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February 18, 1987 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

ARTS

The Michigan Ddily Wednesday, February 18, 1987 Page 8

The

By Lauren Schreiber
A moon, a tree, and a few people
on the side of the road waiting for
Godot. With these simple elements,
Nobel prize-winning Samuel Beck -
ett creates a story of man's inhum-
anity and insignificance. Project
Theatre and director John Russell
Brown will present the modern
classicWaiting For Godot to the
University community tonight
through Thursday.
This is Brown's second time di -
recting Godot. The first time,
almost thirty years ago, Brown used
a circus tent as the set, with sand
on the floor, Pozzo as ringmaster,
and the others as clowns. Feeling
that this left little to the imag-

wait's
ination, this time Brown is leaving
the interpretation more in the hands
of his audience.
He chose to do the work again,
he explained, partly to see what the
play animates today. "The material
is very precious," said Brown, "To
share in Beckett's fiction is enliv-
ening." The actors share Brown's
enthusiasm.
"It is an incredibly resonant
play," said William Cardon, who
plays Estragon. "You can't act on
interpretation. In acting, it doesn't
necessarily help you to understand
the intellectual meaning [of the
play]."
Godot will be performed at the
Power Center, a relatively large
theatre for a play with such a small
cast. "Normally, Godot is done on

over:

'Godot'

a teatray," Brown said. He laughed.
"I exaggerate. A tabletop, perhaps."
Pamela Howard, the designer for the
Royal Shakespeare Company in
Britain, designed both the costumes
and the set for the production.
Brown describes the set as a sort of
"world" environment for the actors,
appropriate for the theme of man's
insignifcance in the vastness of the
universe. Carden says, "As strenu -
ous as it is to work on, the set is-
remarkable."
Godot is Project Theatre's sec -
ond production of the school year.
The company presents the
University community with the rare
opportunity of sharing the actual
making of theatre as well as the
final outcome. Behind the stage
lights, costumes, and makeup lie

the reality of theatre - the
discoveries made in the rehearsal
process. It is this reality that
Project Theatre strives to bring to
the University.
As Artistic Director, Brown
coordinates with other departments
of the University. Brown and
several cast members have given
lectures in classes studying the play
and/or theatre in general. Further,
students from various theatre
courses have been invited to an
open rehearsal so they can observe
the rehearsal process. Barry
Goldman, who plays Lucky, thinks
well of Project Theatre's aims. "It
is an extension of education that
is...essential," he said. "School can
really be isolated from the real
world." Also a visiting teacher of

beginning acting and movement,
Goldman explained Project Theatre
as a way to "practice what you
preach - it ties up a lot of
mysterious loose ends."
Brown believes the involvement
of professionals is important to the
learning process. As the only pro -
fessional company in Ann Arbor,
Project Theatre serves a different
purpose than do the other
companies in town. It is more
possible to open up the work to
inquiry - "even while the work is
cooking," according to Brown. As
for the actors, they are more
accessible to students in a
University atmosphere. Here, they
are temporarily separated from the
daily pressuresof their professional
lives.

to

pen
Project Theatre's production of
Godot goes beyond an evening's
entertainment. Possibly the most
important drama of the century, the
play demands performance to be,
appreciated. According to Brown,
"not to have seen Waiting for
Godot is ridiculous, because - it's
there."
Tonight's performance is a
special faculty/student preview
(admission $3). The show opens to
the public on Thursday and
continues through Sunday. All
performances begin at 8p.m. at the
Power Center, except Sunday's
which begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are
$12.50 to $6, $3 for students and
are available at the Michigan '
League Ticket Office or call 764-
0450.

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Q77

Deaf actors communicate ideas

By Amy Hunter
Sitting in the Mendelssohn
Theatre last Sunday evening,
waiting for The National Theatre of
the Deaf to begin its presentation of
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, I

felt as though I was in a foreign
country that used a completely
incomprehensible language. All
around me, hands were moving
quickly yet gracefully as the deaf
members of the audience 'chatted'
before the start of the performance.
Excluded from their conversations, I

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was shut out by hands that seemed
to be making random motions in
the air.
Once the play began, however,
something magical happened.
Suddenly, as one performer signed
while another narrated verbally, I
could actually 'hear' the sign
language. The movements no
longer seemed random, but had
separate and distinct meanings. For
the duration of the play, I had
become literate in another language.
From the onset, there was some -
thing mystical about the play. The
stage was filled with a glowing
blue light that remained throughout
the performance. The minimum of
scenery and props directed the
audience's attention to the actors
and the story being unfolded
through their motions.
The play centers around a deaf-
mute, John Singer. When his only
friend is placed in an institution, he
packs his bags and travels to
another town. There, he becomes a
sort of confidante to a variety of
troubled characters. He never offers
them advice but listens to them
with his heart.
The problem remains, however,
EUR111PE &alA-

that they cannot communicate with
each other. Singer, lonely and mis-
understood, eventually takes his
own life. None of the townspeople
can understand why his does this,
thus demonstrating the true
problems of communication be--.,
tween them all.
Director J. Ranelli smoothly
interlocks the vignettes that lead up
to Singer's dramatic and disturbing
death. The audience truly feels that
they come to know each and every d
character, though most never speak
All are extremely realistic characters
that portray emotions that most can
sympathize with.
Though the characters are:
isolated in their loneliness, the
actors themselves work extremeley
well together. Particularly outstand-
ing were Adrian Blue as the lonely
John Singer and Elena Blue as.
Mick Kelley, a tomboy who dreams
of becoming a famous conductor.
Though its overall theme was
one of universal loneliness, The"
Heart is a Lonely Hunter was an,
uplifting experience. It eloquently
showed that a troupe of deaf actors
can in fact communicate both
between themselves and more
impor-tantly, to the audience, both

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