Page 8 -The Michigan Daily-Thursday, October 8, 1987
eavens ort hes confront suicide
By Debra Chesnin
"People don't realize that teen
suicide is such an epidemic."
It was with this thought in mind
that Mark Taylor decided to form the
group Students Against Suicide last
SAS, a group of students and
concerned adults, meets weekly to
discuss problems and feelings about
suicide. They will be sponsoring a
play entitled Heaven's Just North of
Here which will be performed by
members of SAS at the Ann Arbor
"Y" tomorrow night.
The play is about a teenage girl
who, after committing suicide, dis-
covers the pain she has inflicted
upon herself and everyone close to
her by listening to their feelings as
they pass her coffin. Ultimately, she
concludes that it was because she
cut off all lines of communication
that she felt her only outlet tvas
The play will be followed by a
workshop/discussion conducted by
Molly Hardy, the author of the play.
The message of the play, ac-
cording to Huron High School
sophomore Jen Hawloy, is to "com-
municate with the people around
you. In the end, things really do
work out." Hawloy, one of the
students featured in the play, says
that she considered suicide once
before joining SAS.
Not everyone in SAS, however,
is involved because they have con-
templated suicide. Some members of
the group, such as Dan Howard, a
senior at Huron High School who is
also performing in the play, has
"never thought about it (suicide).
I'm here to help other people."
The troupe says that they have
had positive feedback from audience
members who feel they have been.
helped by the performance. Taylor,
the only "adult" in the play said
"there was a girl who saw the play at
a church in Birmingham who,
afterwards,, said that she had been
planning to kill herself that night,
but, because of our play, decided not
Reasons such as this were in-
centive for actor/director/playwright
John-Michael Jones to direct Heav-
en's Just North of Here. "I had a
problem with that (suicide) as a teen
and directing the play has helped me
a lot," says Jones. "It has been a
beautiful opportunity for cleansing
Jones, a native of Ann Arbor who
had been "trying his luck" in New
York, decided to take a couple of
years off to come to Ann Arbor and
launch a one-act play that he had
written. "I happened to be in the
Frieze Building when I saw a sign
up that said they needed a director
(for Heaven's )."
Although Jones admits that the
people performing the play are "not
professional actors or actresses," he
adds that "they have a reservoir of
experience which correlates to the
material in the play."
Whether the play is a dramatic
masterpiece or not, Evie Gauthier, a
staff psychologist at University
Counselling Services and former
supervisor of 76 Guide (student
telephone counselling service), feels
that seeing the play and participating
in the workshop can be very ben-
"Usually such plays are suc-
cessful,.especially when there is a
situation in which afterwards you
can share your feelings and talk
through a few of your emotions,"
says Gauthier. "By knowing that
this is something that other people
have gone through, it can make
people who are contemplating sui-
cide feel less isolated."
HEAVEN'S JUST NORTH OF
HERE will be performed tomorrow
night at the Ann Arbor Y. Show-
time is 7 p.m. with a discussion
following; all are invited to attend.
By Jennifer Kohn
Sunday, Oct. 11, 1:30 p.m.
Michigan League Studio
Call 973-3264 for Info
A funny thing's happening at
the Mendelssohn Theatre. Stephen
Sondheim's A Funny Thing Hap-
pened on the Way to the Forum is
opening tonight. Directed and Chor-
eographed by Tim Millett, this is
the University Musical Theater's
opening show for 1987.
This farsical classic, written in
the burlesque tradition, combines the
talent of the performers and an
efficient energetic production. It is
the story of the first forum, set in
200 B.C. in the streets of Rome.
Millett is a ten year veteran of
Broadway and television and is a
lecturer and instructor in the dance
department at the University's
School of Music.
"The variety of roles incorporates
an ensemble cast of 18," he ex-
plains. "There is no star. The
technical simplicity (one set and few
costume changes) draws attention to
the training of the performers. They
all have to sing, dance, and act."
Burlesque humor is basic to
American society drawing on its
weakness for parody and caricature.
There is certain irony to applying
this American humor to a n
otherwise historical context.
"The audience can't help but
laugh," he says. "The play's basic
humor draws on the American way
of thinking. This production of
Sondheim's first play of both music
and lyrics is a physical as well as
Millett 'is pleased to open the
season for University Productions.
He feels that the summer break has
brought back fresh talent and has.
rejuvenated interest in the work of
his cast. This fresh, innovative
production of a musical theater
classic should prove to start the Ann
Arbor theater season off with both
hilarity and quality.
A FUNNY THING HAP-
PENED ON THE WAY TO THE
FORUM will be performed at the
Mendelssohn Theatre tonight
through Saturday at 8 p.m. and
Sunday at 2 p.m.
(Continued from Page 7)
D:What about Bon Jovi?
H: Well he's got the same
songwriting partner as Paul Stanley
(of Kiss) has had for the last five
years, so I won't bag on him: Some
people hate him. He's just there. He
has one of the worst images in rock.
111 give him that.
D: A lot oftmetal bands wear
spandex these days. Do you guys?
H: I wear patch work ones this
dude makes .me. I know they're
embarrassing and silly and all but...
It's like wearing nylon shorts when
yotu run versus wearing some
wretched junior high school, big,
cotton things. They dry off quickly,
your not wet and cold, and they stay
D: So it's for practical reasons
and not appearance?
H: Yeah.Well the ones I have are
really cool and colorful, though.
D: So what is it about the '70s?
H: It's sorta like what y'all grew
up with, you know. And so it's
what's put in your face and what you
know comfortably and warm or
something sad like that. It's all
colorful and warm, I guess.
D: But you didn't get into disco,
H: No that's not a security
blanket. Maybe something stylish
like solo Barry Gibb or something.
D: What about The Brady
H: They're there, they're
awesome! EvePlum is one of the
most beautiful girls to walk the
planet. This is true! I'd give my
wisdom teeth for her!
D: What can the Ann Arbor
audience expect from your show?
H: Kind of like sonically bowled
over, you know? It's like, go there
with all your inhibitions dropped.
That's the jist of it. You gotta be
free, peace lovin', and beautiful.
Pedd Kross will play the Blind
Pig tonight with the Detroit band
the Colors. Cover is $6.
Fatu Eric Clapton-Robert Cray' Etta James -Julian Lennon" Keith Richards "Linda Ronstadt
Impact Jazz Dance
October 8 & 9
Michigan Union Ballroom
both days are mandatory
9-11:00 a.m. CCRB
for more info call 763-1107