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November 02, 1978 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-11-02

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

ember 2, 1978-The Michigan Daily

7 Players-the uncola actors

_ -

BY RENEE SHILCUSKY
hat is an educationally oriented
group doing in the bowels of
iad four nights a week? And who
s name are those crazies sitting
naze-like basement reading 17th
comedies while getting drunk?
unique subgroup of the Residen-
lege known as the RC Players,
r the past couple of months,
been working feverishly to
their latest production into
When they're not busy enter-
themselves, they g t on the
and present plays to the un-
ing public.
IS THOUGHT by many
malists that the RC Players are
e more of "those little hole-in-
LI theater troupes." In fact, the
s are the other University
cal company, an alternative to
rawling Speech and Theatre
tment located in the Frieze
ig.
cross-campus physical
tion from the Speech Depar-
has perhaps helped to develop
ically different philosophy of the
ayers. The two groups do not
each other; RC Players' mem-
o participate in some Speech
:ment activities, and Speech
ment folks do sometimes lend a

Photo by Larry Rich

It's make-up time in the RC Players dressing room behind the RC Auditorium
in East Quad.

hand in RC Players' productions. But
the Players, organized formally in 1970,
are not as widely recognized, nor
acknowledged as a valid theater group
around campus..

The "Frieze freaks" at the Theatre
Department sometimes accuse the RC
Players of solely producing obscure
plays that will not appeal to the general
public. RC Players spokesperson Suzy
Elder defends the troupe against that
charge by citing the group's interest in
educationally satisfying entertain-
ment:
"WE ARE interested in the
educational possibilities made possible
while working on a play. It's really
learning by doing. It's not at all unusual
for us to work four nights a week for
three to four months in preparation for
a performance.
"We intensively examine the drama
as literature, as well as entertainment.
In many cases, we look at all the major
plays of the author to pull out more
meaning through aspects of style and
content."
Does performance suffer because of
the educational focus? That depends on
your definition of "suffer." The RC
Players are not professionally orien-
ted; actors involved in a production are
not all headed toward the same goals.

"SOME OF OUR best actors start out
in an aspect of drama not related to
performance," Elder notes. "We never
cast on the basis of priority. Freshmen
throughout the RC/EQ community are
just as likely to be cast as anyone else."
In addition, the Players encourage
members to learn about make-up,
lighting, set design, and costumes as
well as acting. Workshops are held on
all phases of production, giving anxious
newcomers an opportunity to learn
techniques specific to the trappings of
putting on a live performance.
Courses within the Residential
College often help reinforce the
educational opportunities available
from intense drama study.
LAST WINTER, a seminar course on
the plays of Chekhov was the
springboard for a spring production of
The Seagull. Students benefitted from
the study of the author's plays, and
could observe the modifications of per-
formance structured by the actors and
the director.
Many plays are directly related to RC
humanities courses. The students can
read the play in class, and also par-
ticipate as an audience watching the
performance. The players encourage
the use of all the learning opportunities
implicit in drama study. As Elder poin-
ts out, "It is the learning-while-doing
idea of play production coupled with a
complete understanding of why we're
doing it that makes an RC performance
so exciting theatrically."
The RC Players benefit from
academically-oriented professors who
are not professional would-have-beens
in a University setting.
"THIS IS A major plus for the
Players," Elder notes. "We want to be
known as a theater group. . . an
educationally oriented company. For
most of our major plays, we've printed
a detailed playbill with comments and
criticism on aspects of the text.
"For that central reason, we also do
student plays," she continues. Poetic
Justice,' a play by Hopwood-winner
Tom de Kornfeld, was produced last
spring. Elder finds plays by student
authors more challenging for a theater
group. With the director, actors have to
work hard to find their own inter-
pretation of the character, and they can
find no automatic answers in past per-
formances. Elder muses, "It's exciting
to have the playwright in the audien-
ce."
The RC Players cannot be considered
a limited theater company. Within the
last three years, they have produced
Shakespeare, melodrama, Roman
comedy, modern drama, theatre of the
absurd, and Jacobean drama. They are
currently producing Beckett's En-
dgame, directed by. Hilary Cohen,
professor of avant-garde theater.
"WE ARE innovative," Elder
proudly announces. "Endgame hasn't
been done in Ann Arbor for six years."
Innovative is the bon mot of the RC
Players. Creativity knows no bounds -
histrionics overflow even at the modest
site of the RC Drama offices (in the
basement of East Quad, of course). By
the way, when was Beckett's Endgame
last produced in Ann Arbor?
"Oh," Elder smiles, "in 1972 - by the
-RC Players!"
The University library holdings
number nearly 5,000,000.

1v/

0004

WI

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irnc

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i
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By TOM STEPHENS
Last month, Santana proved their
prowess as a latin-tinged rock'n'roll
band at their triumphant Hill
Auditorium concert; they kept the full
house howling and on its feet through
four superb encores, and left many of
us wanting more.
Well, that "more" is here -
Santana's new LP Inner Secrets. The
band is pretty much the one that
appeared on Moonflower, the recent
live set, with David Margren on bass,
Greg Walker singing, and the fine
percussion section of Graham Lear
(drums), Paul Rekow (congas and
percussion), and Pete Escovedo
(bongos and percussion). Additions
include Chris Solberg on rhythm and
lead guitar, Chris Rhyne on keyboards
and synthesizers, and Armondo Peraza
on bongos and percussion. Only Rhyne
is a disappointment, as he fails to
reproduce the keyboard magic of
former Santana organists Gregg Rolie
and Tom Coster.
THE ALBUM opens strongly with
"Dealer," a composition by Traffic
drummer Jim Capaldi that blew away
Santana's fans last month. It features
excellent rhythm work by Solberg and
depends heavily on Walker's fine voice.
The tune hooks into an instrumental
called "Spanish Rose." In the tradition
of the band's classic "Black Magic
Woman/Gypsy Queen," Carlos Santana
works out a lot of his distinctive latin
and guitar sound on this tasty little
number.
The rest of the first side is a'
reasonably interesting grab-bag of latin

funk and r~ck, closing with a ballad
featuring Wlker at his mellow-voiced
best. It ocasionally verges on
monotony, bit things never get too bad,
because Caros is always on hand to
step up tnd deliver another
breathtaking flight on his guitar
strings.
The songs ill count on reasonably
intelligent lyris and catchy rhythms to
build the bands individual talents into
a pleasing soud. The chorus of "One
Chain (Don't Make No Prison),"
penned by proucers Dennis Lambert
and Brian 'Poter, is typical of the
quality of the lyres:
On chain din't mke no prison,
Two wrongs don 'make no right,
One rain don 't mae no river,
One punch don't roke no fight.
THE OVERALL ffect isn't bad, and
doesn't detract fro the quality of the
instrumentation, wich is almost un-
failingly alluring, >t the band could
use a poet, if the brds are ever to
carry any real weight
The second side is a definite
improvement. "Well Xll Right," th
classy Buddy Holly une, has bee
reworked into a glitteig centerpiec
for the album. Solberg'rhythm guitar
riffs echo Holly's ownand Walker's
ecstatic vocals, reaffir the song's
promise of a full-tiltrock'n'roll
existence:
Wel/a/Iright so I've been foosh,
Well all/right let people know,
All the dreams and wisher youvish,
In the night when lights are lo
Well all right, well all right,
I'll live and love with all my miit.
Carlos is featured here with an
original opening and closing gitar line
and a couple of extended solos hat blow
the- lid right off the song. knd the
rhythm section works overtime to put
Santana's trademake on a geat old
tune.
ANOTHER HIGH Point o a Iackto.
back twin instrumental, "Life is a
Lady/Holiday," composed {y Lambert-
and Santana respectively. 'he first is
an echo of Moonflower's beaitiful slow.
ballad "Europa." It's the knd of tune
that allows Carlos to spak very
sensitively through his guitar.
"Holiday" picks up the tenpo to.
bouncy melody that continue to amaze,
the listener with sheei guitar,
virtuousity.
But there's more to the sid. "Open
Invitatiot" sounds like mor of the
same rck-flavored rhythm witL
slightly band lyrics until Santana and
Solberg cit loose to end the song with
an inspiring guitar jam. "Wham!" the
final cut, oens up with a percussioni
trio that bleds gracefully into a loud
instrumentalrecalling the great "Soul
Sacrifice" of the band's first album.
But the tune i? less than 3:30 long and
that is far toe short to work up the
frenzied improrisation that made the
former song a minor religious
experience.
Santana has 'rafted an entirely
enjoyable album bre, and mny disc that
offers this king of guitar wrk is bound.
to escape' mediocity. If Carlos could
only graft his styl onto some songs
with the quality if some Jackson
Browne or Neil You-type lyrics, then
we might have E new color to
appreciate on the nw wave of rock
spectrum.
r - I

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