NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) Department of Fine and Performing Arts (FPA) will present its second show of the season, an adaptation of “Henry V” produced with an entirely female cast. The play opens tonight, Wednesday, Nov. 16, in the Venable Theater on the MCLA campus.

According to the play’s director, Laura Standley, an associate professor of theatre at MCLA, the adaptation highlights some of the conflicts in our society today.           

“This season is about allowing women the opportunities in theatre they may not normally have access to,” explained Standley.  “By empowering women to play roles normally reserved for men, this diverse and exciting all-female cast cuts to the heart of Shakespeare’s most famous discourse on war, ambition, unrest and power.”

The power of the show is not lost on the cast of the show and the women working in other leadership roles, said Assistant Director Mallory Schettine ’17.

“It brings an additional gravity to the show to have women in these leadership roles of kings, when our own government is going through a shift with our current election,” said Breana Gladu ’17, who plays the role of Falstaff, as well as Fluellen and Exeter.

Gladu noted the challenges presented to her in depicting a main character not typically given to a woman to play.

In addition to an all-female cast, the show features some creative editing. Standley’s combination of “Henry V,” interlaced with “Henry IV,” allows the audience to understand the relationship that created the situations in “Henry IV.” 

The FPA department’s adaptation of “Henry V” by William Shakespeare will be shown Nov. 16 – 19, with shows at 8 p.m. An additional matinee performance will be presented on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call the box office at (413)-662-5123 or visit

The theatre program at MCLA develops innovative theatre artists prepared for careers in theatre and graduate study. In the intimate, culturally rich setting of the Berkshires, students hone their craft through intensive studio training and hands-on experience, within the context of their broader liberal arts education. Opportunities for practical experience abound, from courses in acting, directing, design and production to working alongside a faculty of talented professionals in our award-winning production season. On stage and in the classroom, theatre students at MCLA make theatre of the highest quality, as they explore the rich tradition of this unique, multi-disciplinary art form. 

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Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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