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April 14, 1959 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-04-14

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

forton Views No Expansion
ri American Play Productions
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the third I
a series on the people concernedL
1 the production of speech de-
tment plays.)y
By JUDITH DONER
he mustached, bespectacled di-$

SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES:
U' To Offer New Graduate Program

v

(Continued from Page I)

ector who spent spring vacation
seeing everything in New York"
h the way of plays insisted that
we have a magnificent theatre in
Vew York, but I don't see it grow-
rig from what it is today."
Prof. Hugh Norton, director of
he recent speech department pro-
luction of "Volpone," charged
hat "there hasn't been anything
tartlingly different in the Amer-
can theatre, as far as dramatic
orm or original thought, for a
ong time.
He pointed to Archibald Mac-
Geish's "J. B." as "an arrestingly
iriginal, beautiful piece of theatre,
ut it is only a single incident and
oesn't constitute any sort of
novement."
Cites New Construction
"It is new theatre construction
hat may well lead to new dra-
nitic form," he announced.
"This is why I am going back to
surope for the second semester of
ext year," Prof. Norton admit-
ed. "The large number of Ger-
nan theatres are going to interest
Ae most,,sincedmany of them are
ewly conceived.'"
Declaring that what we have in.
his country is "a peep-hole
heatre," Prof. Norton reported
:hat "we have been trying to de-,
troy the proscenium arch - the
rch which divides the players
rom the audience - for this
vhole century."
Act Is Accident
"All theatre art has been an
icident," Prof. Norton reported.
Both the Greek and the Eliza-
ethan physical theatres evolved
almost as accidents. Renaissance
heatre, which in essence is what
Ae have now, was a misreading
f what the adapters thought was
Poman theatre.
"It is fine for opera production,
Wut you notice how many of the
ew York plays of this season are
Ltemptng to destroy the pros-
enum arch," Prof. Norton re-
realed. "J. B." projects right out
nto the audience and the first en-
rance is from down the aisle.
He also reported that the play
s done from a tilted stage floor,
which "tends to let the stage flow
nto the audience.".
Similarly, in "Rashomon," the
lay projects' out byeond the pros-
en un arch, Prof. Norton said.
"'This technique is not particular-
lyorigina, but at least it reflects
he number of directors and play-
wrights attempting to come out of
that box stage."
'Have Destructive Urge
"It seems that because we're
stuck with the architecture, we
id the urge to destroy it," he
aused.
Stressing that the stage itself is
Not the only barrier to "new
hings in the American theatre,"
Orof. Norton pointed to footlights
a a definite hinderance to conm-
nui nitations between audience
nd actors.
"They were discovered to be
seless in the middle of the eight-
enth century, but somehow we
till have them around," he
uzzled.
There is hope in the influence
if other media on theatre, he con-
inued. The impact of television
nd movies on the stage has been
reat. If it continues, it may in-
ite a. new and more stimulating
heatrical expression to develop.
Always Haid Interest
Questioned as to when his in-
erest in the theatre began, Prof.
4rton reflected, "I don't know of
time when 1 wasn't interested in
t. I began in my freshman year
n college to seriously work at it
nd from that time until this,
without a break, I have been in
heatre."
Prof. Norton said that he acted

will teach courses whenever pos-
sible, Prof. Crane said.
Other faculty members involved
in the graduate program will be
Prof. Peter Gosling of the geo-
graphy department, 'Prof. Oscar
Chavarria-Aguilar and Prof. Her-
bert Paper of the languages de-
partment, Prof. James Plumer
and' Prof. Max :Loehr of the fine
arts department, Prof. Arthur
Link of Far Eastern studies and
Prof. RussellFifield of the political
science department.
Fifield Returning
Prof. Fifleld will return to the
University in 1960 from his leave
of absence.
With the aid of the newly-re-
vised Farmington plan which de-
velops major universities' areal
library holdings, the University li-
brary has been designated as de-
pository on all South Asian history
books and other materials. In ad-
dition the library's Human Rela-
tions Area file has material related
to South Asia.
Under the National Defense
Education Act budget, provision
has also been made to employ a
professional librarian who spe-
cializes in South Asia library work,
Crane said.
Offer No Degree,
There will be no one South Asian
area degree, Prof. Crane'said, but
the student may work for a mas-
ters or doctors' degree in fine arts,
geography, history or political sci-
ence with an emphasis on South
Asia.
The graduate student will be re-

quired to take training in Hin-
dustani, Persian or Sanskrit lan-
guage, appropriate areal courses
and normal degree requirement
courses, he said.
Four fellowships from the Na-
tional Defense Education Act are
expected for the first year of
operations, with a yearly increase
thereafter. Applications are going
to be made by the University for
foundation grants to provide more.
fellowships, Crane said.
An internship program for

teachers from small liberal arts
colleges is also planned. College
instructors who want to institute
Asian studies programs at their
own school can participate in a
one-year graduate-level program.
It is hoped that foundation sup-
port will provide their salaries dur-
ipg the internship stay, Crane
said.
A special program is also planned
for government officials planning
on working in South Asia, he
added.

I

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NORTON PONDERS-Maintaining that today's theatre construc-
tion blocks the invention of new theatre technique, Prof. Hugh
Norton advocates finding something to replace the outmoded
proscenium arch and discontinuing the use of footlights.

.4

before he became a director, going
right from college graduation into
a professional theatre company
which was under the direction of
Charles Coburn.
"There is a great thrill in act-
ing, but think how great a thrill
to act all the parts," Prof. Norton
said in reference to his direction
of plays.
"Adirector is an actor who
grew up."
Must Understand Happenings
"Yet you don't have to act to
direct," Prof. Norton insisted.
"But you do have to understand
what happens to the actor." Of
course the easiest way to do this
is to act, he continued.

The director should never act
the part for the actor unless it's
a last resort, Prof. Norton de-
clared. "When he must illustrate,
he must not do it well. Otherwise
,you have an imitation."
"Puppetry's a great art - but
it should be restricted to pup-
pets," he advised. "The personality
of the artist should come out in
his performance."
"There should be a rainbow of
personality on stage, not a mono-
tone," Prof. Norton emphasized.
"This is one of the things I'm
most proud that I achieved in
'Volpone'."

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