An Exploration of Modern Warfare & the Effects of Unchecked Power

Nov. 15, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — The second show of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) theatre department will be William Shakespeare’s classic “Macbeth,” co-directed by Laura Standley, associate professor of theatre, and guest artist David Lane.

The play, which opens in the campus’s Venable Theatre on Friday, Nov. 30, features lighting and costume designs by Jeremy Winchester and Andrea Williams, assistant professors of theatre.

MCLA Theatre uses Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece to explore the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. When three witches tell Macbeth some surprising prophecies, Macbeth hatches a plan to murder the king and claim the throne for himself. Provoked by his wife and preoccupied with greed, Macbeth begins a tragic descent into madness.

The production is set in a landscape of urban warfare. This version of “Macbeth” draws on the images of present day military actions and affairs of state. “The play features an experimental intimate setting. We are focusing on the connections between the audience and actors within the story,” Standley said. “As the play unfolds, the audience will find themselves immersed in the action.”

The Department’s adaptation of “Macbeth” will open at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, with additional 8 p.m. shows on Saturday, Dec. 1, Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8. Matinee shows will take place at 2 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 9. MCLA will host a talkback after the 8 p.m. show on Dec. 8. All performances will take place in Venable Theater on the MCLA campus.

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

ABOUT THE MCLA THEATRE PROGRAM                                                                               
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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David Lane is a painter, writer, and theatre artist living and working in North Adams. He is a two-time Jim Henson Foundation grant recipient for his original play, “The Chronicles of Rose,” the story of Rose Valland who helped save countless European paintings from being lost during WWII.

Lane teaches performance and classes in creative-practice at Siena College in Albany, N.Y.  He was a co-creator and the lead designer of Iinisikimm, an illuminated, night-time puppet performance in celebration of the return of Buffalo to Banff National Park, Canada. This summer, he directed the Third Annual Berkshire Lantern Walk, a community festival of light, in collaboration with the New England Puppet Intensive and the Clark Art Institute.

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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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