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Sue Bush
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"King John" At MCLA

10:00PM / Sunday, April 08, 2007

North Adams – Yorick, the student governed Shakespeare Club at
Massachusetts College Of Liberal Arts, has announced its production of William Shakespeare’s “King John,” to be performed Fri., April 20, at 7:30 p.m., and Sat., April 21, at 7:30 p.m., at MCLA’s Venable Theatre.

“King John” revolves around the question of who is England’s rightful
heir. It chronicles the entire span of John’s turbulent reign, from his coronation in 1199 to his death in 1216, while dramatizing such topics as the conflict between church and state, and politicians driven by self-interest rather than the public good.

England and France converge in battle, peasants fight with kings,widows cry for war, and a child is taken hostage as John, son to Eleanor of Aquitaine, navigates through religious, political, and familial loyalties in a desperate effort to hold onto the throne.

“Questioning whether there is patriotism and self-sacrifice, and depicting an age where expedience is more important than honor, ‘King John’ is provocative and fascinating,” said Tom Coppola, an MCLA student and the president of Yorick. “This is a rare opportunity to see an unjustly neglected work whose ambiguity, Machiavellian power plays, and unconventional comedy have a surprisingly modern resonance.”

The production, co-directed by Jessica Manna and Coppola, is set in the not-so-distant future, where life itself is static and reduced to the constant demand for technology and electrical power. The production includes a multimedia set, with interactive videos.

The cast, which includes Coppola and Manna, also features Kelly Flanagan, Ryan Barley, Ryan Sprague, Alexandra Woolner, Nicholas Fahey, Becky Fleckner, Ben Gunness, and Meg Zaremba. Also, Kristin Blain, Darren Fitzgerald, Thomas Ross, Jesse Egan-Poirier, and Sean McHugh.

Vice-President of Yorick Emma Stephens will assist with lights and stage management. Yorick was formed by Coppola in the fall of 2004. Designed as an outlet for performers not wishing to participate in formal department productions or in musicals, Yorick provides edgy, innovative, educational and true to text adaptations of Shakespeare’s work, geared towards entertainment and enrichment, according to Coppola.

Venable Theatre is at 375 Church St., North Adams. General admission
tickets are $2. To reserve tickets, (413) 662-5123.

For more information about Yorick or donating to the club, contact Coppola, (413) 329-9819, or at Yorickmcla@aim.com .
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