cast features Jay Sefton, a Western Massachusetts actor last seen by WAM audiences in the Fresh Takes reading of "Honor Killing" last season; and Layan Elwazi ("The Band's Visit" on Broadway, "We Live in Cairo" at American Repertory Theatre, and "Yasmina's Necklace" at Premiere Stages) in her WAM debut.

Complete ticket information is available online at online at wamtheatre.com/paradise/ or by phone at 413-637-3353.

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