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October 29, 1982 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-29
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V U U U w V U I

d oceR



Film Festival
Saturday, Oct. 30

By Joe Hoppe
W HEN YOU were a kid, there
were always basically two kinds
of Halloween activities: the kinds you
thought would be fun (various acts of
vandalism, hanging out in cemeteries,
Conradian unspeakable rites .. .) and
the kind the adults thought you should
participate in to stay out of trouble
(cider, donuts, and costume parties at
some community center, bobbing for
apples at closely supervised house par-
ties, group trick or treating . ..).
In Ann Arbor, you've still got the
same kind of choices, it's just not as ob-
If you want a fairly structured
Halloween, you can go to the
Homecoming-Masquerade Ball at the
Union, or dine out and be entertained by
a magician at Bennigan's; you might
even enter your carefully carved jack
o'lantern in the Ann Arbor Art
Association's Pumpkin Carving Con-
If you'd rather perpetuate the pagan
rites of the Eve of Samhain (ancient
Sumerian name for it) you can go to the
East Quad party, see the musician's
group Nada do their "Dreaming in the

Dark" concerts based on the pagan
idea of Halloween, consume mass
quantities of drugs and go out and
destroy things (legally, the Daily is not
encouraging this practice), go out and
search for Satanic rites and "un-
speakable rituals" on your own, or just
hit the streets and stumble from house
party to house party.
The Halloween bar scene is
somewhere between the two extremes,
usually depending on whether or not the
bar employs bouncers.
No matter what you do, you'll
probably want to dress up, it being a
Halloween tradition and all.
Make Waves (209 S. State) is always
a fairly popular shop for Halloween
paraphernalia. Counterpersons Wendy
and Cris said that pseudo-punk stuff
sells real well this time of year: "We
sell a lot of different colored hair-
sprays, wristbands, sunglasses, for
people who want to be 'cool' but just
aren't. A lot of them are buying those
really thin wrap-around glasses, the
kind that doesn't look good on anyone
bigger than a 10-year-old child. We sell
a lot of buttons too; ones with the word
'fuck' in them are real popular. We sell
some Sex Pistols buttons. People will
wear that stuff for Halloween but never
any time else. People who wish they
were cool." The rubber masks hanging
from all over in the store started selling
well about Saturday.
Lucky Costumes (303 S. Main) is
doing a big business in animal
costumes that average $35 a shot.
They've got gorillas, lions, bears, and
Sesame Street-type characters. Old-

In Room 100 Law School
(Corner of State and Monroe)



Qreo Cookie/ Black Rasberry/Tin Roof/M-& M /Maple
U) 0
z a
c0 0 o0-
) )
Alonur ice creams?
are freshly made
in our store. 3
* Ice Cream CakesQ
*Shakes and Malts
* Banana Splits,
* Sodas and Floats
* Pastries and Candies 0
330S. Main
(between William & Liberty)
tl) ^r
fKahlua N Cream/Mint Chocolate Chip/Italian Ices/ :D

By Mare Hodges
The Amen Corner
Department of Theater and Drama
Mendelssohn Theatre
November 3-6
W THEN IT comes to literary pieces
concerning racial and social
conditions in America, one thinks im-
mediately of the works of James Bald-
win. An acclaimed essayist, novelist,
and playwright, Baldwin has raised
controversial issues regarding these
topics through all his works. The Amen
Corner, which will be performed in the
University's Lydia Mendelssohn
Theater November 3 through 6, proves
to be Baldwin's triumph over obstacles
of racism, guilt, and religion. The play
is to be performed under the direction
of Mikell Pinkney, a University of
Michigan alumnus and now noted New
York director.
Pinkney claims to have been ex-
cited about the prospect of directing
Baldwin's The Amen Corner here in
Ann Arbor, not only because he delights
in being able to produce for the unique,
intellectual audience here at the
University, but also because this par-
ticular play takes on a personal
significance for him.
Mikell Pinkney became involved in
stage work at the age of 6 and went on to
major in theater throughout high
school and college. As a graduate
student, Pinkney came to the Univer-
sity of Michigan and received his
masters in directing and acting. With
acting in mind, he set out for New York
City, where he immediately landed a
position as an artistic director. Pinkney
explained that, at this point, his career
in the professional network had started,
and it was a successful start at that,
however, he further stated that he was
not working in the area of the theater
that he had planned on. Acting had been
his goal, not directing. Pinkney's acting
became secondary to his role as a
director, a situation about which he was
not entirely happy.
Pinkney's desires to act have still
prevailed, even after 6 years of direc-
ting professionally on and off Broad-
way. In the past year and a half
Pinkney has become involved in a
project that will lead to his return to the
theater as an actor, rather than direc-
tor. A playwrighting associate of
Pinkney, recognizing that his excellent
acting talents have not been put to
proper use for some time, has taken on
the project of writing a play about the
life and works of James Baldwin, a play
in which Pinkney has already been
chosen to play the lead.
This project and Pinkney's own per-
sonal experiences are what make
Baldwin's Amen Corner take on a per-
sonal significance for him. The Amen
Corner is a play that deals with life in
the black church and how it represents
for one woman, Margaret Alexander
(played by University student Lun-
deane Thomas), an escape ffrom the
realities she cannot face. Pinkney
believes this play to be a display of
Baldwin's feelings about the fears
caused by racism and its effects on the
black family structure. Margaret feels
oppressed by this racial discrimination
and through her escapism of reality in-

to religion she becomes a domineering
woman, expecting perfection in those
around her. In short, she becomes the
oppressor, on her family and the
congregation she leads. Throughout the
course of the play, however, Margaret
must face inescapable realities and
eventually she comes to grips with her
Pinkney explained that he relates to
the character David in this play,
Margaret's son. David suffers under
the pressures of his mother, who feels
he is attempting to escape her fantastic
realities, simply because he has a
desire to establish himself in a life that
does not coincide with her expectations
of him. Pinkney claims to have ex-
perienced a similar situation in his own
family. Coming from a religiously
oriented background (both his gran-
dfathers were Baptist Ministers),
Pinkney found himself subject to the
same pressures that David has ex-
perienced. Pinkney's entire family for-
ced upon him their desires for him to
become a minister as well. Pinkney
stated further that it is a part of his own
family's "escapist reality" that makes
them believe that he is "running away"
from this religious calling by pursuing
his career in the theatrical arena. For-
tuntely for theater-goers, Pinkney has
decided to continue his theatrical pur-
When asked to state his opinion about
the cast and their progress, Pinkney
expressed excitement and approval. He
admits to having been a little worried in
the beginning about the outcome of this
production, since auditions drew only 12
principles while 14 were needed.
However, Pinkney's experience as a
director saved him from suffering
through panic in such a situation.
Pinkney had worked with some of these
people previously and knowledge of
their style, as well as his own experien-
ce, nave proved a positive force in
determining that the play will be a
great success. Pinkney went on to say
that he feels this production will be one
of his better works. He feels closely
related to the play itself, as well as to
the cast and James Baldwin. These
close relationships have served to
provide Pinkney with the comfortable
working atmoshpere he feels is
necessary in order to produce a suc-
cessful play and as a result he is com-
pletely satisfied with the progress that
has been made.
Pinkney came to Ann Arbor from
New York, where he was involved in the
middle of production week on a play
that opened at the beginning of the
month, so rehearsals, which usually
run for 6 weeks, were shortened to 4
weeks. This did not prove to be a hin-
derance, however. Pinkney had been

U'li Ed)43u
'I1 e £tti~an tailg

Pinkney: Alumni director
working with new and unproduced
scripts in New York and to be able to
take up production of Baldwin's work
was a refreshing break. The cast's
tremendous progress, "inspired by
Mikell's enthusiasm" as Ms. Thomas,
who plays the lead as Margaret
Alexander, stated, is much greater
than any had expected. Thomas also
stated that "the accomplishments that
have been made and the goals that have
been reached were previously thought
unattainable, let alone in such a short
time span." Both Thomas and Pinkney
were assuring that no one was suffering
- from opening night apprehensions since
such progress has been made.
Pinkney's only complaint about
working in the educational arena is that
he feels there is not enough time to per-
form. In New York, he became ac-
customed to 2 to 3 weeks of preview
before a play opened officially, but here
in Ann Arbor he is only given 3 to 4
nights of performance. Because of the
amount of effort that each member has
put into this production, Pinkney ex-
pressed dismay that perhaps the
audience would not appreciate their ef-
forts, nor would the cast have enough
time to gain proper recognition and ac-
Thomas expressed delight in just
being able to work under the direction
of Pinkney, despite the short amount of

time they ha
with him as
aware of Pini
under his d
educational e:
she has devek
of this Thoma
honored to hav
Both Thoma
rave about the
presented in th
ds to the dran
Finally, Pin
that Baldwin's
derful literary
piece . . . it
moving piece
performed." T
one time fo
developed as
causing strong
feels that thisa
as its literary
major impor
University stu
Baldwin has r
issues of racisi
America in a
aware of thei
Pinkney's pr
Amen Corner
of the message
to convey.

Amen Corner: Harlem struggles

4 Weekend/October 29, 1982

17 Weel

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