Museum's winter season gearing up

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Among the highlights:

n MoCA strikes a relationship with the Sundance Institute's Theater Lab. Sundance Institute's Theater Lab, run under the auspices of Robert Redford's film festival, puts established film writers to work with emerging playwrights to develop their original screenplays. "Usually the lab works in Utah, near the festival," said Susan Killam, MoCA's managing director of performing arts. "They were looking for an East Coast location and selected Mass MoCA. The playwrights will be in town for two weeks before the presentation" of their works on April 3.

n Performer Laurie Anderson talks about her latest piece, "Delusion," a series of short mystery plays, at 4 p.m., Jan. 16. Anderson will be in-residence at the museum for several weeks, putting the finishing touches on "Delusion" before its world premiere in February at the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

n The Alt Cabaret series season begins with "Hess is More," a Danish pop-artist who specializes in "techno-acoustic sound," at 8 p.m., on Jan. 16. Other Alt Cabaret performers include "Jones Street Station," a bluegrass, punk-ish band on March 27, and a performance by the Sundance Institute's Theater Lab on April 3.

n The Thursday night Cinema Lounge series in Club B-10 with the series "Lie, Cheat, Steal & Fake It," four documentary films about the modern moral compass. It begins Jan. 21 with "American Casino," a look at the subprime mortgage crisis; then Feb. 11 with "Yes Men Fix the World," about two gonzo political activists; March 25 with "Fraude Mexico 2006," the political corruption of the 2006 Mexican presidential election; and April 29 with "Orgasm Inc.," a look at the underbelly of the pharmaceutical industry.

n In February, the museum's annual free day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday the 13th, which includes free admission, tours, demonstrations and activities for children and adults. At night, Pedrito Martinez brings his Afro-Cuban sounds to the Hunter Center at 8:30 p.m. with dance instruction arranged by Jacob's Pillow. Kids under 12 are admitted free to the dance party.

n On Feb. 6, a performance of "The Waypoint," a new play written by Iris Dautmeyer, directed by Sara Katzoff with sound score by Peter Wise. The play is slated for performance in 2010 at the Berkshire Fringe Festival. "It's the story of a woman's unexpected pregnancy and her own concerns and trepidation of becoming a new mother," Killam said. "It also features the story of the unborn child who is faced with the prospect of coming to earth."

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n Opening Feb. 13, "Invisible: Art at the Edge of Perception," in the Prints and Drawings gallery. Curator Susan Cross described it "as a show of absolutely stunning artists whose work treads the line between visible and invisible."

n Vermont-based band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, which opened for the Dave Matthews Band at Bonnarro in 2008, play March 11. "This band is really hitting the national scene hard," Killam said.

n In April, MoCA's annual co-presentation with Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival brings the Stephen Petronio Dance Com-pany's "I Drink the Air Before Me," a new work created for the company's 25th season, with two performances on Friday, April 9, and Saturday, April 10.

n "Material World" opens April 24 in the Prints and Drawings gallery. It is a group exhibition featuring the work of six artists who will use everyday materials -- paper, plastic, rope and rubber -- to transform the museum's second- and third-floor galleries into a series of visual, spatial and sometimes tactile experiences.

n MoCA will host a full weekend of soccer films and activities on April 23 and 24 to coincide with the World Cup.

n On May 8 and 9, the spring performance season wraps up with performances of Dan Hurlin's "Disfarmer," a theatrical piece based on the life and work of American portrait photographer Mike Disfarmer. Using "tabletop" puppetry, projections of Disfarmer's photographs and images and a haunting score, Hurlin illuminates the contradictions in the life of this American hermit and portrait artist.

For more information on MoCA's winter and spring season, visit


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