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July 16, 1974 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-07-16

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Page Five

Repertory theater
kicks off tonight
The 1974 Michigan Repertory Summer Season will
commence tonight and tomorrow night, with two produc-
tions presented in repertory: William Shakespeare's clas-
sic comedy, The Taming of the Shrew and William Inge's
1950's romance, Picnic. Though the two plays are quite
varied in style, both Inge's small-town Kansas setting
and the splendor of Shakespearean extravagance are in-
habited by unusually strong female characters. In both
plays the women experience a maturing process which
adds to their development, interest and challenge.
Kate's "submission" to her husband at the end of The Taming
of the Shrew could indicate weakness instead of strength. How-
ever, Director Richard Burgwin explains, "I do not consider Shrew
a male chauvinist play. Shakespeare was concerned with maturity
in his plays and his notion of maturity was to successfully deal
with the reality of the world. The reality of Kate's world was
different than ours. Many things she says in her so-called 'sub-
mission' would be unacceptable in ours but were inevitable in hers.
She has learned to use her intelligence."
Picnic boasts five fully drawn women's roles. In fact, according
to director David Kelley, "Inge originally wrote the play as a
sketch for five women. The male characters were later added
to initiate a maturing process which affects these five. All of the
principal women undergo a change, an awakening."
Both productions will be presented in the air-conditioned Power
Center at 8:00 p.m. They will run in repertory for two weeks,
beginning with Shrew.
Have a few extra moments
during the day? Need
something to occupy your mind?
THEN, tuck a copy of
Crossword Puzzle
under your arm.

PE utUHIu (AVID H SnusN) iNaSTUcTS nis reuctant spouse ate tat iette) during a
rehearsal for Shakespeare's comedy "The Taming of the Shrew", tonight's opening production of
the Michigan Repertory '74 Series in the Power Center. "Shrew" will run in repertory with Inge's
"Picnic" through July 26. For ticket Information, call 764-0450.
Genet's Maids': Fake reality

In a world which separates
the rich from the poor, the em-
ployer from the employe, and
the elite from the rest of the
population, Jean Genet deals
with the separatenesstand ha-
tred of two maids and their ma-
The Maids is being presented
by the Summer Repertory The-
atre of Ann Arbor. Future per-
formances of The Maids are
scheduled for July 21, 28 and
August 9 and 18 at the East
Quad theater.
Genet's play, directed by De-
nise Koch, concerns itself with
reality and illusion. The two
maids are portrayed by men,
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Nick O'Connor and Fred Gold-
stein. Madam Jackson Phippin
is also played by a man trying
to present the reality of a wo-
man. Both the maids and their
madame engage in lesbian ac-
tivities. The play deals with
fakes, trying to emancipate
themselves into a reality which
they can never escape into.
The maids are involved in
role exchanges. Claire becomes
the Madame and in turn Solange
takes over Claire's role. They
carry on the same masquerade
each time Madam leaves. The
maid exposes her hatred of her
mistress and thus overcomes
her station. Then the carefully
set alarm clock rings, warning
the maids of the impending re-
turn of their Madame. Claire
puts on the black dress of a
maid and Solange returns to
her own identity.
We discover the ironic fake-
ness of their reality as the
maids become the loving ser-
vants of Madame. The loyal
maids who would "never desert
Madame," claim while she is
gone that they will kill her.

Most of the problems were
relatively minor. At times
communication between the two
sister - maids lacked the direct-
ness it needed. There were also
moments of intensity with no
apparent build-up or motiva-
tion. Yet as a whole the produc-
tion was an honest piece of
theatre, presenting Genet's work
truthfully before the audience.


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