MCLA Fine and Performing Arts Department Announces 2020-21 Theatre Season


NORTH ADAMS, MA—The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Fine and Performing Arts Department has announced its 2020-21 theatre season, “Crossing the Divide.” In a challenging and divided time, the department is presenting projects that explore how to stay connected, focus on what matters, and emerge stronger than ever.  

“For the 2020-2021 season, MCLA Theatre offers projects that seek to bridge the distances that separate us from one another,” said Associate Professor of Theatre Jeremy Winchester. “Whether the gaps are created by us or imposed by others, by examining the divide, and by partnering thoughtfully with others outside the theatre who are willing to do the same, we can begin to close the distances that keep us separated from one another.” 

All productions will offer joint programming with MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center and Institute for Arts and Humanities in order to establish and grow meaningful relationships with the wider campus community, North Adams, and Berkshire County. Fall 2020 productions will be presented virtually.  

The season kicks off with “The Race,” by Michael Rohd and Sojourn Theatre, directed by Jeremy Winchester and Alex Lee Reed, presented Oct. 30-Nov. 7 in a virtual format.   

“The Race” is an interactive exploration of leadership in the time of Black Lives Matter and COVID-19, to be performed before and after the national election, online to a national audience. Originally devised by Sojourn Theatre in 2008, this reimagining for the current moment will be led by Winchester and Seattle-based artist Alex Lee Reed, in partnership with a large national network of theatre companies and schools producing the play simultaneously, including Intiman Theatre, Cornell University, and more.   

“Connections: A Festival” will be presented virtually from December 4-6. This production is a series of plays, presented in an online staged-reading festival, chosen, directed, designed, built and performed entirely by the students. These works will explore the season theme of staying connected in a dysfunctional and disconnecting time.  

In Spring 2021, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare will be directed by David Lane. In the midst of our lives’ most trying moments, we often find the greatest need for the release of humor.  Shakespeare saw this truth, and explored it many times over.  His darkest tragedies are full of humor, and his funniest comedies are driven by deadly circumstances. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is full of romance, magic, and danger.  It vibrates with high stakes and rumbles with low comedy.  Its characters are down to earth, and fly on magic wings. For over 400 years, it has stood as testament to the infinite simultaneous variety of the human experience.   

Also in Spring 2021, “the pal·imp·sest: 2021 remixes,” devised by Sara Katzoff and MCLA Theatre and directed by Katzoff, will weave original and found text, interviews, movement, sound and video in a collaboratively generated theater piece that explores how contemporary American civilization in the age of COVID-19, racial injustice, political division and youth uprising continues to make, remake and rewrite itself. 

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