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April 13, 1982 - Image 6

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-04-13

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RTS
Page 6 Tuesday, April 13, 1982 The Michigan Daily

RC Players show .originality

IRW "b..o

By Elliot Jackson
T HE RESIDENTIAL -College
Players, that time-honored and
eminently respectable group of East
Quad residents, Residential College
drama concentrators, and general
busybodies, once again has something
in the works. In conjunction with the RC
drama concentration, it is presenting a
new play, Against Katie Bloom, written
and directed by the RC's own Scott
Cummings, a lecturer in the drama
program.
"Ordinarily, there is no formal link
between the players and the drama
department," said Cummings.
"However, many students are involved
with both; the faculty serve on the
board of Players as advisors, and the
productions often reflect curricular
concerns (of the drama department)."
Cummings explained the current
cooperation between the two bodies:
"There's a course in the RC drama
concentration called Performance
Workshop, which we try to offer every
two years. It aims to combine student
efforts in acting, directing, and script
writing, in order to make a new play,
with two purposes in mind: 'to find out
things about making new plays and to
produce new plays of some value.
"This year, there wasn't enough in-
terest in the project to do it the way we
do normally (with about 10-15 actors, 4

directors, and 2 or more playwrights),
so I decided to recast the project in a
slightly different form, and just work
with a bunch of actors, myself being the
only playwright and director, and to of-
fer the result to the RC Players to
produce, if they wanted to."
That result is Against Katie Bloom, a
play loosely based on Heinrich Boll's
"The Lost Honor of Katherine Blum."
It is an account of a woman's per-
secution by the sensationalist press, af-
ter it is discovered that she has helped
her lover, a colorful, notorious
fugitive, escape from the law.
The police, indignant that they have
been robbed of their rightful spoils,
arrest Katie as an accomplice. Mean-
while, a reporter picks up on the story,
deems it just right for his readers' early
morning consumption, and gleefully
proceeds to find out or make up the
most sullying possible details about
Katie's life and loves. Katie arranges a
meeting with this reporter, ostensibly
to grant him an exclusive interview,
and shoots him dead. End of story.
This admittedly terse little tale is
enlivened by the intervention in, and
control of, the proceedings by a
narrator figure, who presents the story
as a factual report, and whose tone is
characterized by an ironic,
-dispassionate commentary and a
deliberately non-chronological fashion
of presentation.
"In the movie made several years

ago from the book," said Cummings,
"there was no narrator-the story was
told straight.
"But to me one of the most in-
teresting aspects of the book was the
narrator, who presented the story as a
report. He gives us an objective
recreation, but does so in such a way
that we wonder who he is, and why he
has the point of view that he does.
"The element of the narrator was a
challenge to transfer to the stage,''
Cummings contended, whilst ex-
plaining the attraction the book had for
'It's a story about the
role that the public media
play in the lives of private
citizens ... and about
the origins of violent
behavior.'
--Scott Cummings,
RC Players
director.'

of private citizens, which is never an
irrelevant topic to people today, and
about the origins of violent behavior,
also an endlessly fascinating subject.
Katie is a person one would never think
would commit a murder. Why is she,
driven to it? The audience is constantly
asking questions about what it has just
seen."
As to how the people in Performanc'
Workshop handled the task set before
them:
"We did things first," said Cum-
mings, "the bearing of which may not
have seemed relevant to the play For
example, since having a narrator
necessarily implies an element of nari
tive, we played around with stor$
telling. We also did a bit of iris
provisations, without defining the in
povisations as something in the
play-say, we'd have a scene in a pawn-
shop, or where someone receives an ob-
scene telephone call."
This process of play-making con
tinued for a little over a month, until
March 9th, when the company received
the first half of the script, and parts.
which had not been decided previously,
were assigned upon the arrival of the
second half.
Cummings is enthusiastic about the
present arrangement and confident
that it will work out well. He hopes that
the innovative use of movable flats and
lighting will effectively and memorably
recreate the tattered history of Katie
Bloom.
Performances run April 15-18, at
8:00 p.m. in the East Quad
Auditorium. For more information,
let the intrigued masses contact the
RC Offices at 763-0176.

Tonight, Richard Moore, director of photography for the soon-to-be-released
film Annie, will be present at a free screening of thirty minutes of pre-release
footage at Aud. A, Angell Hall. After the preview, Moore will answer,
questions from the audience.

PLAY
UNIVERSITY PASSWORD

I

him. "Every actor playing a character,
needs to approach that character from
his point of view. A play looks at the
coming-together of points of view of dif-
ferent characters.
"We think a play is inferior if we feel
too evidently the hand of the
playwright," he continued. "But what
happens when there is a character in
the play whose job it is to tell the story?
We wonder, is the character speaking
on his own, or is he expressing the
playwright's point of view? It's an in-
triguing problem, which is part of the
reason that I chose this particular
work.
"Also, it's a story about the role that
the public health media play in the lives

Last week's
UNIVERSITY
PASSWORD
was
THE
MICHIGAN
DAILY

f
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i
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r

I,

Lost week's winners
were:
Doug Holmes
Laura Dunbar

Ffl. & AT
SOLD or Bunthorne's Bride
SOLD Utj presented by
The University of Michigan
Gilbert and Sullivan Society
April 14, 15, 16, 17 1982
'' Lvdia Mendelssohn Theater

Look for clues hidden in the Daily Classifieds page
Tuesday through Friday.

r

A real royal show

'I

For ticket information call 763-1085

f

I. I
wit
ISavings
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LONDON (AP) - Prince Andrew,
the second son of Queen Elizabeth II,
and a helicopter pilot aboard the HMS
Invincible, will emcee a talk show on
the aircraft carrier's closed-circuit
TV station as the vessel steams toward
FREE
John Huston Night
7:00 p.m.: ANNIE clips and
special appearance of ANNIE
cinematographer, Richard
Moore Ponavision inventor.
8:30 p.m.: TREASURE OF
SIERRA MADRE
Tues. Apr. 13, Aud A
Ann Arbor Film Cooperative

the Falkland Islands, press reports said
Monday.
The show, complete with studio
guests and phone-in questions, has been
given the working title of "A Dose of
Andrew," according to reports in The
Guardian and The Sun.
"It is his own idea," said Lt. Nick
Bradshaw ' head of Invincible
Television. "He's areally good sport."
Bradshaw said the idea for the show
followed an appearance by the prince
as a "mystery --guest" on an earlier
program.
"As soon as the crew realized who it
was, the phone never stopped ringing,"'
Bradshaw said. "Andrew answered all
the questions quite frankly, unless they
were too sensitive.
"He's a very understanding bloke
with a great sense of humor-just one of'
the lads."

hiflhIIIII I"

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