Puppets, Paris and the Past, Oh My!


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) is proud to introduce the public to David Lane's puppet production of "Chronicles of Rose" on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m. in the Branch Gallery in downtown North Adams, as part of the upcoming season of the MCLA Presents! Inaugural Puppet Fest.

A seasoned North Adams puppeteer, Lane, in collaboration with Shawna Reiter and Jonathan Davis of Clunk Puppet Lab, will bring a serial puppet drama to MCLA Presents! throughout this MCLA Presents! season.

The drama will explore a rocky period in world history when one brave Parisian curator sought to fight against what she saw as an abomination against human history, as "Chronicles of Rose" depicts the time in Paris just before and during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. 

During the first episode of this serial puppet drama, France is on the brink of invasion and we find Rose Valland, the curator for the Jeu du Paume Museum, torn between escaping Paris with handsome Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg, or staying to help the French Resistance. The Louvre is being evacuated as priceless sculptures and paintings are loaded onto trucks on their way to chateaux in the south in the hopes that they will not be discovered by the Nazis. But before Rose can make a choice, she's met by an unexpected visitor, whose presence in Paris changes everything.

As a completely new creation, the "Chronicles of Rose" is built from scratch. From the costumes and puppet heads to the set pieces and miniature frames, was designed and built by the "Chronicles of Rose" company.

Incorporating the use of a combination of table-top staging, moving sculpture, shadow puppetry and slide projections, audiences follow Rose as she desperately tries to undermine Nazi plundering by passing secret messages to the underground while concealing her true identity as an operative. Tanks, bombers and other ominous forces of war portray a stark reality as archival radio footage sets the mood alongside a pop-up puppet Klezmer band.

The series consists of  five episodes, to be spread out over this season of MCLA Presents!

"The Chronicles of Rose" is part of MCLA Presents! Inaugural Puppet Fest, and will occur on the following dates: Oct. 24; Nov. 14; Jan. 23, 2014; Feb. 13, 2014; and April 30, 2014. All performances start at 6 p.m. and take place at the Branch Gallery at 18 Holden St.

Tickets to this MCLA Presents! performance of "Chronicles of Rose" are $10 for general admission. Tickets for MCLA alumni are $8, $5 for staff and faculty and non-MCLA students, and members and students are free.

Tickets may be reserved by calling MCLA Presents! at (413) 662-5204.~For more information, (413) 664-8718, or go to presents.

MCLA Presents! is a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), a collaborative project with Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and the City of North Adams. The BCRC provides professional development training, resources and support to the artists, art managers and creative workers of Berkshire County. Through its multiple programs and presentations, BCRC brings the best of performance and art to the Berkshires and showcases the best of the Berkshires to the world.

The MCLA Presents! Inaugural Puppet Fest explores the world of serious adult puppetry as professional puppeteers offer eight tales from around the world. In addition, this season will include five performances in conjunction with MCLA's "Creating Equality" programming, that looks at civil rights issues.

For downloadable photos of the "Chronicles of Rose," go to: .