College's FPA Dept. will be the first cast to recreate this devised work


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — For the first show of the spring semester, the Fine and Performing Arts (FPA) Department at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will present “RIOT,” a new work, from Wednesday, March 1, through Saturday, March 4, in the Venable Theater on the MCLA campus. Until this time, this production only has been seen by its originators.

RIOT is a unique theatrical experience that sheds “inexpensive and functional” light on the experiences of the people involved in a stampede at the grand opening of the largest Swedish furniture store in the United Kingdom, according to the production’s guest director, Sara Katzoff.

Devised by The Wardrobe Ensemble – a theatre group working out of Bristol, UK – in 2011, ‘RIOT’ was inspired by true accounts collected from employees and patrons of the store, all of whom were involved in the incident. Katzoff worked with The Wardrobe Ensemble to rework the play specifically for MCLA, to allow for a fully immersive experience.

“By focusing on the tragic irony, absurdity and sheer madness of this event, ‘RIOT’ places a darkly humorous lens over the frenzied nature of consumer culture,” Katzoff said.  “Integrating a live soundscape, original songs and physical storytelling, ‘RIOT’ reminds us where we are as a human race and what we truly value. Set in a lamp-lit, flat-pack universe, ‘RIOT’ disregards the diagrams to construct a surprisingly comedic and thoroughly modern tragedy.”

“RIOT” will be shown Wednesday, March 1, through Saturday, March 4, with shows at 8 p.m. A matinee performance will take place on Saturday at 2 p.m. For more information, or to reserve tickets, please 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. 

For more information,


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.

For more information, go to