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October 23, 1970 - Image 6

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-10-23

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Page Six

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, October 23, 1970

Page Six THE MICHIGAN DAILY Friday, October 23, 1910

theatre
"Chautauqua': The people act.

By MARCIA ABRAMSON
"Special thanks to: Pinocchio,
Richard Nixon, our parents, the
what? Firesign Theatre, L o n
Chaney' Sr., Jack the Ripper,
Spiro Agnew, J. Edgar Hoover,
Hugh Hefner, Jerry Rubin and
Abbie Hoffman, John Wayne,
Captain America, Pizza B o b,
Spiderman and YOU."
That is the essence of the
people who have been having
fuz putting on The New Chau-
tauqua, a group of short pieces.
They are, like all of us, Amer-
ica's children, and - thanks to
the illustrious roster (w h i c h
they award due credit in their
program) they have learned
that theatre is everywhere, and
not just art, but fun-and love.
Lik'e the other arts, theatre in
the last years has been opening
up away from its traditional
confines of stage, cast, script.
Groups like Living Theatre and
the Performance Group have
moved to a freer, more fluid and
kinetic form.
But such groups have always
been professionals. Although
their art seeks a greater aud-
ience involvement, an essential
distance is maintained; in .the
end, they remainaperformers;
the audience has paid. Theirs is
not a theatre of the people.
And amateur theatricals seem
to be somebody's ego trip - ex-
cept in a newer kind of theatre
that is comipg to life in the'
counter culture, a theatre which
is an experience to be shared, a,
communication with love. "We
did it because it was fun" ex-
plain this group, who did not
even bother to glorify t h e m-
selves with a name.
This is not to say that they

did not work very hard for their
performance, for it was obvious
they did in the 'quality of the
eleven short pieces presented.
Nor am I suggesting that they
are not talented, - for they are.
But their performance had a
tremendous spirit of communal-
ity; the cast was a collective
unit, and they wanted to share
their job in the theatre w i t h
the audience. They did not act
to please any critic. They did
not ask admission, only a fifty.
cent donation from those who
could afford it to cover minimal,
costs like programs.
The New Chautauqua is a
group of 22 short pieces by Fred
Gaines; eleven were performed
last night. Some were satirical,
some comic, some dramas about
people. Throughout, the group
maintained a tremendously fluid
production with . pantomime,
sense of timing and remarkable
body movements.
"Woman of the Year'" was a
standout as she struck (and
parodied) the poses of the model
woman alternately simpering
and sexy (remember Veruschka
in Blow-up?) So were Gepetto
and the puppet he carved out'of
wood, and named Booker T.
"Gepetto" was a funny piece'
which had some things to say
about, the generation gap, play-,
igon the Pinocchio story.
Other pieces took on the mass
media, sexual role-playing and
the Protestant ethic.
Perhaps the best piece was
"Blind Man," which dramatical-
ly brought out the plight of the
most forgotten minority - the
blind. People only put up with
the blind man because his lead-
er dog says "shit." The piece

opens with a long period of
darkness in which the audience
becomes blind-the other senses
are heightened even as the blind
man describes his life.
When the lights came on
the blind man is at a party,-
or rather hisdog is. The party-
goers offer the dog a joint, but
not the man, whom they ignore
or at best taunt. The action
freezes, and an incredible bit-
chy chick (I call her 1chick be-
cause she deserves it) tells how
Rll the people make fun of the
blind man-but the dog is so
cute,
The final piece was somewhat
incoherent, unfortunately; how-
ever the other eight were quite
good. "War, Game," in which
the dead of three wars meet
thinking they are in no-man's
land-which they are-was a
little trite. And occasionally it
was difficult to hear one or two
of the cast.
But that hardly mattered.
The totality was more than ex-
cellent; it was the kind of ex-
perience the cast hoped it would
be. The new Residential College
auditorium - small a n d very"
aesthetic-should be fuller to-
night and tomorrow. "The New
Chautauqua" has got to be better
than, say, Summertree. Come,
and as the cast suggesfs, come
stoned.

71TFdtBUI]Y
yOUSE
UNDER MILK WOOD
(a play for voices)
By DYLAN THOMAS
BENEFIT FOR
OZONE HOUSE
Fri. & Sat.
Oct. 23 - 24

JOIN THE SPORT OF THE SPACE AGE
PARACHUTING SERVICE
TECUMSEH, MICHIGAN
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playing 5-7 following Minnesota game
LEAVES OF GRASS
(also playing Sat. 9:30-1 :30)
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U U of M STUDENTS CREDIT UNION
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For the student body:
DENIM
FLARES
$4.88
Reg. $8.00 quality
CHECKMATE

A fi : " Meein::00PM ody coe 61
:. k~s .,...1 ::r,.... .. '... , . .... '~.....::::": ..:}:s ...r.......... . a }'r:::::::e:< ::::.f :;}p
Seminar7
on
Sp Nson-b.T V fic f eiiolenc Afar
AN INQUIRY INTO THE IDEAS, BELIEFS, AND PRACTICES
OF THOSE WHO HAVE LIVED NON-VILENT LIFE-STYLES
j f irst Meeting: 4:00 P.M., Monday, October 26, 19111y
Place: .Guild House, 802 Monroe
Sponsored bye The Association of Religious Counsellors
°..:..The Office of Religious Affairs
This seminar should be of special interest to those considering
CONSCI ENTIO US OBJECTION. Selective Service now re-
quires that, "THE REGISTRANT MUST DEMONSTRATE,.
7 THAT HIS ETHICAL OR MORAL CONVICTIONS WERE
GAINED THROUGH TRAINING, STUDY CONTEMPLA-
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..R. .. . . . . ...": l.t'.lls " ::.: ,y,."'r

State St. at Liberty

Paid Polticdl Advertisement
SENATOR
GEORGE McGOVERN
Hill Auditorium
Sunday-October 25, 1970
4:00 P.M.

General
Admission
$1.50

Tickets
on Sale
in
Fishbowl
and
Union Lobby

RAMSEY CLARK
Rackham Auditorium
Friday-October 30, 1970
8:00 P.M.
*Tickets for Clark Will Not Be Sold at Door

ANN ARBOR

CIVIC THEATRE
ptoudly presents its 41 st season
"MAN OF LA MANCHA" Dec. 16-20
"SUBJECT WAS ROSES" Mar. 3-6
"BLITHE SPIRIT" Mar. 31-Apr. 3
"IN WHITE AMERICA" Apr. 21-24

"THE BRASS AND GRASS FOREVER"
(an original musical)

May 5-9

DON'T DELAY-ORDER YOUR SEASON TICKETS TODAY
(Use This Coupon)

NAM E

PHONE

I r-%f N

':Y 1 Lam ...., ,_

ADDRESS

CITY.

71P

Please reserve __ sets of season tickets, as indicated below.
I have enclosed $ . , understand the tickets willbe
mailed to me in the fall, I have enclosed a self-addressed, stamp-
ed envelope.

We salute the magnificent North Atlantic island country of Iceland. . .the land of the
midnight sun, glaciers, fjords, volcanoes and hot springs. . .beautiful pasturelands,
saudkind longhair sheep and modern cities. . .wonderful people with a proud culture

Wed. balcony

$7.00

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