TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR WAM THEATRE’S KAMLOOPA
Presented live in the Berkshires October 7-24, 2021 Streaming digitally November 1-7, 2021
LENOX, Mass. — WAM Theatre is excited to present the US premiere of KAMLOOPA: AN INDIGENOUS MATRIARCH STORY by Kim Senklip Harvey, winner of Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award for English Language Drama, directed by Estefanía Fadul (WAM’s Native Gardens, The Oregon Trail). COVID safe live performances of this new comedy, will be presented at Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox, MA, from October 7-24. A digital streaming version of the production will also be available in the United States only from November 1-7. Tickets are on sale now.
“When I read KAMLOOPA, I got goosebumps and knew immediately that it was a play our WAMily would love,” exclaimed WAM Producing Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven. ”With its magical realism, its heart, its activism and its ceremony, KAMLOOPA is the perfect play to close out our 2021 season.”
Come along for the ride to KAMLOOPA, the largest powwow on the West Coast. This high energy comedy follows two urban Indigenous sisters and their encounter with a lawless trickster, as they explore what it means to honor who they are and where they come from. Follow their journey in this captivating, contemporary new play, as the courageous sisters turn to the ancestors for help to reclaim their power.
The play opens on Indigenous People’s Weekend, and in line with WAM’s philanthropic mission and accountability work, a portion of proceeds from KAMLOOPA will be donated to women and girls initiatives of the Cultural Affairs office of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Tribe, upon whose lands WAM lives and works.
Playwright Kim Senklip Harvey is Syilx and Tsilhqot’in with Ancestral ties to the Dakelh,
Secwepemc, and Ktunaxa communities. In May 2021, she became the first Indigenous playwright to win Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award for English Language Drama. The judges said: “The brilliance, the irreverence, the fire of KAMLOOPA sweeps us into the world of three Indigenous women on a mind-bending quest. The audience is seduced by the love, humour and depth of these matriarchs as they embrace and celebrate who they are in the world and with each other.”
Harvey explains: “I created KAMLOOPA to ignite the power that lives within Indigenous femmes and peoples. This transformation story is an offer for all of us to be bold and passionate about having the courage to fully become ourselves.”
Director Estefanía Fadul agrees, stating that: “WAM’s mission of combining arts and activism and creating theatre that centers women could not align more with my own work. I am grateful to call WAM one of my artistic homes and am excited to return to direct Kim’s beautifully visceral play. From the moment I read it, the journey of the three women at the heart of the story, as they struggle to define their identities within a diaspora, resonated deeply with me. It’s a story of sisters, of coming into one’s own power, and finding one’s place within a larger community. It is told with so much joy, heart, and imagination, and I cannot wait to share it with audiences.”
Three Indigenous actors are making their WAM Theatre debuts in KAMLOOPA. Sarah B. Denison (Soledad at the American Indian Community House in partnership with Carnegie Hall; The Assasination of J Kaaisar at Theatre for the New City), a New York-based actor, writer, and director, originally from the Spokane Reservation, will be playing the role of Kilawna. Jasmine Rochelle Godspeed (Leonora’s World and the touring production of Leonora and Aljehandro in collaboration with Double Edge Theatre) a Massachusetts based Native American actor and playwright from the Nipmuc Nation will be playing Indian Friend -1 (Edith), and Ria Nez (Mother Courage and Her Children and The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot both at the Frederick Loewe Theater), an Indigenous (Nahautl) actress, director and artist based in New York, will play Mikaya.
Returning artists include company dramaturg Tatiana Godfrey; Stage Manager Amanda Nita Luke, who served in the same capacity this season for WAM’s online reading of The Light; and costume designer Calypso Michelet, who was the Assistant Costume Designer for WAM’s 2020 streaming production of ROE. Making their WAM debuts on this production are lighting designer Emma Deane, sound designer Caroline Eng, and costume designer Lux Haac, whose work was last seen in the Berkshires in Barrington Stage Company’s 2018 production of Well Intentioned White People.