THEATER: “A Doll’s House,” “Noises Off” Take the Stage at MCLA [Berkshire on Stage]

February 29th, 2016, 2:00 pm by Sara


The theater program of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) Fine and Performing Arts Department will open in March with a new version of Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece, A Doll’s House, to be followed in April by Michael Frayn’s Noises Off.

According to Laura Standley, assistant professor of theater at MCLA, “This spring season’s productions feature an unlikely feminist and an outrageously rotten theater company, which serve as examples of characters from both classic and contemporary works.”

Standley directs the production of A Doll’s House (adapted by Simon Stephens), which runs from Wednesday-Saturday (March 2-5). In this play, Nora Helmer has secretly borrowed a large amount of money to pay for her husband, Torvald, to recover from illness on sabbatical in Italy. Torvald’s perception of Nora is of a silly, naive spendthrift, so it is only when the truth begins to emerge and Torvald realizes who Nora really is, that cracks which cannot be mended appear in their marriage.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


MCLA Presents Offers Unusual Tabletop Puppet Docu-Drama “Who’s Hungry?” [Berkshire on Stage]

March 31st, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara

MCLA Presents "Who’s Hungry?"

Review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Gail M. Burns: You took a little convincing to give up a Saturday afternoon for a puppet show, Larry.

Larry Murray: Yes, I was resistant, perhaps because I thought I had experienced just about everything the miniature world of puppetry could offer, but I was wrong.

Gail: If your idea of puppetry is still the hand puppets on Captain Kanagroo and Mister Rogers, the marionettes in The Sound of Music, or even the Muppets, be ready to be surprised! For one thing, these productions are not for little children, although tweens and teens with a theatrical bent will love them.

Larry: The thought that has stuck in my head is that this wasn’t the first puppet documentary I had seen. Mass MoCA brought in Dan Hurlin, who designed and directed this show, in 2010 with his sensational puppet biography of eccentric Arkansas photographer Mike Disfarmer. (Larry’s article) That too was “tabletop puppetry,” an advance on the art form that uses traditional techniques from Bunraku to shadow puppetry, and in this case, with two slow-motion Robert Wilson-esque sequences for model cars and accessories.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

MCLA and Barrington Stage Team Up for “Dancing Lessons” in North Adams [Berkshire on Stage]

March 7th, 2014, 1:30 pm by Sara
John Cariani is featured in Mark St. Germain’s "Dancing Lessons."

John Cariani is featured in Mark St. Germain’s “Dancing Lessons.”

Barrington Stage Company, the award-winning theater in downtown Pittsfield, under the leadership of artistic director Julianne Boyd and managing director Tristan Wilson, travels to North Adams to present a staged reading of “Dancing Lessons,” the new romantic comedy by playwright Mark St. Germain, on Saturday (March 8) at 7pm at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ Church Street Center, Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium (corner of Church and Porter Streets), North Adams.

Directed by Julianne Boyd, “Dancing Lessons” stars John Cariani and Brenna Palughi. Cariani made his BSC debut as Dogberry in last summer’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” Cariani is also the playwright of the popular play “Almost, Maine” and is currently starring in the play’s Off-Broadway revival. Recently seen in John Grisham’s “A Time to Kill” on Broadway, Palughi is making her BSC debut.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

MCLA Announces Its Fall Concert Schedule

September 10th, 2013, 12:00 pm by Greg
Orquestra Salsa Con Cociencia

Orquestra Salsa Con Cociencia

The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams has announced its schedule of performances for the current school semester, which kicks off at 2pm on Saturday (September 14) with the rousing sounds of Orquestra Salsa con Cociencia.

Here’s the schedule of MCLA concerts for the rest of 2013:

MCLA Academic Quad
$10; $5 students
Formerly known as La Excelencia, the NYC-based salsa dura band brings a modern vitality and social consciousness to the salsa genre, taking their bold sounds to salsa dancers and fans around the world.

With Shana Falana
MCLA Branch Gallery
It’s a special All Hallows Eve show with music, projections, costumes, taxidermy and other macabre phenomena, featuring the band fresh from their debut performance at the Restoration Festival in Troy last weekend. Following the opening reception for Ryder Cooley’s art exhibit, “Rewilderment” at Gallery 51 (from 6-8pm), she’ll join the Dust Bowl Faeries to perform their haunting songs on accordion, uke, lap steel guitar, keyboards and singing saw. Costumes encouraged.

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Be Here Now: C. Ryder Cooley’s “Xmalia” @ MCLA, 1/25/12

January 24th, 2012, 12:00 pm by Greg

The multi-talented performance artist-musician C. Ryder Cooley is offering another performance of her mesmerizing theater/music work “Xmalia” on Wednesday night (January 25) at MCLA’s Venable Gymnasium in North Adams.

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ArtBeat: Tricks of the Trade

February 8th, 2010, 3:01 pm by Sara

MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center has announced another round of Tricks of the Trade, workshops for artists. This month’s theme is centered around how to approach galleries and get your work shown:

  • Tuesday, February 9th, 6:30 pm: MCLA Gallery 51, North Adams: Cathy Deely- the producer of “Made in the USA in Pete’s Motors” will discuss non-traditional spaces and curator Pip JS Deely will discuss fine art galleries
  • Wednesday, February 10th, 6:30pm: Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, Pittsfield: Gail and Phil Sellers, owners of River Hill Pottery, will discuss fairs, festivals, open studios and trade shows
  • Thursday, February 11th, 6:30pm: IS183 Art School, Stockbridge: Melissa Stafford, director of Carrie Haddad Photographs, will discuss fine art galleries and non-traditional spaces

All workshops are free, but do require pre-registration. For more information, and/or to register, call Jess Conzo, the program coordinator for MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, at 413.663.5253.

Writing Seminars for Artists

January 7th, 2010, 10:19 am by Sara

Tearing your hair out over writing your artist statement?

The Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has announced the latest round of workshops from its on-going Tricks of the Trade series, a set of classes entitled “Writing: How do artists write about their work?”

These interactive sessions will be led by writer/editor Seth Rogovoy and artist Meryl Joseph. Facilitated by Kidspace Director and MCLA Professor Laura Thompson, the seminars will examine artist statements to understand what connects an audience most to the artwork. Attendees will then use these techniques to write their own statements.

All sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. Class locations are:

  • Tuesday, January 12th, 6:30 p.m.: MAYA III, North Adams
  • Wednesday, January 13th, 6:30 p.m.: Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield
  • Thursday, January 14th, 6:30 p.m.: IS183 Art School, Stockbridge

The workshops are free, but pre-registration is required; call 413-663-5253 to register.

(Editor’s Tip: If you’re too lazy to attend the workshop, or you just enjoy baffling folks,
you can try using the fill-in-the-blanks Market-o-Matic to write your artist statement.)

ArtBeat: C. Ryder Cooley’s “Animalia” @ MCLA Church Street Center, 11/18/09

November 16th, 2009, 4:01 pm by Greg

You may have seen the initial presentation of “Animalia: Stories of Collapse, Calamity and Departure” when C. Ryder Cooley and Todd Chandler performed it at RPI in Troy back in March of last year.

Since then the haunting “Animalia” has been seen everywhere from Proctors in Schenectady to Skybox in Brooklyn to the Mission Creek Festival in San Francisco.

At 7:30pm on Wednesday (November 18), “Animalia” will be performed at the MCLA Church Street Center in North Adams, Mass. General admission tickets are $12, and reservations can be made by phoning 413.662.5204.

Cooley describes “Animalia” as “an inter-species fairytale that combines theatrical movement with live music on singing saw, accordion and strings.” The backdrop of the 50-minute multi-media performance is a hypnotic collage of mesmerizing video and archival film.

Created by Cooley, the performance in North Adams will also feature Anna Jacobs (of LAVA and Wise Fool Circus) and Todd Chandler (Cooley’s partner in the musical duo Fall Harbor).

Following the performance, there will be a reception at 9pm at Gallery 51 in North Adams, where Cooley’s drawing installation, “Reliquary,” is part of the four-woman exhibit “Nest.” The exhibit runs through Sunday (November 22).

The Cock'N'Bull RestaurantHolly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Capital Repertory TheaterArtist Charles Haymes