The Michigan Daily
Thursday, March 15, 1990
RC Players' Three Sisters plays it traditional
by Justine Unatin
Eric Bogle follows in the steps of Dylan, Baez and Mitchell, singing songs of protest that focus on one or two
subjects rather than hundreds.
Bogle writes real protest songs
by Mark Swartz
Go to the Ark tonight, and take
in Eric Bogle as you would a des-
perately needed breath of fresh air.
The timing couldn't be better.
A certain putrid song called "We
Didn't Start the Fire" clogs up our
airwaves, our music charts and our
concert halls these days. Its sim-
plistic, machine-driven drivel pol-
lutes our sensibilities until some-
how we find ourselves actually
humming its idiotic refrain. Al-
legedly a protest song, since it
sputters some rhymes about the
Suez Canal, J.F.K. and Hula
Hoops and acts truly miffed about
it all, Billy Joel's hit especially of-
fends by refusing to take any kind
of stand about its own blurred bar-
rage of incoherent images.
In purifying contrast, Aus-
tralian/Scottish Eric Bogle writes
protest songs that focus sharply -
sometimes horrifyingly so - on
atrocities of the human condition.
He takes World War I, one of the
most gargantuan topics to be tack-
led, and creates small, intensely
personal stories out of it that con-
vey real messages in simple lan-
"And the Band Played Waltzing
Matilda" is a first person account
of the violent Gallipoli campaign,
in which a sizeable Australian
batallion was decimated. The narra-
tor, a survivor, tells the tale of the
senseless slaughter and its impact
on him with a potent combination
of stoicism and sentiment: "And as
our ship pulled into Circular Key/ I
looked at the place where me legs
used to be/ And thanked Christ
there was nobody waiting for me/
To grieve, and to mourn, and to
pity." More than 100 artists have
interpreted the song since its com-
position in 1972. Makem and
Clancy made it the largest selling
single in Irish history. The
Pogues' master of drunken cere-
monies, Shane MacGowan, gives
it a surprisingly reverent reading on
Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash.
"No Man's Land" (a.k.a. "The
Green Fields of France," a.k.a.
"Willie McBride") captures one
small tragedy of the War To End
All Wars in a monologue addressed
to McBride at his burial site: "I see
by your gravestone you were only
nineteen/ when you joined the
Great Fallen of 1916./ Well I hope
you died quick and I hope you died
clean./ Or Willie McBride, was it
slow and obscene?" It's a haunting
song, also covered by legions of
performers. Bob Dylan, never afraid
to "borrow" words when he writes
a song, quotes a couple of lines
from "No Man's Land" on his
most recent album.
See BOGLE, page 8
IN the spirit of originality, which
characterizes the form and tone of
Anton Chekhov's plays, the Resi-
dential College Players have set their
own precedent with their production
of Chekhov's classic, Three Sisters.
The RC Players have achieved a
break from their traditional perfor-
mances by combining forces with
Basement Arts of the theater depart-
ment. The troupe of carefully se-
lected actors form the ACME Arts
Ensemble. David Leichtman, director
of the Basement Arts as well as
Three Sisters, says that both orga-
nizations were eager to present
something "bigger and better than
ever, that couldn't be done on their
The play presents a slice of the
life of three sisters and their brother,
all of whom struggle daily with the
desire to flee their small, stifling
town and move to Moscow. The
challenge of the play derives from
the constant expressive power of the
language and the carefully plotted
combination of comic and tragic
The collaboration of talent which
has resulted in the inception of the
new ACME ensemble, represents the
first move in a string of new chal-
lenges for the group. Darlene
Zweng, who plays one of the sisters,
Natasha, says many directors have
shied away from Chekhov in the
past because of the difficulty in ef-
fectively conveying the depth of his
characters and expressing humor
through the tension. The challenge
seems to add to Zweng's enthusi-
asm, as well as that of fellow actor
Alexa Eldred, who plays the middle
sister, Masha. Both shower praise
upon director Leichtman, who "stood
up and took a risk" in allowing them
the rewarding opportunity of work-
ing on a play of such high caliber.
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WOMAN ROOMMATE: Own rm. in a two
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Alexa Eldred, Darlene Zweng and Rebecca Novick play the title roles in
the Residential College Players' production of Anton Chekhov's Three
They further praise Leichtman for
listening to suggestions from the
cast and affording them the individ-
ual freedom to develop roles without
preconceived, static expectations.
According to Zweng and Eldred, the
cast was provided with a wealth of
information on the social attitudes
and practices prominent during the
time of the play, in order to enhance
the actors' relationship with their
The play capitalizes on the
ensemble's abundance of student tal-
ent with a large cast, each command-
ing an equal share of the limelight
with their unique concerns and id-
iosyncratic behavior. Women hold
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five of the leading roles, a sizable
representation with respect to moist
plays previously tackled by the RC
While the new troupe and the dif-
ficult material indicate a daring step
for campus theater, the unique quali-
ties of Three Sisters also include a
hint of conservatism atypical of RC
productions. According to Leicht-
man, the play differs from past RC
productions which endeavored to
transform certain aspects of plays in
order to clearly express themes as
signs of the times. Three Sisters
will be performed as written; the
See SISTERS, page 8
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NORTHWEST airlines! Bring your NWA
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TRAVEL, 665-6122, ask for Ann or David.
EUROPE SPECIALS: Amsterdam fr.
$449;Frankfurt fr. $449; G~as ow ft. $469'
London fr. $379; Paris fr. $46 International
Student/Facultjy cards $10. Eurail Flextipass
fr. $198. REGENCY TRAVEL 665-61 2,
Ask for Dan or Deb.
FOR YOUR LOWEST OVERSEAS AIR
FARES ask for Student Travel Network;
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Hong Kon fr. $887; Osaka ft. $919; Seoul
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REGENCY VEL 66 -62.Ask for
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RIDE IN STYLE &AY LESS than the De
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4 -$6hour. C Ron Fredericks @ 769-
RESPONSIBLE COLLEGE STUDENT
wanted part-time (6-8 hrs. per week) to care
for 4 month old baby in my home. Good pay.
Walking or bicycling distance from campus.
SITER FOR TODDLER May-Aug.: Weds.
9-3 & Fri. 8-1; own car, 654719.
STUDENT TYPISTS - Part-time. Very
flexible hours. 75 wpm. Good pay. 668-889g.
SUBS NEEDED for quality child care center.
Will work with our schedule. In 2 hour
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All Land/Water Soorts
Prestige Children's Camps
Adirondack Mountains near Lake Placid
TIMBER LAKE CAMPS located in NY's
Catskill Mountains seek General Counselors,
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Interviews. TOP SALARIES/TRAVEL AL-
LOWANCE. Call 1-800-828-CAMP.
YMCA STORER CAMPS are now accepting
applications for this summer's program. Trip
leaders, counselors, & unit directors are
needed Contact Tammie at 761-3918 for
Universal Publications is seeking high quality
people to assist in the delivery of the washt-
enaw County Area Phone Directory. Delivery
Crews are needed for Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti,
Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Saline,
Brighton, Hamburg Lakeland, Pickney,
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and address. Hard working individuals can
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THE ANN ARBOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
recreation and community education summer
day camp are seeking skilled caring, ener-
getic peopleto serve as camp staff or this
summer s program. Staff positions include
assistant directors and counselors for ele-
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is 8 weeks long,beginning June15 and end-
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Salaries range from $5.42 - 9.00 per hour,
depending upon position and expenence.
Please send cover letter and resume to Janie
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has the following notes avail, at Alpha-
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Bic,100, Bio 224, Bio 325, Class Arch
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396, Econ 401, Geol 100, Geol 101, Geol
106, Geol 107, Geol 110 Geol 112, Geol
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Physics 125, Physics 126, Physics 140,
Physics 240, Physiol 101, Poli Sci 140, Poll
Sci 353, Poli Sci 396 Psych 170, Psych 171
Psych 331, Soc 467, Soc 468. Call 663-6816
DIAL A JEWISH STORY. Another project
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EASTER, WHAT'S IT TO YOU? Informa-
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One stop for everything from the drugstore.
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