A2 Medieval Festival:
By R.J. SMITH
Many persons manage to acquire the
title of "fool" in their lifetimes but
damn few actively endeavor to earn it.
Monday and Tuesday evenings,
however, there was a room full of
people seeking to be cast as fools, as
well as earn such rankings as
"magician," "town crier," "min-
stral," and similar medieval
THE KUENZEL ROOM of the
Michigan Union was the site of tryouts
for the ninth annual Ann Arbor
Medieval Festival. The Festival,
scheduled for the last weekend of July
and the first weekend of August,
features costumed dancers, actors,
musicians, townspeople, and the errant
fool or two.
The annual extravaganza each year
appears precariously close to falling
apart at the seams, for the funding is
erratic and decisions are-made by the
concensus vote of a seven-person plan-
ning board. But somehow the program
has not only always gone on, but each
year has flourished.
The gala is divided this year into a
travelling show on the first weekend,
and a fixed, lengthier show on the
"WE DO MAYBE an hour and a half
play, then a half hour music show, and
maybe some dancing in the travelling
shows," sid said Karina Niemeyer, one
of the festival coordinators and the per-
son in charge of the drama.
"But on a fixed weekend, everything
gets done twice, and we expand the
music portions," Niemeyer added.
Casting parts for the festival, which
has grown in participants from a han-
(Continued from Page 1)
ligence community staff, an ad-
ministrative group that oversees in-
Johnson noted that in no other area of
government-not even in Defense
Department funding-did Congress ap-
prove funds without knowing how much
was being spent and for what projects.
"We would not vote to give a large
sum of money to the Agriculture Depar-
tment . . . without knowing what the
money is going for," he said.
REP. JOHN Seiberling (D-Ohio),
said "the biggest item in this bill is a
blank. Since I don't know what to put in-
to the blank, I will vote blank myself
and cast my vote as present."
Rep. Robert Giaimo (D-Conn.) said
the spectre of national security often s
used to justify unnecessary secrecy.
"There has been a tendency in this
body to be oversecretive," he said, ad-
ding that in his ipinion many members
do not want to know the details.
Rep. Romano Mazzoli (D-Ky.)
agreed that Congress long had had a
"head in the sand" approach to in-
telligence activities. He said the at-
titude had been, "Do what you think is
necessary but don't tell us about it
because we don't'vant'to responsibility
dful of surfs and knights in 1970, to ap-
proximately 200 volunteers this year.
BUT CASTING such large numbers
also poses special problems for would-
be Medieval thespians. Niemeyer noted
although almost anybody who tries out
is given a part, few roles were penned
in the Middle Ages for females. "You
can get away with dressing a woman as
a sheepherd, with the robe and so for-
th," she explained. "One year we had to
cast a woman as God."
In between the plays and concerts,
the energy is maintained by a group of
jugglers, pranksters, troubadors, and
mimes known as the "intermezzi." In-
termezzi troupe members are taught
rudiments of juggling, gymnastics and
clowing, and are encouraged to im-
In the festival, proper dress and
customs are scrupulously observed.
"WE TRY TO be as authentic as
possible about the plays," said
Niemeyer. "I tend to think of myself as
a watchdog in this way," she added.
Sometimes, it seems, the watchdog is
not enough, however. "I was in Romeo
and Juliet once," said intermezzi
organizer Jim Moran, "and I got hit by
thirteen bananas right in the face.
Bananas didn't even arrive in Europe
until something like the 16th century!
We were going to call the play 'How
Many Anachronisms Can You Spot
Here?'," Moran said.
The festival takes place all over
campus at places such as Burns Park,
the front lawn of the Ark and
predominantly on North Campus, and
is expected to draw around 5,000 people
Daily Photo by JOHN KNOX
DEBBIE BARDWICH and Paul Nancarron audition before directors for parts
in "The Imaginary Cuckold," one of four plays to be presented at the upcoming
/ THE HERALD
Are Sold Cheap Trick/Heaven Tonight
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