|WAM's Production of 'ANN' Heads for Dallas, D.C.|
|02:18PM / Friday, March 08, 2019|
|Actor Jayne Atkinson and WAM Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven go on the road for performances of Holland Taylor's'ANN' in Washington, D.C., and Dallas this summer. |
Atkinson returns in the role of Texas Gov. Ann Richards.
LENOX, Mass. — WAM Theatre's fall 2018 production of "ANN" by Holland Taylor was a record-breaking success. Now it's moving to the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., and Dallas Theater Center for a new co-production of the Jayne Atkinson-starring production in July and October of this year.
WAM's Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven will again direct the production and Atkinson returns to star in the title role.
The one-woman play "ANN" is a spirited portrait of Ann Richards, legendary governor of Texas, a complex, colorful, and captivating character, with a personality bigger than the state she governed. Ticket sales for WAM's 2018 co-production of "ANN" with Dorset (Vt.) Theatre Festival broke the theater's box-office record.
"As a new citizen of this country, and as the artistic director of WAM, I cannot imagine a better way to contribute to the civic dialogue leading up to the 2020 election," van Ginhoven said. "All of us at WAM are thrilled that our work at the intersection of arts and activism will have a life outside of the Berkshires where it will reach even larger audiences. And personally, I am delighted to be able to continue work on this play with Jayne at these two acclaimed regional theaters."
Atkinson said she was "thrilled and proud to be continuing the journey — joining with Kristen to take 'ANN' on the road and share the brilliance and humor of Ann Richards."
Richards was the 45th governor of Texas and former state treasurer who gave the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention (that nominated Gov. Michael Dukakis and Texas' Lloyd Bentsen for the presidential ticket.) She was an outspoken activist and feminist with a penchant for illuminating one-liners who continued to be involved in politics until her death in 2006.
"We at Arena are excited about this co-production and bringing Jayne Atkinson's fantastic portrayal of Governor Richards, along with Kristen van Ginhoven's wonderful direction, to Washington, D.C. There really is no better place for a play about a strong woman politician," Molly Smith, artistic director of the Arena Stage said.
Kevin Moriarty, Enloe/Rose artistic director of Dallas Theater Center, is equally enthused. "Under Kristen's leadership, and with Jayne Atkinson in the title role, audiences will love this inspiring and hilarious play that brings us face to face with the complex, colorful and captivating character of Ann Richards."
The original design team will also return to design the co-production. WAM associate artist Juliana von Haubrich returns as scenic designer, Andi Lyons as lighting designer, M. L. Dogg as sound designer, Jess Goldstein as costume designer and Paul Huntley as wig designer.
Atkinson may be best known for playing characters in the political sphere on television, from Karen Hayes on "24" to Vice President Teresa Hurst on "Madam Secretary" to Secretary of State Catherine Durant on "House of Cards." The Tony Award nominee's also worked on Broadway and Off-Broadway and appeared in films and a host of television shows.
Taylor wrote and originated the role on Broadway, earning a Tony nomination. Taylor has appeared in numerous stage productions and on television, particularly "The Practice" and "Two and Half Men."
The production will run July 11-Aug. 11 at Arena Stage and in Dallas from Oct. 15-Nov. 10. Tickets and information can be found at Arena Stage
and Dallas Theater Center
WAM is launching its 10th anniversary season this year
. There will be two Mainstage productions — the world premiere of "Lady Randy" by Anne Undeland, running April 18-May 5, and "Pipeline" by Dominique Morisseau, running Oct. 25-Nov. 9, presented in partnership with Multicultural BRIDGE. Two Fresh Takes Play Readings — "Native Gardens" by Karen Zacarías (May 4) and "Paradise" by Laura Maria Censabella (Nov. 2) — will correlate directly to each Mainstage production; and an expanded education program will include a new Elder Ensemble for women 65 and older, along with the successful, established Teen Ensemble, both of which will debut their original devised theatre pieces at the WAM Gala in July.