Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

February 28, 1960 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1960-02-28
This is a tabloid page

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

-,. . .,F . -



Modern Dress,





(Continued from Preceding Page)
Halstead believes there was room
for improvement. The fun would
have been increased, he says, if
the comedians had done a better
job of translating Dogberry and
Verges more completely in terms
of the souithwestern sheriff-deputy
positions they played.
While comedy more often than
not improves with semi-modern
costuming. the same can't always
be said of the Bard's tragedies.
The 1926 "Hamlets" moved at a
faster pace and the plot was easier
to follow, but the depth and dig-
nity of the major characters
seemed to get lost in the shuftile
somewhere. And Maurice Evans'
1945 G. I. Hamlet, though it suf-
fered from being "originally un-
dertaken for simple military
minds," also seemed to deteriorate


because of the setting-"a court
of an indeterminate period."
JOHN MASON Brown observed
in his reviews, "the costuming
functions more as an attempt to
blow the dreaded dust off the past
than to establish an inevitable
parallel" with the present.
Brown evidently thought the
parallel could be drawn, for he
went on to talk of Welles' Caesar
where "the costuming was an in-
tegral part of the basic idea." Prof.
Halstead agrees with this. If
Shakespeare produced Julius Cae-
sar in Elizabethan dress to create
an "immediate impact on his
audience," he argues then the
same kind of impact and reaction
could be evoked from a modern
audience by using modern dress.
Delicate handling of costuming,
of course, is not the whole story
in a modern dress version, but it
is a starting point.
Problems of staging (interrupt-
ing action and word for scene
changes) and of speech (treating
the lines more as prose than
poetry, so that the audience loses
differentiations like that between
the bantering, prose - speaking
Hamlet talking of corpses and
skeletonswithgrave-diggers and
the solemn, poetry speaking person
he becomes as soon as he finds it
is Ophelia's grave), always need to
be ironed out before the full
richness of Shakespearehshines
through on the stage.
The problems are not insur-
mountable-Orson Welles evident-
ly made a good dent in them back
in 1936-and it only remains for
more producers to try the same
type of thing more often.

IT'S NO SECRET that in recent
years the motion - picture in-
dustry has suffered more than one
defeat at the hands of Kookie's
oily comb and Jack Paar's bleed-
Ing heart. That Hollywood had
trouble gaining even a moral vic-
tory over such competition is not
What is surprising is that they
have decided to do something
about it.
This decision has taken the form
of what might be called Holly-
wood's new, "Birthday - Theory"
concerning the American audi-
ence. Stated simply, this theory
maintains that the average mem-
ber of the audience was born not
twelve, but twenty-one years ago.
Not only is he now old enough to
smoke and drink, but he's also
old enough to view an adult film
without giggling, or slyly poking
his neighbor in the ribs.
The theory seems true enough.
It is our own, personal theory,
however, that despite his increas-
ing ability to toss off such glib
epithets as "poorly directed" or
'over-acted," the average viewer
remains ignorant of certain other,

The Motion-Picture

Doesn't Understand Booking
And Managerial Practices


"Horse Eats Hat" is one of the speech department plays that have
been given this year. In addition to full productions, the depart-
ment also sponsors several one-act presentations.
Ann Arbor Theatre


(Continued from Page 10)
sibility that the Season would
break even made a present of it
to the University and it has re-
mained under this arrangement.
John O'Shaugnessy became
director after Windt died and Mrs.
Lucille Upham, formerly Windt's
executive assistant and famous
for her original headgear, became
business manager.
Drama Season is now subsidized
by the University to the extent
that it charges a nominal rental

TELA XN 0 } -'
c_ ~P E N T A X
1 FP


fee for Mendelssohn, which is sup-
posed to pay the theatre's oper-
ating costs.
Speech department is for stu-
dents, Drama Season is for stars
and the host of off-beat organiza-
tions is for the experimentally
THE ARTS Theatre Club typified
the latter category. In 1950
Strowan Robertson, a doctoral
candidate in speech, got some
faculty friends together and with
their sponsorship opened the club
on the third floor over a local beer
In this setting, Robertson and
his group produced off-beat plays
in arena style, stressing stunt
A few really good actors, a elever
scene designer and general inven-
tiveness in overcoming the limita-
tions of a makeshift stage helped
the Arts Theatre to become a little
more than an experiment.
They had a group to play clas-
sical repertoire and a local group
to present more popular shows,
and still managed to perform the
unusual and original. They became
known as a theatre of protest.
Kowever, the Arts Theatre came
to an early end due to its financial
set-up which was described by
an observer as "folly incarnate."
THE EX-MEMBERS, undaunted,
. tried again. They organized
the Dramatic Arts Center, hired
Joseph Gisterak as director and,
calling themselves .semi - profes-
sional, rented the Masonic Temple
Auditorium in Detroit..
Set up in 1954 as a nonprofit
corporation, it set the following
goals-"to operate a theatre for
-dramatic and other arts, a pro-
fessional theatre, a theatre and
dance classes for children, a place
for exhibit of works of art."
By its own admission, its suc-
cess in these . areas has been
"limited." The professional thea-
tre was operated for three years
but financial mishaps forced its
Now its activity continues
mainly in -the realm of workshop
presentations, poetry readings and
the like.
In its commercial-theatre, days,
it seems to have picked for produc-
tion respectable - type Broadway
plays as well as some very obscure
productions. Throughout, the
"realistic" approach to acting was
FRIENDS of the D.A.C. support
its concept of experimenta-
tion, critics accuse it of producing
only the unappealing, obscure in
an unattractive manner.
Ann Arbor theatre seems * to
have run a full circle from Valen-
tine Wlndt'.s conception of a new
and better.theatre to Drama Sea-
son's. introduction of the Broad-
way, element to t~he off-beat ex-
Tryrone Guthrie, if Indeed, he
does bring his repertory theatre
here, may begin a new cycle of

more immediate aspects of the
celluloid jungle, such as the book-
ing and managerial practices of
local theaters.
WHILE THE average viewer is
more than willing to let you
know, at -the drop of a hat, just
who should win this year's Oscars,
he has little or no knowledge of
why, say, a local theater books a
film for a "certain length run, or
why it occasionally raises its
For - this reason The Daily In-
terviewed Jerry Hoag, City Man-
ager of the theaters in Ann Arbor
and Ypsilanti, all of which are on
the Butterfield Chain.
Mr. Hoag began with an ex-
planation of booking practices.
"First of all, the pictures are
bought individually, by contract.
We have a buyer and a broker
who see the pictures at special
showings in Detroit. Their judge-
ment determines which of the
pictures are of commercial value
to the theaters involved. And let's
understand that right off the bat-
we're in business commercially, to
make money.
"Bad pictures rarely make
money, though. You can only make
money if the patrons are pleased.
We try to keep faith with the view-
ing public. The only bad picture
that ever really made money, here,
was 'Harmon of Michigan., ~
; Q: Is it ever a question of not
being able to get certain pictures?
A: First of all, let me say that
there's no longer such a thing as
a "B" Dicture. They're dead. Of
course, not every picture made
can be the best picture ever made,
but today they've got to make the
first run or it's no go. Every pic-
ture has to be a potential "A"
pIn Ann Arbor, we don't have to
worry about getting good pictures.
It's mainly a matter of time -
getting them as soon as possible.
In Detroit it's different because of
the competition.
Q: Why are prices raised for
certain films?
rAiThat brings us back to the
bidding. As I've said, our bookers
and buyers view the picture in
Detroit. Then, on the basis of
theater capacity, standard admis-
sion price, and length of run, they

submit a bid. The bid is a guar-
anteed, minimum return to the
supplier, or producer.
For example, a 50 per cent bid
means that we've guaranteed them
50 per cent of an estimated re-
turn. The better bid must be ac-
cepted. Now, with very expensive
films, the distributor will put on
pressure for a certain percentage
-the old hard sell.
Therefore, in order for us to
get the film within a reasonable
time after its release, we're pres-
sured into a higher bid, which
means a raise in price. The bid,
of course, is an obligation to the
suppliers to make money, and this
is above all else a supplier's me-
dium. They're in control.
At any rate, our prices are not
arbitrary. We don't 'raise the price
simply because we think the peo-
ple will pay it. We raise prices be-
cause the nature of the bid forces
us to.
Q: I've noticed that certain
pictures have enjoyed unusually
healthy runs. . . .
A: Yes, that's right. The rea-
son is simply that they continue
to make money. For instance,
"Pillow Talk" ran sixteen days at
the Michigan, and continued to:
make money. Shortly thereafter,
there was an opening at the Cam-
pus, so we ran it there for five
more days, where it also made
money. Obviously there were still
many people who wanted to see
it. This not only makes us happy--
it keeps the suppliers happy.
As exhibitors we try to main-
tain a reputation, and particularly
we try not to dissipate their pro-
duct. A picture is a product, and
we're trying to sell it. We try to
give the prime films - the block-
busters - the best possible chance.
We try to play them over week-
ends. It's part of our obligation
to the suppliers.
"Happy Anniversary" and "Ask
Any Girl" were both blockbusters,
but as it happened, we had to play
them during the week and they
lost money. We're going to bring
them back, though - some week-
end, on a double feature. This
Jim Forsht, a senior in the
literary college, is a member
of The Daily reviewing staff.

gives the students a break. They'll
get to see two good pictures they
missed, and at a bargain price.
Of course, it's not good to have
one blockbuster after another, We
try to stagger them so that the
people get a bettermchance to see
them all, We also avoid booking
films of a similar nature at
the same time. We like to mix the
message films with the comedies
and the musicals.
Q: Last year "The Cranes Are
Flying" played one day at the
Campus, without prior advertise-
ment, and then left. What hap-
pened there?
A: That was a special show-
ing - a private showing for a
local party. Of course, we brought
it back.
Q: What happened to "The
Time of Desire"?
A: That was somewhat em-
barrassing, and actually a mistake.
A local citizen had read a de-
scription of the original, uncut
version. He had not actually seen
the picture! The version shown
here was the cut version, and had
passed the Detroit Censorship
Anyway, this person called the
region manager and made a com-
plaint. The manager, in turn,
called the booker to discuss the
miature of the film. As it turned
out, the booker had booked it
without himself having seen it.
The manager had no recourse but
to end the run. The booker early}
lost his job. The point is, though,
that the picture was not really
pulled because of pressure.
Q: Have you ever been pres-
sured to close a picture?
A: Only once, and that -was
with "Song of the South." We
were picketed by a bunch of Com-
mies, because Uncle Remus was a
Negro. Of course, we didn't sub-
mit to the pressure. The picture
had a normal, healthy run.
Q: How has attendance been
in the past five years?
(Continued on Page 6)
Delightful 8r
Music by Leona
Produced by ANN ARB4

rd E

Advance ticket
Send orders with self -addres
Jerry Scofield, Ticket Agent, 130


... at The Michigan






a qut1

. j
at r.


' ti
w t



NO 5-6290

"Continuous Mirth!'

for the FINEST in-EF


"Mode for Ann Arbor" - The Producer
"Great for U. of M. Students" - The Director
"My Gift to Intellectuals!"-The Star

before or after


r-Cal rowani ptmft


in the (Natural Shoulder) models
Sportcoat . . 32.50 and

the theatre or cine,


Suits *

39.95 and


-,..-H.e,. rtth. f..tur..s
you want-with quality second to none-and prikod
lowrthan yo'd expet.
e LENS (standard): Auto-Yakumar 55 mm Ff2 with automatic
d'aph'agm. This is th'"fastest--o-sova"o-I- for the price.
*INSTANT-RETURN MIRROR: Invented. by Pentox, gives
you follow-through viewing. o SHUTTER: Focal plane, with
non-rotating speed dial; * FINDER: Pentaprism Finder with
extra bright Fresnel Lens. SINGLE-STROKE FILM ADVANCE.
SORIES. The Pentax Is the lightest, snMalles, eatei t, easait
to handle single 14s reflex available. Come ii for a free
ONLY 4 9
NOrmandy 5-6101 1116 South University





SELE RS* SEBERGrf"go w b . sw WON
mo,wawDowP m. pr,t 1Maus

offers aclities for :that special
"-37'15,,jaeksou. Road 'til 9:30 1l

For over a Q, uarter Century

, "Ai 'MAN




Back to Top

© 2023 Regents of the University of Michigan