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April 09, 1978 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-04-09

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The Michigan Daily-Sunday, April 9, 1978-Page 7 >

Disabled woman says
acting troupe biased

Man ha
in city j

ngs self

f



By ELISA ISAACON
Yvonne Duffy, a handicapped woman,
had filed a complaint with the City
Human Rights Commission stating that
the Theatre Company of Ann Arbor has
discriminated against her because she
uses a wheelchair.
Duffy claims the company, a small
group that puts on informal productions
often involving political or social
questions, has been discriminatroy in
its decision not to accept her into the
company.
She handed out pamphlets describing
her situation yesterday in front of Can-
terbury House, a University-owned
facility where the theatre company was
giving a performance, and also asked
members of the audience to sign a
petition which urges the company "to
address the issues of the disabled in
future performances."
DUFFY SAID she audtioned for a
part in the company last February, at
which time she was assured she would
be "treated fairly." She was called
back for a second audtion, after which
the company informed her they were
not going to accept her.
Duffy said the official reason the
company gave for her rejection was she
didn't have enough "diaphragm sup-
port" to project her voice for two and a
half hours. Duffy claims, she spoke to
two company members who said "it
was my physical disability that was the
reason."
"Nothing about my voice or my
diaphragm was mentioned until I made
a fuss," she said. "I beleive it was an
afterthought."
LOREN SIEGEL, a member of the
company, said however, "the very first
think I said to her (Duffy) on the phone
was that her voice wasn't good
enough." Siegel said that in the Theatre
Company productions the players are
all on stage for the entire performance,
and the company didn't believe Duf-
fy's voice was strong enough to handle
that.
"I know from experience with multile
sclerosis my diaphragm goes into a
muscle spasm, and I can't sing," said
Siegel.
Duffy said she thought she could han-
dle a speaking part.
SIEGEL acknowledged that Duffy's
being in a wheelchair was another fac-
tor in the company's refusal to accept
her. "I don't- see that as
discriminatory," she said. "Movement
is an important part of what we do."
The town of Clemson, S.C., has a
population of 5,700 but the Clemson
football team was averaging 46,000
for ltbmii games in 1977.°
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The question of whether a theatre.
company is legally allowed to reject a
potential member of the company
because he or she is handicapped does
not appear to have a clear-cut answer.
Paul Teich, a lawyer with the Univer-
sity's Legal Aid program, said "there is
a city ordinance that does ban
discrimination on the basis of physical
handicap," but he said he is uncertain if
this law extends to theatre companies.
William Lemmer, a University
lawyer, added that "if you're han-
dicapped,.you have to be qualified for
what you are supposed to be doing."
SIEGEL STATED the company con-
sidered "making ane exception for her
(Duffy) and making a place for
someone who couldn't move, but she
couldn't handle the speaking part."
The company's policy is that
decisions to accept actors into the
group must be unanimous. "As a com-
pany, we made a decision about what
the company needs," remarked com-
pany member Stephanie Ozer.
Duffy, however, said the company
director, Stella Mifsudy was the
"pivotal point" in the decision. "When
they said the decision had to be
unanimous, they were stacking the
cards against me," she said.
"It's a really controversial thing for a
person using a wheelchair to be on
stage," continued Duffy. "If the direc-
tor had liked the idea, I would have
been in."

- By R. J. SMITH
A 51-year-old Ann Arbor man hanged
himself early yesterday morning in a
detention area at the city's police
station, a police spokesman reported.
Kenneth Young, 1901 Traver
Boulevard, was discovered by police at
around 6 a.m., slumped against the
door of the holding cell. He had taken
his belt and looped it around the bars of
the door, tieing the other end around his
deck. Police found Young dead when
they were preparing to release him.
YOUNG WAS arrested Friday
evening, on charges springing from a
call police received about a domestic
dispute at Young's Traver Boulevard
home. Police officers Sgt. Gerald
Miller, David Burke, and Sherry Vail
were leaving Young's home when
Young attempted to prevent the police
from leaving by blocking the front door
with his body. He then allegedly struck
Miller, and the two began wrestling.
Police arrested Young on assault
charges.
Young sustained a bruised head in the
struggle, and was taken to St. Joseph
Mercy Hospital where officials say he
became "extremely loud and
boisterous." Police said at least once
during his check-up Young had to be
restrained.
At about 2:00 Saturday morning,

a1l cell
Young was transferred to the Ann Ar-
bor police station. Police Chief Walter
Krasny said he was observed
periodically throughout the early mor-
ning, and had appeared to be calming
down.
SHORTLY BEFORE 6 a.m., the time
Young was to be released, Captain
Robert Conn looked in on Young and
found him hanging from the bars on the
door's window.
YOung was declared dead shortly af-
ter by medical examiner Dr. Robert
Hendrix. An autopsy to determine the
cause of death was scheduled later
yesterday morning, a routine
procedure.
Police Chief Krasny emphasized that
items such as belts, shoe laces, and
neckties are normally taken from
prisoners who are considered
dangerous.

TYPEWRITER
RENTAL
$8 a week
$20 a month
$20 deposit
AT THE
UNIVERSITY CELLAR

Daily Photo by PETER SERLING
YVONNE DUFFY was at Canterbuy House yesterday to hand out pamphlets
protesting the discrimination she alleged is practiced by the Theatre Company of
Ann Arbor.

JEAN RENOIR'S

1939

100 protest Bakke case on Diag

RULES OF THE GAME
Renoir's unsparing view of corrupt French society makes
obvious parallels to the ancient regime just before the revolu-
tion. Made on the eve of World War II, it portrays the despair
of uncertain times. In French with subtitles.
TUES: BALL OF FIRE (at 7)
ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (at 9)

-r(Continued from Page 1)
start feeling as if we've made it,
because we haven't."
Sharon Webb of the Black Student
Union (BSU) said she feels the Bakke
case does not represent an individual,
but an attack on "the modest gains of
the sixties." If the Supreme Court rules
affirmative action unconstitutional, ac-
cording to Webb, "the select few non-
whites and women on this campus will
no longer be here."
According to Diane Clark, a
representative from the Revolutionary
Communist Youth Brigade, many
Bakke supporters are using the case to
say "minorities have gone too far, and

now they're oppressing whites."
MOST OF THE speakers exressed
the need for unity in order to fight,
against Bakke and for affirmative ac-
tion. The steering committee which
publicized the Ann Arbor Anti-Bakke
Demonstration awarded Bakke the
hypothetical prize for "America's
Biggest Cry-Baby."
The committee also stated in a leaflet
handed out to protesters, that "a vic-
tory for Bakke (in the U.S. Supreme
Court) will signal the official albandon-
ment by the Supreme Court of the
rights of blacks, women, Chicanos,
Puerto Ricans, native Americans,

Asian americans, Arab Americans,
Gays, Handicapped People, etc.,
etc.-in all aspects of American life."
Following the final speech, the crowd
of demonstrators circled the block,
again singing and chanting. Even tod-
dlers sported anti-Bakke and pro-
affirmative action signs, one of which
read "Only 2% of the nation's lawyers
are black."

CINEMA GUILD

TONIGHT AT
7&9:05

OLD ARCH. AUD.
$1.50

CINEMA .II
Sunday, April9
THE PRIVATE LIFE OF
'SHERLOCK HOLMES
Director-BILLY WILDER (1970)
A charming, witty, sophisticated, and underrated film about the case that
Holmes bungled, told from the secret memoirs of Dr. Watson. The brilliant
detective's fondness for the mysterious is rivalled only by his favorite cure
for boredom-cocaine. A neglected gem done with true class, from the
director of WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION, SOME LIKE IT HOT, and
STALAQ 17. ANGELL HALL- AUD A
7& 9:15 P.M. TUESDAY: Fassbinder's$.
THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA- VAN KANT

NSA hopes for high
turnout this election

(Continued from Page 1)
amount to ask."
"MSA and LSA student government
wrote letters in support of Joel
Samoff," said Pam Shubatowski, who
has been working with the Un-
dergraduate Political Science
Association in its support olf the
Political Science professor's tenure ap-
peal. Samoff has been denied tenure,
although some students claim he was
one of the most effective teachers in his
department.
"WHAT MSA has done so far for me
as far as the Samoff case is alright,"
said Shubatowski. "If they had the fun-
ds, they could probably do a lot more."
"I can't vote to support Legal Aid
without supporting MSA," said Trish
Refo, and LSA sophomore. "I resent
being told that I have to support MSA."
I would hate to see Legal Aid go down
the drain, but that's life," she added.
Nursing student Karen Heinlen said
the field of over 100 candidates is too
large for students to act as informed
voters.
"WHAT I'VE done before is just vote
'or people I know," she said.
Although MSA officials say there has
been an intense publicity drive for this
election, comments such as "I haven't
really though about it" and "I haven't
really been following it that much,"
were typical responses in regard to the
candidates running for office.
Many people expressed doubt 'that
MSA could accomplish much for
students. A few upperclasspersons
made references to the Student Gover-
nmerit Council which existed several
years ago, which has frequently been
described as corrupt.
There were some people contacted
who felt MSA was an effective and
responsible organization, but most
seemed not to care one way or the
other.

MOst of the candidates put com-
munication with students near the top
of the priority list, but whether the crop
of winners in this week's election can
change MSA's near anonymous
existence remains to be seen.

DISCO
Lessons at
DAINCE
SPACE
3141/2 S. State
CA1LL 995-4242
for schedule
and registration
information.

THE OFFICE OF MAJOR EVENTS presents
JACKSON BROWN
SPECIAL GUEST STAR
TJ A I A D f\1NlJC\E

r77TT..,.,A77771,'

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