"King John" At MCLA

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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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Bird's Career Best Lifts MCLA to Seventh Straight

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Hayden Bird came off the bench to score a career best 31 points to lead the MCLA men's basketball team to its seventh straight win as the Trailblazers upended the Salem State Vikings 98-84 Thursday evening in MASCAC action.
 
The Trailblazers are off to their best conference start since the 2010-11 season as they improve to 10-4 overall and remain atop the MASCAC at 3-0.
 
Salem State falls to 1-14 overall and is now 0-3.
 
This first half was back and forth, but Drury High graduate Bird took over about midway through the half. He scored 19 of his 31 points in the opening half to lead the Trailblazers to a 48-43 advantage at the break. MCLA never trailed in the second half as they immediately increased the lead to double digits at 55-45. Salem cut it to five points, but once again MCLA answered.  With the score at 55-50, MCLA used a 12-5 spurt to take command at 67-55.  
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