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April 15, 1959 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-04-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

dents Use Area Editor Asks COSTUMES, SET DESIGN:
11 Science Work Journalists Birbari, Duckwall Add Color to Play
his Is~ the4' irr ., 1-i



SETS PREVAIL-Ralph Duckwall stands among miniatures of
some of the sets he has designed for speech department plays.
He does all the set painting himself, and is also in charge of
lighting for all productions.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the
fourth in a series-on the persons con-
cerned with the production of speech
department plays.)
Color and excitement has bean
added to many a speech depart-
ment production either through
the sets designed by Ralph Duck-
wall or the costumes of Elizabeth
Birbari, but more likely through
a combination of both.
Indeed, in the words of Duck-
wall, "unity of production"-is what
we strive for and this can only be
achieved through conferences
among director, set designer and
The petite, somewhat serious
lady who teaches a course in the
history of costuming, agreed with
Dtickwall reporting that the first
thing she does after research on
a show is to confer with the other
persons concerned.
Gets Ideas From Paintings
"I get ideas for my costumes
sometimes from paintings and
sometimes from books on period
costuming," she revealed. "How-
ever, it all depends on the_ show
that is being done as to what cos-
tumes to even consider using,"
she added.
Then, supervising all the de-'
signing and working with two as-
sistants, she decides 'whether the
costumes will be newly made, or
will be taken from the large stock
of old costumes.
Pointing out that the action in
a play affects the costuming to a
great degree, Miss Birbari gave
as an example a play which has
teenagers in it. "There is bound.
to be a good deal of action, so
that we would probably dress the
girls in full skirts," she explained.
Done in Different Periods
'Shows can be done in differ-
ent periods," Miss Birbari added.
However, if you are going to set
a play back before the time of
the telephone in costuming, you've
got to make sure there is no tele-
phone in' that play.
Similarly, to update a show, a
good deal of caution must be used.
Color presents further problems
to the costume designer. The
mood of the play, the characters,



DRESSES DUMMY-Elizabeth Birbari fits a costume to a manne-
quin in true seamstress style. She has charge of designing and
remaking all costumes for speech department productions.


Ann Arbor Committee
To Study Bus Problem
I ' " '4

Eight Ann Arbor citizens, in-
cluding Prof. John Kohl of the
civil engineering department and
City Councilman Russell J. Burns,
form a committee to study the
city bus problem.
The City. Council authorized
creation of the committee Monday
night at the suggestion of Mayor
Cecil O. Creal. Appointment of
members was carried out by the
major with Council approval.
Rudolph E. Reichert, local bank-
er, will head the group. He headed
a similar citizen's committee in
1956-57 when, the problem was
Great Lakes Greyhound Lines' de-
cision to discontinue city bus serv-
List Membership
Their members are W. Charles
Gregory of a local hardware firm,
bankers William C. Walz and
Melvin G. Feigel, Chamber of
Commerce president E. C. Roberts
and Ann Arbor News editor Arthur
P. Gallagher.
Ann Arbor Transit, Inc., the
the group whose bus service is now
floundering, came out of the dis-
cussions of the earlier committee.
The, firm has operated buses on
lease from the city, with various
tax benefits.
But the transit company like
Greyhound before it has run up
against irregular patronage and
resultant lack of profits.
Company officials voted April 2


to discontinue operations, precipi-
tating the present crisis. The com-
pany last month reported a deficit
of $21,540 run up in the 25 months
since Greyhound-was replaced.
Operates on Refunds
"Ann Arbor cannot afford to be,
without public transportation,"
Creal told the Council. The transit
company is currently operating on
the strength of $2,100 refunded by
the city from garage service
But the bus company has said
that without a new arrangement
by June it will cease operations.

the color setting all must be taken
into account, she continued.
Also, certain colors mean cer-
tain things. For exampled purple
in a period play suggests royalty,
she added.
"We begin making the costumes
for a play four weeks ahead of its
production date," she reported.
Then, before dress rehearsals' are
scheduled, we conduct what is
known as a "dress parade."
This makes. the actor familiar
with how he should wear his cos-'
tumes and the characters can be
seem as "a costumed g9oup," with-
out worrying about slowing up
dress rehearsals.
Duckwall 'follows similar steps
to those of Miss Birbari's in the
preliminary portion of his work.
"The play dictates to you," he in-
sisted. "In fact, I read a play at
least five times before I even start
to sketch it."
Does a Rendering
"I usually do a rendering based
on a series of pencil sketches and
show the director 'what it looks

Freshman English May Disappear

Petitioning for the chairman-
ships of the Student Government
Council administrative wing com-
mittees is currently in progress,
according to Ron Bassey, '61,
chairman of the Public Relations
Petitions, due by 5 p.m. Mon-
day, are available for the Elec-
tions Committee, the Public Re-
lations Committee, the Education
and Student Welfare Committee,
the National and International
Committee and the Student Ac-
tivities Committee.
The chairmanship petitions are
now available in the SGC area of
the Student Activities Bldg.

Unbelievable as it may sound,
the time may well come when
English 23 and 24 wil disappear
from the University forever.
The burden of this freshman
course will be taken over by high
school training courses, Prof..Al-
bert K. Stevens of the English
department who is in charge of
the University's "Co-operative
English Program," said recently.
This program is devoted to "help-
ing close the gap between high
school and college" in the field of
English, he added.
The role of freshman English
on the college level, is primarily
to fill in the mechanical training
in composition which high school
does not provide, Prof. Stevens
To Admit High Students
In the future, due to increasing
high school enrollments, colleges
will be able to afford to admit
only, or at least first, those stu-
dents who are compet'ent enough
in English to be able to bypass the
freshman course, he said.
In this case, the high schools
which are able to prepare their
students adequately for college
work, will have a distinct advan-
tage in getting their students into
college, Prof. Stevens pointed out.
The "Co-operative P r o g r a m"
should help fulfill this goal, he
The English Program was set
up in September, 1958, with the
distinct objective of eliminating
the need for elementary English
courses in college.
Left to High Schools
"Such training should be left
to the high school programs,"
Prof. Stevens said, "leaving the
college free to pursue its own ob-
pective, advanced e d u c a t i o n,"
which goes beyond the mechanics
of the freshman courses as they
are today.
The program, which sets up a
practical system for showing high
school teachers what the colleges
want in the way of training,

should directly advance the pro-
cess of "closing the gap," he noted.
Students who have gone
t h r o u g h the English courses
taught by teachers who have beenp
trained through the program,
should be able to simply eliminate
freshman English from their pio-
Conducted Wi4h Schools
This program is conducted by
Prof. Stevens with a selected
group of high schools who parti-
cipate "of their own free will,"
towards raising the level of their
English program to college stand-
ards. Prof. Stevens defined his job
as "interpreting college English
standards so fully that teachers
in the high schools can train their
students in accordance with
The program itself is divided
into two parts. At the first meet-
ing Prof. Stevens spends the
morning at the high school, teach-
ing two senior, college preparatory
English classes, attended by the
maximum number of English
teachers possible.
Wins Contest
Richard Parmelee, '61, defeated
five other candidates to win the
state oratorical contest held yes-
terday at the University, it was'
announced yesterday.
His topic was "A Nation Speaks."
Parmelee was named winner over
Diane Stolorow, '60, Paul Weyand,"
'60, James Copeland, '61, Robert
Lusko, '59BAd., and Trudy Mon-
roe, '60.
As a result of his victory he will'
represent the state of Michigana
in the Northern Oratorical League
Contest, which will be held on May
I at Northwestern University.
Last year the contest was held
at the University.

One class is a demonstration of
"how to motivate a theme aris-
ing from class discussion," Prof.
Stevens said. The second class is
a demonstration of a theme aris-
ing from a study of literature.
Both classes are conducted in a
collegiate manner.
Make Paper Assignments
At the end of the class, paper
assignments are made, arising
from the discussion of the day,
and the clash is told that the fin-
ished papers will be sent to Ann
Arbor, to be graded and analyzed
by freshman English teachers.
The actual classroom demon-
stration is handled in a, deliber-
ately casual manner. The students
are simply told that a professor
from the Univerisity will teach the
class that day. No effort is made
to force the students to surpass
themselves on these papers, and
they are told that this will not
have any influence on their col-
lege chances.
After the classes, Prof. Stevens
meets with the school's English
department, and answers any
questions which they may have
concerning the program, or the
demonstration. x
Returns to Schools
After the papers have been sent
to the University, and graded,
Prof. Stevens returns to the school
for the second half of the pro-
gram. With the use of an opaque
projector, he shows the students
and faculty a typical paper, along
with the grade and comments
maderby a University English
"I analyze the characteristic
problems for the benefit of stu-
dents and teachers," Prof. Stevens
In the afternoon of the second
meeting, Prof. Stevens conducts
a seminar for ,representatives
from the faculties of each of the
schools co-operating in the pro-
gram. In this seminar he' dis-
cusses with these teachers prob-
lems of freshman curricula, Eng-
lish courses, and specific prob-
lems from all of the schools.
"It was a great challenge for
the University representatives to
work with these high school
teachers," Prof. Stevens ' said.
"They were of the highest cali-
ber," he. noted.
Phone NO 2-4786
for Michigan Dai ly
Classified Ads

like," Duckwall continued. After
conferences with him, and' with
the costumer, I make a floor plan
which designates the set eleva-
tions so the shop can build it.
"The shop works continuously
from the beginning of school un-
til its end," he reported. "Our fa-
cilities are taxed to the maximum
at the moment."
"Be c a us e our space is 'so
cramped, we often have to paint
at night so that the shop can con-
struct during the day. I paint all
the sets myself," he added.
Consults Director
Also responsible for the lighting.
of the production, Duckwall'
maintained that although he has
a definite concept of what he
wants in lighting, he always con.
sults the director.
"What kind of a feeling do you
want in this scene?" is typical of
the probing he must do in his at-
tempt to give the director what
he wants.
"One thing about educational
theatre is that the experimental
opportunities are virtually unlim-
ited," Duckwal emphasized. "I
learn from every show I design,
light and build so in some sense
I am still a student."
"It is very gratifying to see a
concept or idea that you have be-
come a reality," Duckwall con-
fided. "I've been more pleased
about some shows than others,
but I've never been completely
satisfied," he added.'
To Talk Here
The contrast between business
and public administration w hl be
discussed today by Edwar L.
Cushman, Industrial Relations
Vice-President of American Motors
The lecture will begin at 8 p.m.
in the Kalamazoo Room of the
League. It is sponsored by the
Michigan Chapter of the Ameri-
can Society for Public Adminis-
DIAL NO 8-6416
"The Man
Bernard Blier
Jean Rigaux
John McGiver


I 'I



Based on a
novel by
Hadley Chase



P.M. Film-Lecture, "From Renoir to
Picasso" Victor Miesel, Fine Arts.



Produced by
Jacques Bar






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