MCLA Theatre to Perform Experimental Show “The Left Hand of Darkness” This Weekend

November 30, 2022

MCLA Theatre will debut “The Left Hand of Darkness” this weekend as a developmental workshop in conjunction with Associate Professor of Theatre, Laura Standley, her directing students, and the Theatre Lab.  

The show dates are Dec. 2 at 8 p.m., Dec. 3 at 8 p.m., and Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. in MCLA’s Venable Theatre. 

“The Left Hand of Darkness” is a developmental workshop adaptation of the 1969 novel by Ursula K. Le Guin – an unusual science fiction story without lasers, damsels, or chosen ones. It is not about the fate of the galaxy, but about how war grows out of the hatred of people. 

"In Brown’s book, she talks about being inspired by science fiction to develop her strategies because of how it presents “more viable futures.” For students in directing class, adapting a work of science fiction allows us to “practice the future together” on a piece that shows a vision of a better world. That way, hopefully, they might leave MCLA ready to heal our institutions and create new ways of making theatre,” Laura Standley said.  

Through the process of adaptation, directing students to explore different areas of interest, such as space, movement, sound, etc., to delve deep into questions they have about contemporary theatre practice and create more sustainable futures for the theatre industry. This is done in part through a social justice lens, particularly through lessons drawn from Adrienne Maree Brown's book, "Emergent Strategy." 

The show follows a man of color who enters a genderless society and finds himself stuck between bureaucracies, a mad king, and warring nations. This experimental workshop is a physical theatre performance, and a multi-media experience about recognizing, accepting, and loving people for who they are. 

More information and tickets to “The Left Hand of Darkness” can be found at

About MCLA
At MCLA, we’re here for all — and focused on each — of our students. Classes are taught by educators who care deeply about teaching, and about seeing their students thrive on every level of their lives. In nearly every way possible, the experience at MCLA is designed to elevate our students as individuals, leaders, and communicators, fully empowered to make their impressions on the world. In addition to our 128-year commitment to public education, we have fortified our commitment to equitable academic excellence. For 10 of the last 12 years, MCLA has been named a Top Ten College by U.S. News and World Report. MCLA also appears on the organization’s list of top National Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Since the list was created, MCLA has risen to #33 as a Top Performer on Social Mobility and ranks first among all Massachusetts liberal arts schools, which measures how well schools graduate students who receive Federal Pell Grants. Learn more at