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March 24, 1967 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-03-24

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PAGE TWO;

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2967

PAGE TWO THE MICHIGAN DAILY FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 1967

THYSTES:

F

Professors Present Polished,
Entertaining Choral Reading

By DAVID APPEL
"About a month ago," says Prof.
Marvin Felheim of the English
department, "four professors de-
cided to present the Elizabethan
Jasper Heywood's translation of
"Thyestes" by Seneca.
The whole thing started as a
lark, he continues, "but after Prof.
Claribel Baird of the speech de-
partment joined the group as ac-
tor and director, everyone became
excited and realized the powers
of the play." The result was quite
a convincing choral reading and
a very enjoyable evening.
"Thyestes," written by Seneca
in the first century A.D., is the
horrible story of how Atreus, pre-
tending to be reconciled to his
brother Thyestes, entertained the
latter at a banquet with the flesh
and blood of hiL own sons.
The play is full of gory details,
blood, bombast and highly polish-
ed rhetoric; precisely the qualities
attractive to such Elizabethan
writers as Kidd, Webster, Mar-
lowe and Shakespeare.
Pomposity was characteristic of
Roman culture, and such charac-
teristics found their ways into the
drama. Because tragedy was the
higher drama, as opposed to com-
edy, it became elevated in rhetor-

ic, with the tragic element highly
compounded and centralized in a
single family.
"Thyestes" is typical of this. Be-
cause of the tremendous detail of
the tragic element in a single fam-
ily, the modern audience often
finds difficulty in seriously iden-
tifying with the tragedy, and in-
stead, laughs at it.
This perhaps is sophistication,
but one does well to remember
that identification with the mod-
ern alternative, murder outside
the family, is a peculiar comment
on our society.
It has been said that it is a
sign of decadence when a socie-
ty becomes oratorical and rhetor-
ical. Certainly, a look at Congress
would show that today's society is
just as oratorical as Seneca's
Rome. The difference is that to-
day's society is filled with poor
oratory.
But the difficulties in credit-
ability demonstrate that for a
modern audience, choral reading,
as opposed to acting, is more }ap-
propriate for "Thyestes." The five
faculty members deserve credit in
this type of reading.
Set on a bare stage, except for
stools and music stands, one im-
mediately feels a seriousness to it

all. For the most part, lines were
delivered accurately and cleanly,
and each person performed admir-
ably.
Although one could cite flaws
and failings, one was nevertheless
impressed with the rich voice of
Prof. Gerda Seligson of the classi-
cal studies department, and Prof.
Gerald Else's (also of the classi-
cal studies department) ability to
evoke the rat like quality of Atre-
us. The rhythmic delivery of Fel-
heim, and the bigness and pom-
posity of rhetoric revealed by John
D'Arms was also rewarding.
In addition to her excellent per-
formance, Miss Baird should re-
ceive special credit for her care-
ful direction. The pacing and tim-
ing was almost always exact, and
the rhythms effectively imitated,
and thus, stimulated a moving
emotional experience.
The response of the audience
indicated that such a program of
choral readings should be contin-
ued. First, it is an effective way
to present drama, especially drama
of this type.
But more important, it cites the
possibility of enjoyable and mean-
ingful student - teacher involve-
ment with art. One must certain-
ly hope for a repeat performance
soon.

CINEMA II
presents
JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO
in
TH- n"AT MAN
FROM RIO
(Color; French with English Subtitles)
"Bubbles with improvisations!"
-Crowther, N.Y. Times
"A masterpiece in its class!"

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AUDITORIUM A
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rORGANIZATION NOTICES
...'. .y.... . :<' -.,:.. . 1"C~f:r}:'"}:{":'' '}{i}:k:4: "'' :~

USE OF THIS COLUMN FOR AN-
NOUNCEMENTS is available to officially
recognized and registered student orga-
nizations only. Forms are available in
Room 1011 SAB.
U. of M. Chess Club, Meeting, March
24, 7:30 p.m., Room 3C, Union.
* * *
Newman Student Association, Com-
munity mass and supper will be can-
celled for March 24.
* * *
Folklore Society, Workshop featuring
Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys,
Sat., March 25, 2 p.m., 3rd floor SAB.
Come and bring your axe.
La Sociedad Hispanica, Una Tertulia,
Mon., March 27, 3-5 p.m., 3050 Frieze
Bldg. Para todk persona que quiera
platicar en espanol. Cafe, galletas, etc.,
gratis.
University Lutheran Chapel, 1511
Washtenaw, Good Friday, March 24,
7:25 a.mi.:Half-hour Matins with Holy
Communion, "An Imperishable Inheri-
tance" (Pastor Scheips), and 1 p.m.,
a 50-minute service during the Tre Ore
period, "Sentimental Religion or
Christ?" (Pastor Spomer).
* * *
Hillel Foundation, Purim Debate,
March 26, 7:30 p.m., 1429 Hill. Optional
Deli House supper-call 663-4129 for
reservations.
* * *
Hillel Foundation, Sabbath service,
March 24, 7:15 p.m., 1429 Hill. Dr.
Herman Jacobs will review "Blood
Accusation" by Maurice Samuel and
"The Fixer" by Bernard Malamud.
* * *
Lutheran Student Chapel, Hill St. at
Forest, Good Friday services, March 24,
12:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.
Alpha Lambda Delta, Initiation din-
ner, March 31, 6 p.m., Michigan Union.
Phone 434-0190
6%&c4 &CARPENTER ROAD

All new members are reminded to
make their reservations by March 28.
Baha'i Student Group, Religious dis-
3ussion, March 24, 8 p.m., 335 E. Huron,
Apt. 5.
Guild House, Friday noon luncheon,
Prof. William Porter, Dept. of Journal-
ism, "Mass Communications," March 24,
12-1 p.m., Guild House, 802 Monroe.

Join
The Deily
Sports Staff

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