MCLA Presents! The World


For more than a decade, it's been a tradition at MCLA to bring outstanding performing artists to campus. Each academic year, students and members of the campus and greater community witness performances by musicians, dancers, poets, and actors from around the world. Originally called Patrons of the Arts, last year the popular series kicked off the next generation of performances as MCLA Presents!

While the Church Street Center remains the series' primary venue, performances also take place throughout the campus and the Northern Berkshire community. Venable Theatre and the MCLA gymnasium are used for larger shows and productions that require enhanced technical capabilities, while smaller, more intimate events are offered in venues such as MCLA Gallery 51 in downtown North Adams. Still other events, like last year's highly successful "Night at the Cabaret" at Taylor's Restaurant, are presented at various off-campus locations.

The new season, entitled The World, begins Sunday, September 20, when Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra kick off Hispanic Heritage Month outdoors in the MCLA quad with their original blend of Afro-Caribbean music.

"We've always pulled in acts from all over the world," says Jonathan Secor, director of special programs at MCLA. "But we called this series The World because, in this particular series, we've done so even more. We really encompassed music and performances from throughout the world and brought them to MCLA."

Additional performances include those by Watcha Clan (pictured above) of Marseilles, France (September 30), who combine Eastern European melodies with Algerian blues, cherifian grooves and hip-hop; Haiti's Emeline Michel (October 28), who will bring the sounds of the Caribbean to campus as she sings in both French and Haitian Creole; Slavic Soul Party (February 4) for MCLA's fifth annual Blues and Funk Festival; and Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo of Nigeria (March 10), one of the world's most sought-after poetry slammers.

Also appearing on campus this fall is Broadway performer Donna McKechnie, who is known for her role as Cassie in the original A Chorus Line.

She will be part of MCLA's 115th Anniversary Celebration Friday, November 13. And, on December 6, after sell-out performances at the Apollo Theater, God's Trombones returns to the Berkshires for an MCLA Presents! concert.

For a full listing of performances, go to presents .