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October 12, 1967 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-10-12

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TNTTR..gD Ate' ftC "rnRV.R. 19 10901


A A L)£".3L0A 1., AJ A~tAPrsAn l, In

APA 'Superb' in Performance
Of lonesco's 'Exit the King'

Former Daily Editor
Ejected at LBJ TalkI


First off, congratulations to the
APA for bringing Eugene Iones-
co's "Exit The King" to America.
On Tuesday, the tumultuous ap-
plause that the play received in
Mendelssohn Theatre indicated
that this was appreciated.
But, further, it was the res-
ponse deserved by the play itself
and to a slightly, very slightly
less extent by the performance.
"Exit The King", at its simp-
lest, deals with a king's very per-
sonal reaction to his own im-
pending death. It is, however, not
so much a description of the last
decades (or minutes) of the4
death of Berenger, the king, but
a re-creation of the experience of
We might explain this by des-
,ribing the levels on which Iones-
co has constructed his play. From
the earlier plays we expect three
sorts of verbal exchange, and
each of these levels is in opera-
tion in the early part of "Exit
The King."
First, there is talk of the the-
atre itself: "You are going to die
in an hour and a half. You are
going to die ' at the end of the
Then there is conceptual or
philosophical r e f 1e c t i on: "We
haven't time to take the time."
Finally, there is the insistent
trivial banter of everyday life.
Thus, when the king asks for
someone to change places with
him, Marie, his young wife says:
"Let him try-anything once."
We see in all this a brilliant
display of mental-verbal gymnas-
tics. Ionesco deploys logic to des-
troy itself. Each statement turns
in on itself. It is discussed from
all points of view, reminiscent of
T. S. Eliot (as-he-did-not-see-
himself), Eliot-as-clown.
No Thesis
Now Ionesco does not present'
any sort of thesis. Instead, he
u s e s dialogue to "oscillate
around a central idea. Every at-
tempt at getting a focus-a few
key words-is frustrated ("that
you can't find the answer is an
answer of itself") both by Iones-
co's- open logic structures and by
his emphasis on plays-as-theatre.
We learn during the first part
of "Exit the. King" that the king
is about to die, that his empire
has crumbled. As his doctor im-
plores him to die with dignity,
he realizes that he is no longer
above the law.. Accepting this, the

king still tries to escape the fact
that "there is no more time." He
returns to childhood; he extorts
-"let them remember me"-and
Then the king announces, "I'm
trying to tell you-I'm dying. It
sounds like a comedy." Such ob-
tuseness which should drive us
out of the play-especially with
the next line from a Brecht-like
guard: "His majesty finds some
consolation in comedy"-in fact,
draws us into it.
I We find a similar thing hap-
pening when the play's duration
is stressed. We accept completely
the change of the king from mid-
dle-age to senility. Ionesco, by
stressing the theatrical aspects in
his plays, gives Berenger the
"realness" of Lear or Oedipus.
Liturgical Element
When the other characters pre-
sent begin to incantate "help,
him," a fourth element or level is
added to the play, namely the
liturgical. W i t h this Ionesco
brings out into the open what he
implied in the earlier scenes. Ber-
enger is not a mere king facing
death, unbelieving and without
style, but he is one of a long line
of tragic heroes-Oedipus, Ham-
let and Hamm.
This tragic hero, however, does
not search out the truth, he hides
from it.
"Exit the King" starts with the
austerity of Ionesco's own
"Chairs" or "The Lesson" but
ends with the passion and mythos
of Patchen's "Journal of Albion
Thegrand mechanism of Shak-
espeare's histories is reborn in
the play. ("Exit the King" para-
llels the fall of Richard.) Beren-
ger, like Richard III, is king and
clown. He has reached the end;
his world crumbles away; the
universe snuffs out.
"Useless agitation, wasn't it?"
states his older wife, Marguerite.
Nothing any longer has meaning.
Everything has taken on heroic
proportions. Indeed, one of the
most heroic scenes is the king's
anecdote about thedneighbor's cat
being killed by a dog.
Like Sophocles' or Shakes-
peare's plays, "Exit the King" is
a play on many different levels.
It is allegory, it is the experience
of one man dying, and not the
least it tells of the playwrite's
dilemma: the impossibility of cre-
ating drama, of believing that
non-existence is inconceivable.
On this tact, the first part of


"Exit" describes Ionesco's past'
work, and the second half is a
reflection on his "ludicrous" out-
The play, then, can only be'
compared with the great works of
drama. As Peter Brooks said of
Shakespeare: "His plays are great
because they have more in them
for your money, minute by min-
The APA's performance was
beautifully faithful to Ionesco.
Richard Easton was a remarkable
Berenger. He controlled the many
facets of the character without
hystrionics, without resorting to
a single simple trick to alleviate
the immense difficulty that any
interpretation of Berenger pre-
sents. Clayton Corzatte, the
guard, also did everything right.
The others were more than
adequate, excepting Patricia Con-
olly's Queen Marie. That old
school of acting, Rosemary Harris
et al, sounds terribly arch these
The scenery was splendid. One
of the best uses of sets made from
plastic that I've seen!
A final word for Ellis Rabb's
direction. Practically all the ac-
tion took place front stage. This
gave the performance the urgen-
cy that was required and also al-
lowed for some telling counter-
points when the "action" was
temporarily shifted backstage.
Another fine feature was Rabb's
use of the "Pause".
In this "Exit," silence, move-'
ment and dialogue were finely in-
tegrated. And this, perhaps, is
the key to the APA's excellent

Robert Johnston, former editor of
The Daily, said Sunday that Secret
Service men forcibly ejected him
from a room where President
Johnson was about to speak to a
conference on "the world crisis in
Two more college editors left the
room and all three were not per-
mitted to return and hear the
speech. The three were discussing
a walkout by themselves and oth-
ers in response to the speech John-
son was to give.
Johnston, now with the United
States Student Press Association,
said he was talking with a student
member of the conference staff. He
said he was pointing to a section
of the President's speech which
read "Shame on our leaders" when
a Secret Service man came up to
him and asked "What are you
going to do at that point in the
To Walkout or Not
Johnston replied "nothing," to
which the Secret Service man said
"I don't believe you." Johnston
said they had talked about walking
out at that point in the speech but
decided not to. .
Johnston says the Secret Service
man then grabbed him by the
arms. and pushed him out the door.
The agent told another agent that
Johnston was not to come back
into the room.
However, the conference staff
intervened, according to Johnston,
and he was permitted to re-enter
the room.
He then left again with two girls
-Kitty Caporella of the Temple
University News in Philadelphia
and Kathy Burke of the Down-
tower at St. John's University in
New York. Johnston said he had

decided to leave before the speech
rather than walk out during it and
did not plan to go back into the
The two girls intended to return
to the room and were standing in
the lobby just outside trying to
persuade Johnston to return with
them and go through with the
walkout when a group of Secret
Service men came up to them and
told them to leave. The three then'
left "with an escort" according to
George Eager, assistant to Cor-!
nell President James Perkins and
director of the conference, called
the whole thing "ridiculous" and aE
"big nothing. There was no evi-'
dence in the dining room of any
protests. Nothing disturbed our
session and the President gave a
fine speech."
Johnston said Eager was not in
a position to see any of what hap-
pened to him. He emphasized that
the conference staff was not in-
Eager also doubted that the Sec-'
ret Service men would have treated'
Johnston so roughly, since they
had instructions to treat the dele-
gates courteously.
But Dave Peterson, former edit-
or of the University of Denver
Clarion and USSPA executive di-
rector, said a Secret Service man,
stood within 10 feet of him during
Johnson's speech. "Other observers
on the floor said it was obvious
that he was watching me," Peter-
son added. Peterson was one of
several others who had considered
walking out but decided not to
"because we didn't know what was,
going on.
Miss Burke said they decided to{
walk out after they saw an ad-
vance copy of the President's
speech, which she described as+
"hypocritical." She pointed to his
use of World War II-rather than
Viet Nam-to depict the "animal-
ism" of war as an example of this

Avant Ga
Tonight at 8:30 p.m. a compos-
ers' forum- will offer five avante
garde compositions at the School
of Music recital hall. The pro-
gram notes describe the charac-
teristics of these far-out sounds:
* The basic materials of Kurt
Carpenter's "Cloy" consist of a
12-tone row and two extended
rhythmic ideas which are pre-
sented in a loosely structured op-
? ' FV.o *iV TT4 V T 'P YW 4

rs Forum To Offer
irde Music Program
ening. As the work progresses an attempt to achieve the seren-
hints of the climax appear, but ity and depth of feeling found in
when the climax appears it is Indian and Japanese music. Rely-
"cloyed" almost to a point of no ing on the western techniques of
return. A thick piano chord halts harmony and tone color, Morris
the hectic motion and restores or- uses aggregates of sound and the
der. The denouement is recapitu- phonetics of the text to produce
latory and the piece ends as qui- a mosaic-like effect.
etly as it began. 0 "Four Haiku Settings" by
0 The work for chamber en- Thomas Tyra makes use of the
semble and soprano by Robert distinctive verse form of the hai-
Morris, "Forgotten Vibrations," is ku. The haiku used for the text
are "And So," "Clinging," "The
broken Resolution," and "Weight

IAcross Campus
' : y 3; s t as s s z44± ± ±rA± ± 4±a t 4± *y

Prof. T. David Prins of the
speech department is the new pre-
sident of the Michigan Speech
and Hearing Association. The as-
sociation is composed of profes-
sionals working in public schools
and private and community clin-
ics throughout the state, as well
as members of college and uni-
versity programs in speech path-
ology and audiology. The organi-
zation is concerned with matters
pertaining to therapy resources
for those with speech and hear-
ing handicaps and for the edu-
cation of speech clinicians.
* * *
Opening the sixth annual
Dance Festival at the University,
the Harkness Ballet of New York
will perform at 8:30 p.m. Friday
in Hill Auditorium, under the
auspices of the University Musi-
cal Society. The program will be
"Night Song," music by Alan Hov=:
haness; Feast of Ashes," music by
Carlos Surinach; Zealous Varia-
tions" by Schubert, and "Time
Out of Mind" by Paul Cheston.
* * *

the Rackham Galleries. The dis-
play, open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
weekdays through Oct. 31, in-
cludes paintings by Guy Palaz-
zola, Chet LaMore, Richard Wilt,
and Albert Mullen; sculpture by
Thomas McClure; photographs by
David Reider; ceramics by John
Stephenson and Fred Bauer; lith-
ographs by Emil Weddige; etch-
ings and engravings by Frank
Cassara; industrial designs by
Aarre Lahti; interior designs by
William Carter, and advertising
designs by C. F. Korten.

of the Past."
" Thomas Schudel's "Sonata
for Kiolin and Piano" was written
for two young friends of the com-
poser and was completed in June,
1967. The first movement is
made up of two basic ideas, one
dynamic and the other flowing.
* Gerald Plain exploits the
percussive possibilities of the
double bass in "Music for Double
Bass and Percussion."
The composer's forums period-
ically present premieres of con-
temporary compositions written
by student composers. One com-
poser said of contemporary music
that "in the past two decades
music has become completely di-
versified so that the concert goer
always expects to be surprised."

......... .

USF OF THIS COLUMN FOR AN- Philip Coates, 763-1668 or Greg Arm-
NnUNCEMENTS is available to officially strong, 665-2866.
recognized and registered student orga-' * * *
nizations only. Forms are available in- Guild House, Friday Noon Luncheon,
Rm. 1011 SAB. Mrs. Wyona Howard, G.R.O.W.: "Com-
* * * munity Organizing and the Riots." Oct.
UM Chess Club meeting, Oct. 13, 13, 12-1:00, Guild House,(802 Monroe.
7:30 p.m., 30 Union. Also Friday eve, dinner (at, cost) and
S* * program, 6 p.m.

ated by art
members are

sculpture, prints,
and ceramics cre-
department faculty
on public display at

We are now proudly presenting

A Thousand
AUDITORIUM A land 9:15 P.M.
\ ..- ....,..-



Engineering Council, meeting, Oct.
12, 7:00 p.m., SAB 3511.
* * *
Southern Asia Club: bag lunch today'
at, noon in Lane Hlall. Prof. :Rhoads
Murphey will speak on "Colonial Ports
and Their Impact on'; Asian Societies."
* * *
Members of the University Commun-
ity interested in Objectivism, the phi-
losophy of Ayn Rand, whowquld like to
form a discussion group, please call:

Christian Science College Organiza-
tion, weekly testimony meeting, every
Thursday, 7:30-8:30 p.m., 3545 SAB.
* * *
Le Baratin, meeting every Thursday,
3-5 p.m., 3050 Frieze.
A meeting of the Libertarian League
-Ayn Rand Society will be held Wed.
evening, Oct. 18, at 730 p.m., in Room
3D Union. All students interested in.
Objectivism are invited to attend.



r 0

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