-MCLA Theatre Lab Production- 

tango palace and dr. kheal

by María Irene Fornés

December 1 - 3, 2023 

MCLA Church Street Center Social Hall at 8:00 pm 

Directed by senior, Georgia Dedolph
Supervised by Associate Professor, Laura Standley
Costume Design by Guest Artist, Elizabeth Rodio, '21
Set Design by junior, Aedan Maginnis
Lighting Design by sophomore, Laura Lewis & junior, Luna Hayes

These two short plays will be done together as one evening as part of MCLA's Fornés Festival.

Tickets are FREE and the performances are open to the public. Seating is general admission and on a first come first serve basis. 

TANGO PALACE, follows Isidore, a vicious “androgynous clown,” and Leopold, an “earnest youth” trapped in Isidore’s shrine room of the best of western tradition - things we think of as right and fancy and good and true. Leopold’s squirming body is reborn from a cloth sack at Isidore’s feet, as Isidore tries to charm the young artist with a tranquil serenade. Trying to get his bearings, Leopold is bombarded with an endless stream of notecards tossed at him by Isidore. Over and over, the gender non-conforming Isidore assaults him with instructions, thoughts, manipulations, trying to put words, gestures, ideas into Leopold’s mouth. When Leopold refuses, Isidore challenges him in every hyper-masculine way, donning the helmet of the Greeks, showing off intimidating sword moves, dancing the Tango. Isidore demands Leopold follow tradition or else, ordering him to parrot the words of a literal parrot, rejecting femininity in whatever way possible. Leopold can’t help but rebel as they arm themselves to the teeth, fight with swords, fight like bulls, fight to be civilized, intelligent, sophisticated, artificial. Stereotypes are battered to the ground as Leopold struggles to break free from the hell of a masculine dominated, artificial world and find true inspiration.

DR. KHEAL, the only one-character play Fornés ever wrote, takes the form of a mock lecture given by a learned professor. Arriving at his lectern, Professor Kheal covers a chalkboard with a variety of topics, mocking the audience for their stupidity and incorrect answers. He pompously expands on all the great humanities questions: poetry, balance, energy, truth, beauty and love, hope… and, of course, cooking. He struggles with right and wrong, seeking the correct answers from his imagined class but never getting them. The little man who calls himself master, and who claims to know all, DR KHEAL represents the pillar of academia. He knows what’s right; what he says goes. He holds his audience/pupils to a ridiculous standard, abusing them, alienating them, and making them feel like many oppressed people have felt in traditional academic spaces. Like Tango Palace, Dr. Kheal confronts authority, questioning the very idea of right, wrong, balance, or truth. In modern life on the internet, our sense of what is fact and fiction seems knowable. With a google search, we think we can suss out the truth at a glance. DR KHEAL challenges this, arguing that perhaps what is impossible, what is unseeable, is the most beautiful - subjective truth.

Ezekiel's Wheels Klezmer Band

Ezekiel's Wheels Klezmer Band

April 2024

"Ezekiel's Wheels Klezmer Band...packs plenty of Jewish soul and dance spirit into the frisky original tunes and the refurbished historical fare these five excellent musicians present." - DownBeat Magazine

Internationally-acclaimed Ezekiel’s Wheels Klezmer Band brings passion, virtuosity, and contagious energy to every performance. The Wheels improvise with the intimacy of chamber music and the intensity of a rowdy dance band. Their engaging contemporary interpretation of Jewish music is irresistible to audiences ranging from elementary school students to the judges at the International Jewish Music Festival, who heralded them as “a true musical democracy.”

Tickets will be available soon

the summer in gossensass

by María Irene Fornés

March 29, 30 and April 5, 6, and 7 at 8:00 pm

Venable Theater

Directed by Associate Professor, Laura Standley
Set Design by Guest Artist, Robin Vest
Costume Design by Guest Artist, Elizabeth Rodio, '21
Student Designers TBA

This performance is being produced as part of MCLA's Fornés Festival

Tickets will be available soon

emma when you need her

Developmental Workshop Musical 

Books and Lyrics by MCLA Benedetti Fellow, Rudy Ramirez 

April 26, 27, and 28
Venable Theater 

Directed by Associate Professor, Jeremy Winchester
Costume and Set Design by Associate Professor, Michaela Petrovich
Lighting Design by Student Designers, TBA