This Thursday: MCLA Presents! Third 'Chronicles of Rose'


NORTH ADAMS, MASS - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) is proud to introduce the third installment of the "Chronicles of Rose" (CoR) puppet production this week as part this season's MCLA Presents! Inaugural Puppet Fest.

Seasoned North Adams puppeteer, David Lane, in collaboration with Shawna Reiter and Jonathan Davis of Clunk Puppet Lab, will bring the next part of the serial puppet drama to MCLA Presents! this Thursday, Jan. 23, at 6 p.m. in the newly created Puppet Lab at 107 Main St.

CoR depicts the time period in Paris just before and during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. Audiences follow the principle character, Rose, as she attempts to undermine Nazi plundering by passing secret messages to the underground while concealing her true identity as an operative.

From the table to each character, everything in the puppet show is hand crafted by the CoR company, which incorporates the use of table-top staging, moving sculpture, shadow puppetry and slide projections.

According to Lane, this episode is a silent, narrative puppet show, with no dialogue.

"I'd written a number of scripts with the intention making it a historic dialogue show. I started workshopping it and decided that the dialogue didn't do it justice. It's such an enormous story. Putting words to it didn't seem right. I ended up cutting all the dialogue and working on a non-dialogue format in which the puppets tell the story through actions and movement," Lane said.

During the first episode of this serial puppet drama, France was on the brink of invasion and Rose was torn between escaping Paris with handsome Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg or staying to help. The Louvre was being evacuated as priceless sculptures and paintings were loaded onto trucks on their way to chateaux in the south, in the hope they would 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.

The story continues where the final moments of the second episode left off. Paul has packed and is minutes away from escaping Paris and the watch of the Nazi occupiers, when Hermann Göring pays him an unexpected visit. Rose finds that her mission becomes clearer - keep watch of the movement of paintings through the Jeu de Paume Museum.

"This episode is dark, but a goody," Lane said. "We're going to see Göring's influence come to bear on our dear characters, and Rose begins to recognize her true duty as an operative. The mysterious boy also develops. He finds further pieces to an ominous and foreboding puzzle."

"The Chronicles of Rose" is part of MCLA Presents! Inaugural Puppet Fest. The final shows will take place on Jan. 23 and May 1. A puppet workshop with the show's creator will take place on Feb. 13. All performances start at 6 p.m. and take place at the Puppet Lab at 107 Main St.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' performance series, MCLA Presents!, brings to North Adams and MCLA campus some of the world's finest performers in music, dance, theatre and thespoken word.~It is a program of the BCRC.

For more information about the MCLA Presents! series 2013-'14, visit Community/bcrc/mclapresents/upcomingshows, or call the BCRC,  (413) 664 8718.

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