Sept. 25, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announces that Jeremy Winchester, assistant professor of theatre within the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, recently was awarded a $5,000 grant from The Martha Boschen Porter Fund, a fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

This year, 49 people applied to the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation to receive a grant from The Martha Boschen Porter Fund. Winchester was one of 11 to receive an award. He will use the funding to write a play, tentatively titled, “Leviathan.” According to Winchester, this new play partners both the story and the narrative of Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.”

“While visiting Melville’s Arrowhead down in Pittsfield this past summer, listening to the tour guide talk about Melville’s personal life and the initial reception of the novel, it struck me that what I was most interested in were the parallels between his own life and ambition, and those of his central character, Ahab, as well as the revolutionary way those parallels were teased out in the narrative structure of the novel itself,” Winchester explained.

With his play, Winchester plans to draw connections – both explicit and implicit – between “Moby Dick,” which was written in the years before the Civil War, and our cultural and political life today.

The Martha Boschen Porter Fund is designed both for emerging artists, as well as those who wish to make a shift in their practice. Although Winchester has produced, directed, and designed many new plays for 20 years, this opportunity marks the first time he will write a new play.

He will spend the next nine months researching an initial draft, to be followed by a reading at MCLA. After revisions and rewrites, the play will head to a professional script development workshop designed to result in a work ready for a full production. In total, Winchester expects the process to take about three years.

For more information about Winchester and his work, go to

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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