NORTH ADAMS, MA – The Fine and Performing Arts (FPA) Department at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) kicks off its 2019-2020 season with August Strindberg’s “Miss Julie.” Presented in a new version by David Eldridge from a literal translation by Charlotte Barslund, the play will be directed by adjunct faculty member David Lane, with scenic design by Assistant Professor of Theatre Jeremy Winchester, costume design by Declan McDermott ’21, and lighting design by Jarret Garland ’20.
“Miss Julie” opens on Friday, Oct. 18, with additional shows on October 19, 25, and 26. All performances will begin at 8 p.m., with additional matinee performances on October 19 and 27 at 2 p.m. A talkback with the actors and creative team will be held after the evening show on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Written in 1889 and set in the kitchen of a Swedish estate, this naturalistic play challenges norms around gender and class. Director David Lane says the play is one “of grimaces, of masks, played out in the style of naturalism but heaped with the symbolic, where the stage itself is a window to the unconscious realm of human experience, pulling back the veil of reality, exploring the restlessness of unsatisfied fantasy.”
“Miss Julie is a play of daydreams,” says Lane, “where aspiration is set against station, and sexual tension does battle with the restrictions of social class. The edges of Strindberg’s world extend beyond the walls of Kristin’s kitchen, beyond the Count’s estate, where 19th century social custom dictates clear lines between the servant class and the upper. It’s on this dreamlike night of Midsummer, where the realms of the mystical and the earthly meet — where wine and beer flow like drapes of summer flowers — and where Jean and Miss Julie’s desires set in motion a dance of tragic transgression.”
Of designing the show, Garland says, “The process has been really fulfilling. I personally find it refreshing to battle with how the world itself works yet still apply the idea of theatre magic into my design. The research for the show has allowed me to explore tons of different beautiful night and morning skies that reflect and bolster the story and which I’m excited to put on stage for the audience.”
According to McDermott, “It has been really interesting to see how the designs and collaborations can highlight and emphasize the important themes of the show. We have been bringing in a lot of influences on how the contemporary ties in with the past, and there’s going to be a lot of interesting concepts coming from both the time period of the show and themes of today.”
For more information or to reserve tickets, please call MCLA’s box office at (413) 662-5123 or go to mcla.ticketleap.com.
About David Lane:
David Lane is a painter, writer and theatre artist who lives and works in North Adams and teaches performances and classes in creative practice at Siena College in Albany, N.Y. He is a two-time Jim Henson Foundation grant recipient for his original play “The Chronicles of Rose,” which tells the story of Rose Valland, who helped save countless European paintings from being lost forever during World War II.
In 2016, Siena College produced Lane’s original clown play, “The Painting,” which was selected to be presented at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region One. He studied drama at the University of Calgary with Clem Martini and improv guru Keith Johnstone, and earned an MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y. For more information about Lane, go to www.davidlane-theatre.com
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 about “Miss Julie” and MCLA’s theatre program, contact Laura Standley at Laura.Standley@mcla.edu or (413) 662-5486, or Diane Scott, Diane.Scott@mcla.edu or (413) 662-5349, or go to www.mcla.edu/academics/undergraduate/fineandperformingarts/theatre.