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March 19, 1960 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1960-03-19

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(ay of the World' Uses Unique Staging Technique
_________________________________________________ By MAME JACKSON


William Congreve's restoration
play, "Way of the World," will
be complemented by staging par-
ticular to its era in the Playbill's*
production April 6 through April
9 at the Lydia Mendelssohn The-
"Not only are we using eigh-
teenth century staging techniques,
but we also have some authentic
eighteenth century theatrical ma-
chinery," Ralph Duckwal, stage
director, said.
Duckwall was speaking of the
eighteenth century grooves Which
will be used in ths play. "Grooves,
common in theatres until the late
nineteenth century, are wooden
channels on the floor and ceiling
of the stage in which flat scenery
can slide easily and securely,"
Duckwall added.
These particular grooves were
found last summer in an aban-
doned opera house where they had
been since 1580. Dr. Donald Shan-
ower, while doing research for his
doctoral dissertation in speech,
discovered the grooves in place in
the condemned third floor Eagle
Opera House in Marshall, Michi-
Only Ones Found
These grooves are supposedly
the only ones ever found in place
in the United States and the only
double set found anywhere. Only
the overhead grooves were ob-
tained from the Eagle Opera
The shutters and wings which
are moved manually in these
grooves are large pieces of canvas
stretched over wooden frames and
painted. Five different shutters
and four pairs of grooves will be
used in "Way of the World" in-
stead of a backdrop and side walls
which are common on the modern
"The overhead grooves are
hinged so that shutters or wings
may be used interchangably,"
Duckwall added. "When a wing is
used, the grooves are pulled back
allowing the audience to see fairly
far up on the next shutter."
AidsScenery Change
The use of shutters, wings and
grooves facilitates the quick
change of scenery in front of the
audience. "The play is a sequence
of continuous scenes. As the actors
from one scene leave the stage, the
shutters are changed and a new
group of actors enter," Duckwall
Another feature in the staging
of "Way of the World" which re-
sembles eighteenth century tech-
niques is the raked stage. The
stage, two feet higher at the back,
slants toward the front, giving
the audience a better view of the
floor pattern.
The raked stage, adding to the
depth perception, is coming back
commercially. A number of Lon-
don and Broadway theatres have
already built raked stages. This
technique necessitated the entire
rebuilding of the Lydia Mendels-
sohn stage floor.
False Proscenium
A false proscenium, which cuts
the 30-foot wide stage down to
approximately twenty-two feet,
will also be used in this produc-
tion. "However," Duckwall stated,
"this will not cut down the acting
space on the stage.
"The stage apron will be ex-
tended 10 feet out over the orches-
tra pit. Much of the actirig will
be done out there just as it was in
restoration performances."
Much of the equipment used in
last summer's production, "The
Rivals," is being repainted and
remodeled for "Way of the World."
The staging for this play is not as
complicated as for "The Rivals."
Duckwall said that it is "fasci-
nating to use the old equipment.
One can better understand the
play when it is produced in the
method the author intended.

including month at Univ. of Vienna
Leave June 29-80 days
$1298 all expense
Local representatives wanted
18 Brattle St. Cambridge 38, Mass.

-The Regents approved eight ap-
pointments to the University fac-
ulty at a meeting held yesterday.
Prof. John Higham of Rutgers
University was appointed pro-
fessor of history beginning next
September. Higham was' then
granted a leave, without salary,
for the 1960-61 school year en-
ablingf him to participate in a

-Daily-David Cantrell
"THROUGH THESE PORTALS"-This branch post office on East
University will be closed unless enough people show interest in
its continuation through petitions which are currently in circula-
Wikel Seeks To Continue
Post Office Branch Service

"Eliminating the University
branch of the United States Post
Office is neither practically or eco-
nomically sound," said Howard L.
A partner in the East University
Building Co., which owns the edi-
fice which the branch office cur-
rently occupies, Wikel is circulat-
ing a petition in his drugstore to

De Conde



UN Founding
As Practical'
"In effect the United Nations
was founded on the practical prin-
ciple of power," said Prof. Alexan-
der de Conde of the history
department yesterday at Student
Government Council's last seminar
observing United Nations Week.
He explained that many people
express disappointment that the
UN has failed to end the cold war
without realizing that the group's
purpose, the establishment of col-'
lecitve security,.is only an ideal.
"As an association of sovereign
states growing out of a wartime
alliance," he said, "its only au-
thority to keep peace is that which
the great powers allow it to have,
for only the weak nations appear
to be willing to surrender their
"Therefore," Prof. de Conde con-
tinued, "the United Nations is
based on the idea that if the great
powers agree, there will be no
wars." But he added that this
would also be true with the or-
Not completely discounting the
position of smaller countries, how-
ever, he pointed out that small
nations can cause trouble because
they are supported . by blocs of
great powers.
As to the possible influence of
the combined populations of these
countries, he said, "The mere mat-
ter of numbers is not democratic
in world affairs, for numbers don't
represent power, wealth, and right.
"With nations as powerful as the
USSR and the United States, there
can be no world-wide agreement
without their involvement."
He concluded that the United
Nations offers a means to agree-
ment among big powers, and a
meeting ground for discussion
among all nations.

halt the United States Post Office's
decision to do away with the
branch's service.
Leased on a 10-yr. basis, the
present lease will expire on April
30. The United States Post Office
failed to place a bid to renew the
lease by the deadline last Decem-
ber 31, but asked that the lease be
extended on a temporary 30-day
basis with no assurance of con-
tinual use.
Wikel feels that the branch of-
fice has been the victim of Post-
master-General Arthur Summer-
field's plan to raise postal rates
while cutting branch services. The
University branch, one of the
busiest of Ann Arbor's post offices,
serves over 500 people a day,
mostly University students.
Students Inconvenienced
The real estate board in Chicago
has failed to consider the people
who make use of these facilities,"
Wikel continued. "These students
would be greatly inconvenienced in
having to use the other offices lo-
cated down town or on State
"From the practical aspect, there
are presently eight mail carriers
who operate from this branch. One
additional carrier would have to
be added to handle the extra load
that would result from the in-
creased distance to postal routes
plus the additional transporta-
"Such a revisal in mail-carrier
operations, would cost the govern-
ment several thousands of dollars
more than what they are presently
paying in rent," Wikel explained.
Cannot Modernize
"Built ten years ago expressly
for use as a post office, the build-
ing has not yet paid for itself in
rent," he reported. The land has
become valuable, but because of
the present uncertainty, the own-
ers have not been. able to proceed
with plans for modernization.
Completed petitions are to be
delivered today to United States
Congressman Carl Meader, who
will present them to Postmaster
"We realize that we have an
uphill fight on our hands by trying
to oppose the action of the Federal
Government, Wikel acknowledged.

Mayor Cecil 0. Creal denounced
local agencies and people who are
delaying plans to build a North-
belt bypass around Ann Arbor.
His commpnts were made Thurs-
day at a meeting of the Ann
Arbor Citizens' Safety and Traffic
Council. Two members of the
County Planning Commission ex-
plained the commission's objec-
tions to the present plan for the
bypass as prepared by the state
highway department.
Robert D. Carpenter, planning
director for the county commis-
sion, and Edwin Drabowski, chief
planner, presented arguments
against the state's proposed plan.
Drabowski said that the present
bypass plan would "stymie the
growth of the city."
"I do not agree," Mayor Creal
retorted. "As mayor of this city, I
can tell you something: we need
this bypass and we need it now.
"It's all very fine to plan an
ideal route for the highway which
will benefit Ann Arbor 20 years
from now but I'm telling you one
thing-if you wait 10 years to,
have this bypass built, you'll be
able to run it right through Main
and Huron Streets and you won't
hit a soul. Because by that time
there won't be any downtown Ann
Creal pointed out that plans
for a Northbelt around the city
have been under consideration for
15 years, and said the city is
"doomed" if the heavy traffic is
not funneled away from the heart
of the city.
The presently proposed North-
belt would start from US 12 west
of the city, cut through the north-
west section of Ann Arbor near
the new Forsythe Junior High
School and join the proposed new
business route of US 23 south of
the Huron Valley Bridge.
Those opposed to the planwant
the bypass pushed farther north of
the city, Carpenter said.



TONIGHT and Sunday Night
at 7:00 and 9:00
with Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly,
"r ...." ."If ab t t



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