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April 15, 1972 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1972-04-15

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7

Paae Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saturday, April 15, 1972

A Doll's House
is another cage

A dreary trek down Tobacco Road'

Black Film Society
presents
SHADOWS-7:30
MURDER ON LENOX AVENUE-9:00

By MARCIA ABRAMSON
"You have never understood
me. I have been wronged . . .
I have lived here like a pauper
by performing tricks. I must
educate myself ... I must know
myself ."
Ibsen, so many years ago, un-
derstood so much.
A Doll's House seems to be-
come even more powerful with
the passage of time. Nora's re-
velation at the end of the play
has become rhetoric for a grow-
Ing movement.
But even more impressive
than Ibsen's understanding of
the repression of woman is his
ability to see beyond her imme-
diate problem and into the so-
ciety that shapes her life. A
Doll's House is not only about
women-it is about man's need
for liberation, too, from all the
roles he is forced to play: sex-
ual and official, husband, fath-
er lover, pillar of the commun-
ity, business success.
There are no villains in A
Doll's House-just people locked
in their separate cages. Nora's
husband Torvald is as trapped
in his study or in the bank as
Nora is in her "Doll's House."
Like Nora Torvald is an in-
cisive character study. He fan-
cies himself a strong "man",
yet his wife and friend try to
hide trouble from him. He is
obsessed by morality, yet when
pressed thinks first of saving
face.
This is forgiveable - it is hu-
man. You cannot hate Torvald
for sharing Nora's mythology
about man and woman and so-
ciety; he is a victim, too. It is
not his fault that he cannot live
up to the role Nora expects him
to play. And it is to his credit
that he realizes how much truth
there is in her revelation.
The money lender and would-
be blackmailer, Krogstad, is
another trapped human being.
He has lost first his love, then
his respectability, now his last
chance to be a "successful" man
Some sound
for the mind
Rave you ever. heard any of
the old radio programs? Did you
always wonder what people did
before the coming of the boob
tube? Do you like using your
own imagination to provide im-
ages for descriptions?
Well Cinema Guild is present-
ing three old radio programs for
free tonight at the Modern Lan-
guages Bldg. The programs, pre-
sented under the- heading of
"Theater of the Mind", will be
heard at 7:00 and 9:00 in Aud.
4. If response is good Cinema
Guild is planning on doing a
regular series in the fall.
The three recordings will con-
sist of a show written by noted
science-fiction author Robert
Sheckley, a couple of brief hor-
ror sketches from Arch Oboler's
Lights Out show, and some com-
ic skits by Bob and Ray.
Sounds like the makings of an
interesting evening.

as Nora's husband fires him at
the bank.
The University Players Show-
case Production succeeds in em-
phasizing the complex human-
ity of all the characters. Wil-
liam Cross does an excellent job
of bringing Torvald to life; the
rest of the cast is more than
competent. The p r o d u ction
works, and works well. Ibsen's
play demands no special effects:
the straightforward set and per-
iod costumes are all the back-
drop the play needs.
Torvald and Nora share a
mythology of "love;" like her,
he has had no reason to chal-
lenge man's mastery of his lov-
ing servant wonman. It is not
his fault that he cannot live up
to the role he has been playing
-the task is impossible-and he
cannot take all the blame for
playing it. Nora has played, too.
There are no clear answers
in A Doll's House. After Torvald
fails to sacrifice himself for her
Nora leaves him in search of
herself. She must go. But at the
same time her friend, Kristine,
an independent mature working
woman recognizes how much
she needs understanding and
sympathy and returns to her
former suitor Krogstad.
Ibsen sees other ramifications
of the social tragedy clearly. In
one scene Nora's nurse tells of
how she was forced to give up
her illegitimate child-a child
who hasn't forgotten her, she
says who har written twice over
all the years. Nora the middle
class baby has replaced the poor
servant's illegal child.
The interactions of the char-
acters and complementary ac-
tions are fascinating to watch.
Trapped by time, Nora is caught
in the very tarantella she dances
to amuse Torvald. Her world
is being shattered and she is
forced to question all that she
has valued. Death is warning
her, too as she sees her closest
friend retreat to die. She cannot
afford to play any longer.
A Doll's House is a remark-
able play. It was sold out Thurs-
day; if you can, see it. It is
not perfect; there are more than
echoes of melodrama here and
there, but not enough to inter-
fere with the sunning power of
the play.
BEST PICTURE
OF THE YEAR!
-National Board of Review
FEATURE TODAY AT

By JEFFREY LAINE
In Shakespeare's "Hamlet",
we are led : to believe that
"something is rotten in the state
of Denmark." The only question
is what. Finally the mystery is
solved, we learn "The play is
the thing . . ." I have never
seen the state of Denmark, so
I really don't know what's hap-
ening there, but I have witness-
ed Ann Arbor's state of Thea-
tre - Shakespeare has never
rung so true. Throughout the
town one can hear drama majors
and actors turned dishwashers
sobbing, "the theatre is dying,"
and asking why. Some answer,
"Theatre is just another victim
of progress. Screens are in and
stages are out." Others respond
that theatre has never been
healthier and point their mid-
dle finger proudly at Neil Simon
and Danny Lipman. But the
real answer is available at the
Conspiracy masked in the guise
of "Tobacco Road."
The Theatre Company of Ann
Arbor is composed of young, tal-
ented and creative people who
act under the firm conviction
that theatre must and can hap-
pen in Ann Arbor even if they
have to do it themselves. But it
takes more than dedication.
Theatre must live, m e a n
something, be important to ev-
ery spectator, actor, usher and
ticket taker in the house. If you
don't have this then you have no
right to expect audiences to suf-
fer through two and one-half
hours of tedium.
The Theatre Company of Ann

Arbor is a colossal disappoint-
ment. Not because they are bad
but because they could be so
much better. ,They could have
been, should have been great,
and that is the disappointment.
I came to the opening expect-
ing theatrical sky-rockets, some-
thing new, different, something
from and for my generation,
something that would get peo-
ple young people, back in the
theatre. Instead, I got a warm-
over serving of a tired story
about hillbilly dirti farmers in
Depression Georgia.
I realize that I shoudl be sat-
isfied with a good, lauditory,
academic critique of acting, sta-
ging, and, directing. But The
Theatre Company of AnnuArbor
is too important for me to be
concerned with the easy and
traditional "Peace in our time."
First, the Company works on
the premise that, every form of
literature can and should be
performed, be it novel, short
story, etc. The Company believes
that the experiences in the writ-
ten word can "come to life" on
stage without the resrucuring o
play script that usually occurs."
Last night's presentation was
an original adapation of the no-
A'I
This tKM
FRI.-SAT.-SUN.
Faster than a speeding bul-
let.
More powerful than a loco-
motive.
Able to leap tall buildings
with a single bound.
Posing as a skinny bespec-
tacled J e wi s h boy from
Queens, C o I u m b ia Rec.
Artist
DAVID BROMBERG
fights a never-ending battle
for peace, justice, and the
American Way.

vel. The result is a sort of
"spoon river" narrative which
may make for good reading but
falls short of good theatre. A
narrator will say something like,
"Bessie smiled and looked over
her shoulder" whereupon our
eyes are immediately treated to
Bessie (the preacher lady) smil-
ing and looking over her shoul-
der. The play does however, pro-
vide startling and masterly de-
veloped characters. The actors
however, never quite attain the
intensity or depth called for by
their roles. Best in the cast is
Ted Mills as Jeeter, the old man
and head of the clan. Mr. Mills
does a very believable job, ma-
nipulating his voice as if he
were the aged, tired patriarch.
Michael Baranowski as Dude
(Jeeter's imbecile son) is simply
atrocious. I never once felt that
Mr. Baranowski believed or re-
ally understood his character.
CINEMA II
aud. a; angell hal
Shows at 7 & 9:00 P.M.
Tickets on sale at 6-75c
THIS WEEKEND:
THE APU
TRILOGY
Dir. by Sotyou t Ray;
Indian
"APU, whose conscious-
ness develops from the
village life of 'Panther
Panchali' and the univer-
sity life of 'APARAJ ITO,'
ma r r ies the exquisite
Sharmilla T a g o r e in
'WORLD OF APU' and
grows beyond self-con-
sciousness. Rich and con-
templative; and a great,
convincing affirmation.'
-GINA ERDREICH,
Cinema Retrospective
FRI.-PANTHER
PANCHALI (1954)
SAT.
APARAJITO (1957)
SUN.-THE WORLD
OF APU (1959)
all films in Bengali; with
music by Ravi Shankar

This was my response to most
of the actors. It was like wtach-
ing characters from a novel
displayed and animated on stage
without communicating the feel-
ing that they are actually there
as people. Their scenes of pas-
sion and sensuality which come
across as some sort of wierd
caricature while an irritating
sentimentality and naivete per-
vade the atmosphere from be-
ginning to end.
The future of this country's
drama rests not upon Broadway,
the Power Center, or "Promises,
Promises" but with the Theatre
Company of Ann Arbor and oth-
er groups like it. The young, the
strong, the genius who will start
with nothing and show us things
we have never before dreamed.

Monday, April

I.
4

17-$1 .00

Architecture Auditorium

4D

PRESENTS
A CHARLES
LAUGHTON
FESTIVAL
TONIGHT ONLY
Ruggles of
Red ap
Dir. Leo McCarey, 1935
CHARLES LAUGHTON
as the charmingly servile
English butler who gets
liberated when heocomes
out to America's W i I d
West.
ON SUNDAY NIGHT
Witness For
the Prosecution
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RINI UILD
PRESENTS
FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY-
The Theater of the Mind
FEATURING:
* An offbeat space odyssey by Robert
Sheckley, starring the original talking com-
puter.
* An Arch Oboler horror opus, taken from
radio's classic series, LIGHTS OUT!
* Plus comic skits by Bob Andray, guaran-
teed to outdo the Firesign Theater at their
own game.
Shows at 7:00 and 9:00 P.M.
Saturday, April 15th
A,,aMn , U #Lnnnunaes RuilrIin

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