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October 15, 1961 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1961-10-15
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Experimentation with Traditio
Make This Shakespearean Festival the Fulfillment of a Dramatic Dr

N MAY AND JUNE of 1960 thousands
of Japanese students surrounded the
Diet buildings in Tokyo chanting, from
an ancient folk-ritual, "Wasshoi! Was-
shoi!" They filled the streets for days,
protesting the United States-Japan Mu-
tual Security Pact and the proposed
Eisenhower trip. They caused one of the
most severe international crises of post
World War II Japan.
This summer, without publicity, without
fanfare, some Sengalese students in Dakar"
plotted ways to overthrow their president,
Leopold Senghor. Senghor, they would
probably say,. is "a tool of the colonial-
ists," and Senegal is being held in the
grips of "neo-colonialism."
Further north, across the Sahara, the
Algerian nationalists are in their seventh
year of bitter struggle for independence.
In their army will be found boys, young
girls, old men, anyone who will bear a rifle
for the FLN.
And overseas in countries of various
political leanings, Algerian students study
with one purpose in mind - to bring
knowledge to an independent and sov-
ereign goverment of Algerians.
In Latin America the power of the often
misunderstood shout, "Cuba, si, Yanqui,
no!" is felt at all the Congresses of the
national unions of students. There is a
genuine popular front structure, in Peru,
and in Brazil, where coalitions of "Fidel-
istas," Communists, and left socialists
have captured the student unions.
These students, at the slightest provo-
cation, launch into tirades about the
reactionary United States which is re-
sponsible for all of their country's prob-
lems. They see the "imperialist colossus"
as the reactionary force in the world.
THESE STUDENTS are part of a world-
wide revolution. There is no use in
dividing that revolution into anti-West or
pro-Soviet slogans. As Senator Gale Mc-
Gee of Wyoming said on the floor of the
... .there are great movements and
great changes which would take
place even if there were not a Com-
munist nor a Russian on earth . . ."
The social ferment that is sweeping the
underdeveloped nations of the world, and
which is having its effect in the Western
nations as well, frequently finds the stu-
dent population in the vanguard of action.
The examples of Japan, Algeria, West
Africa, and Latin America are not inclu-
In Korea Syngman Rhee was over-
thrown by what started as a student dem-
onstration. In Turkey Menderes was over-
thrown with help from students and
intellectuals. Batista of Cuba was forced
into flight by a combination of students
and peasants, and Fidel Castro now faces
underground activity by students of the
Revolutionary Student Directorate. Iran-
ian students have been threatening revo-
lution against the Shah for several years.
In protests, demonstrations, riots, and

From Algeria to Brazil

revolutions students have been exerting
their demands for a better world. This is
often due to unique factors of the culture
in which they live, but there are several
common demoninators amongst them.
* * 1
IN JAPAN the Zengakuren-the All-
Japan Federation of Self - Governing
Student Autonomies - an activist, ex-
tremely left wing union of students. It
played a major role in the Tokyo riots of
May and June, 1960. The Zengakuren is
the most left-wing student organization
of its size in the world. Its leaders think
Mao is too conservative on the imperialism
issue; he does too much talking for them.
They think the Soviet Union has sold
out because of its peaceful coexistence
line. In fact, the Zengakuren leaders have
been expelled from the Japanese Com-
munist Party as extremists; they in turn
call the party and its sympathizers within
the Zengakuren might-wing opportunists
and deviationists. They consider their
Marxism-Leninism to be absolutely unim-
The doctrinal purity that is almost an
obsession with the Zengakuren leaders
puts them in a tradition of revolutionaries
that includes students all over the world.
These people are more than purists; they
are puritans. The purity of their doctrine
is more important to them than its popu-
The extremism of the younger leaders
have led the old Zengakuren leaders to a
great deal of concern about a trend to-
ward nihilism. When asked what they
wish to do when they graduate, one of the
younger leaders of the Zengakuren said,
"I want to be a professional revolution-
ary." A former Secretary-General of the
group declared, "To deny completely is to
TheZengakuren was originally inter-
ested in economic issues that affected the
students of Japan. In the last few years
their concern has become almost exclu-
sively for peace and disarmament. It is
the violence of their demonstrations which
creates a tension with their aims,
THE ZENGAKUREN demonstrations
against the Security Pact appealed to
a generally pacifist stream of opinion
among the young people of Japan. The
riots of May and June 1960 were not so
much anti-American as they were anti-
Militarist. These students are resolved not
to see the leaders of Japan launch their
nation on another set of imperialist ad-
ventures, and this is what they fear from
the leadership of the highly conservative
Liberal Democratic Party.
The puritanical temper that the Zenga-
kuren leaders demonstrate is one thing
that we can understand about them in
relation to other revolutionary young
people. But there is another. They are
deeply committed to a sense of participa-
tion in the decision-making of their na-
In the Toyko riots the Zengakuren led
a mass movement that the largest of its
kind in modern Japan. Although it defied
the decision of a majority of the legally
elected Parliament, some people have said
that the demonstrations strengthened
rather than weakened democracy in
By bringing intellectuals, students, and
workers together in social protest, the
Zengakuren seriously questioned the ex-
isting authority. But in Japan tradition
pulls one away from this kind of action.
Acceptance of authority, in fact,;has been
cited as one of the cultural traits that
democracy would have a hard time over-
coming in Japan., In this light, the wide
participation in the Security Pact protest
was an advance in participation, and
therefore, democracy, in the political life
of the Japanese people.
Whatever the judgements of the Zenga-
kuren are, one thing must be recognized.
It is the acknowledged leadership of the
Japanese student community. Participa-
tion in it is low, and agreement with it i
certainly not high, but for all intents and
purposes it is the voice of the Japanese
student. And it doesn't like the United
States government, the United States
policies, the United States National Stu-

dent Association, and especially not the
United States bombs.

Students Are Leading
The World's Revolutions

Perhaps Mr. Irving saw beyondthe im-
mediate personal benefits, and realized
that this cold, somber work could pre-
sent severe problems.
The play requires an enormous cast,
and yet there are no morethan seven or
eight roles of any importance. The ma-
nipulation of large angry crowds calls
for the utmost skill, and they are are
handled poorly, and without imagination,
the meaning of the play is hopelessly
Director Michael Langham anticipat-
ed these problems, and solved them with a
great deal of skill and ingenuity. He ob-
viously took great pains to make each
of the crowd a believable indi-
vidual, with definite characteristics and
goals. At the head of this surly mob, he
placed one of the old reliables of the act-
ing company, Max Helpmann.
Putting a strong actor in with a crowd
has a remarkable effect, not only on the
other members of the group, but on the
total impact the crowd makes in each
scene. With a strong mob of citizens, the
character of Coriolanus makes much more
sense, for his battle is essentially with
these people for whom he holds nothing
but contempt.
Although he regards them as unworthy
of his attention, he has no desire to rule
them, thus it is hard to make Coriolanus
the complete tyrant. He is content 'to
serve under an older general, and his
sense of military duty is closely allied
with the sense of filial duty. The sense
of filial duty is going to prove his down-
fall, but for Coriolanus, it is the inevitable
end and the only way.
Paul Scofield in his North American.
debut brings to the role of Coriolanus the
surliness of attack, and the virility which

The Stratford theatre is specially designed to handle the unus
lavish productions of the company.

the part demands. Coriolanus is a man
given to frequent outbursts, but Mr. Sco-
field never taxes our sensibilities with un-
controlled raging. He plays these high
intensity scenes forcefully, but never al-
lows the expression to exceed the emo-
Putting the play into a Napoleonic
framework proved to be a very successful
interpretation. This is a period of history
generally associated with political unrest,
and the dangers inherent in a dissatisfied
mob. And after all, this is the essence of
Corialanus. A mob can be tricked and de-

American students in the South effect their own kind of revolution.

MOVING TO French - speaking West
Africa, the context of student action 1
is different.
In Senegal, as in most of French West
Africa, the students are not part of1
protests that are only occasionally effec-
tive; they are part of movements that
have gained independence. They are now
the revolutionary elites of a government
constructing a new nation. They are
steeped in the reality of building a nation.
Within the student community of West
Africa, Marxist thought has had profound
influence. Perhaps this is the case because
of the great interest and sympathy the
French Communist Party showed for the
colonial peoples in the Thirties and For-
ties. In that period the organization ofj
African trade unions was extremely active1
in the CGT-the Communist Union of
The leaders of these unions, like Tour6e
of Guinea, have become leaders of their
countries; and though they are not Com-
munists, and not controlled by the party
line, they analyze world conditions and
movement in Marxist terms. This current1
of intellectual Marxism is part of the
student tradition too.
The radicalism of French-speaking
African students is of two types, and two1
expressions. One is the extreme, almost
irrational Marxist revolutionary -doctrine
of the FEANF-the Federation of African
Students in France. These are students'
who are part of a tradition of Paris intel-
lectuals, who see themselves in the French
image of the "young intellectual workers"
It is a tradition which promotes an asser-
tive,-self-righteous sense of independence.
The FEANF has criticized every ruler
in Africa but Lumumba, Toure, and
Nkrumah for being stooges of the im-
perialists. Their language is always ex-
treme, their sentiments always explosive.
They belong to the International Union
of Students, the Communist controlled
international student structure, and re-
fuse to take part in the International
Student Conference (the organization in
which the Western nations, and most
others, take part).
The other student group of French-
speaking ,West Africans is the General
Union of West African students (UG-
EAO).'This student union is based at the
University of D~kar which 'also serves all
of former French West Africa. The stu-
dents of UGEAO tend to think of the
FEANF people as too abstract, too talky,
removed from the actual work of national

reconstruction. They are just as radical in
the organization of society that they de-
sire, but more concrete in their actions.
They tend to be more reasonable people
to talk to, if you happen to be an Ameri-
can; in fact, the difference between the
groups seems to be_ that UGEAO people
will talk to Americans.
ALL OVER AFRICA the name of Patrice
Lumumba sparks emotional reactions
of an anti-Belgian, anti-American, anti-
West nature. The Lumumbists represent
to students aggressive, even belligerent
independence that assures them- that their
leaders are not collaborating with their
former rulers.
Paradoxically, mixed in with some of
the most intensely nationalistic senti-
ments in the world is the concept of "pan-
africanisme." A student union, like the-
one which unites the students in Dakar
will rail against the Peace Corps as a
neo-colonialist plot, but will swear its
loyalty to Pan-Africanism. Unfortunately,
the longer African unity is delayed, the
harder the unity of at least former French
West Africa and Ghana will be to achieve.
A paper by David Apter pointed out
that the needs of socialism (which is the
prevailing preference for economic. or-
ganization), and the demands of national-
ism will build strong national barriers to
eventual unification. But the ideal is.
Algerian students, a group with dif-
ferent ideas, and a different struggle. The
Algerian students consider themselves
part of the fight for Algerian indepen-
dence, Scattered all over the world in
various universities, the Algerians main-
tai contact with the FLN and the Pro-
visional government through their na-
tional union of students Union Generale
des Etudiants Musulmans-Algerie (UG-
In each country in which they study,
Algerian students compose sections of
UGEMA. They try to meet with each
ROBERT ROSS, a political sci-
ence major, attended the National
Student Association's International
Student Relations Seminar last

ceived, it can be approached through
reason or emotion, but those who would
mould citizens to their own desires must
be alert. Mobs- are dangerous, mob rule
is even more dangerous, as most of the
characters in Coriolanus sadly discover.
* * *
GEORGE McCOWAN'S approach to
Henry VIII proved to be an interest-
ing combination of speed and spectacle.
He kept the play moving at a very brisk
pace, which accounted for a good measure
of its success. The Stratford actors can
handle a rapid pace without becoming
unintelligible, in fact they seem to thrive
on it.
Douglas Campbell managed to capture
the complexity of Henry, by clearly show-
ing us another side of the man who
could be unmerciful in his courtly in-
trigues. There was a real person under
this despot, and Campbell seemed to
relish his task of pointing this out.
At times, Campbell is difficult to un-
derstand. He has a voice which is often
imprisoned in his throat and consequent-
ly, a substantial part of the dialogue was
lost at times unless you happened to be
in the direct path of his address.
Although Henry is the motivating force
of the play, the evening belongs to Queen
Katharine and Wolsey. Douglas Rain,
one of the long-time members of the
company, was outstanding in the Wolsey
role. When the Cardinal has fallen =from
favor; we are exposed to a man whose
world has collapsed, leaving him noth-
ing but remorse. Rain's handling of this
scene was a brilliant display of range,
and understanding.
Kate Reid as Katharinie, gave a per-
formance which was dignified and emo-
tionally moving. Without allowing her
scenes to become maudlin, she portrayed
the intense suffering of an innocent wom-
an, condemned by the forces of greed and
The outstanding feature of Henry VIII
was its spectacular staging. In the christ-
ening scene for example, the costumes
and vestments were done in rich shades
of yellow, gold, and white. The massing of
all this color, together with the elegance
of the croziers and staffs of the clergy,
brought a full minute of applause from
the audience.
realized, as many professional com-
panies have not, that Shakespeare was
an eminently practical writer. If the
scene requires orientation in time and
place, he provides it in the dialogue. If
the locale doesn't make any difference,
then there is no reason to impose an un-
necessary scenic background.

Their free ada
stage permits a
pered by the c
of shifting a g
furniture. The a
tational style w
in the staging o
It was a swi
a planned patt
so swiftly and s
never had time
being fed an e
Simplicity of
tume and prop
style are vitalj
the Stratford p
the Festival ha
certain venture
beautifully des
manent theatre
is constantly be
- ed, so that the
tradition of arti
Stratford will
succeed, as it -
founders and d
rity and imagir
to care,' and, me
ences will conti

~"' ~Richard Burke is a teaching f el-
lown in the speech department and
-~ 2:-.Coordinator of the Laboratory
Playbill productions. He has at-
tended several seasons at Stratford
Paul Sofield played the tyrant Coriolanus tnCanada l
with high intensity.___ _________



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