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September 20, 1990 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-20

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The Michigan Daily

Thursday, September 20, 1990

Page 5


Two can fry and boil

The cage of Enlightenment

ky Michael Ja

my Leizerman

Katherine Mansfield's works often
explore isolation and missed
opportunities, especially in the lives
of women. Fried or Boiled, a play
written by Mansfield and inspired by
Katherine Fullbrook's short story
"The Daughters of the Late
Colonel," is a macabre comedy/
movement-based theater piece that
examines the quality of life of two
sisters following the death of their
autocratic father. The sisters want to
give their father a funeral without
going to any great expense, but are
both comically and tragically uncer-
tain about taking any action without
first receiving their father's permis-
sion. Idiosyncrasies and everyday si-
tuations are exaggerated to expose
the human condition through com-
Uncertainty about the details of
their father's funeral and burial is
only one of many topics about
which the two sisters are in a state
of indecision. On a broader level the
play deals with the lack of freedom
the sisters experience.
Hilary Ramsden and Jude Winter
comprise Dorothy Talk, the troupe
performing Fried or Broiled.
Ramsden says in this play there is "a
great emphasis on ensemble work
and on perspective of movement."
Unlike much of theater today, body
language is at least as important as
spoken content and much of re-
hearsal time is spent perfecting this
visual aspect. She likens Dorothy
Talk's on-stage performance to a
game of hide-and-go-seek: "When
you are a child hiding, you know
you are going to be found but at the
same time you fear being found."
Ramsden and Winter's performance
style is very similar to Detroit's
Theatre Grottesco, a popular troupe
that also emphasizes movement and
has played at the Performance Net-
work in the past.
Both Ramsden and Winter have

by Peter Shapiro
Presumably, America is the em-
bodiment of Enlightenment thought.
But this is a nation of non-thinkers
who prize innocence over curiosity.
Thus, the Enlightenment quest to
find the rational mathematic rules
that govern the earth - in order to

Hilary Ramsden and Jude Winter of Dorothy Talk, a theater company
emphasizing movement over dialogue, will perform Fried or Boiled at the
Performance Network, Sept. 20-30.

free human beings from the fear of
the unknown - has led to the patri-
archal enshrinement of the intellect.
Subsequently, it has entailed the
emasculation of "irrational" feeling
and childlike wonderment but, more
insidiously, it has also created that
uniquely American form of hypocrit-
ical suppression of everything that is
dangerous or threatening or un-
known. This treachery against hu-
manity is no longer a sly little imp
hovering around imperceptibly. It
has now turned into a carefully con-
structed campaign to keep the feared
elements from destroying America's
Father Knows Best Garden of Eden.
The problem is, of course, that it
is not the unknown that is feared, it
is the undesired. These unwanted
elements are not necessarily homo-
sexuals, African Americans, drug
users, or other "marginal" elements
of society, but, rather, the parts that
the majority of Americans refuse to
admit exists in themselves. Re-
sponses to this fear in the past have
been the genocide of an entire race of
people, the enslavement of another,
and, now that it is impossible to get
away with these forms of enlight-
ened behavior, censorship.
Last summer, following a Par-
ents' Music Resource Center advi-
sory about the violence contained in
the lyrics of some N.W.A. songs,
the F.B.I. wrote a memo concerning
their song "--- tha Police." The
memo confirmed the fact that the
reason N.W.A. was being blacklisted
was not the violent lyrics that would
offend some listeners, but rather that
the political beliefs espoused were
unsavory. But the fear of N.W.A.
goes even deeper than songs about
turning the tables on cops, it is a
symptom of race relations that has
existed since the first colonialists set
foot on the "Dark Continent."
The numerous insecurities that
white people keep hidden in the
cloak of intellect and "civilized" be-
havior have been projected on the
"Black savage" for centuries because
they needed scapegoats for their re-

fusal to confront them head on. It is
a fear that this is some of the most
powerful music ever recorded. But its
power resides not only in the mu-
sic's dogged aggression and pure
physical force, but in its universal-
ity. Everyone relates to N.W.A. on
one level or another; not necessarily
to the socio-economic reality that it
expresses, but the music's passions,
desires, and shortcomings.
This is the point that critics like
Nelson George have missed about
N.W.A.'s music. Conjuring up im-
ages of Klansmen sitting around the
stereo laughing about the tales of
Blacks cruising around the ghetto
shooting other Blacks, he was
alarmed that more white critics liked
N.W.A. than a mainstream rapper
like Kool Moe Dee. The attraction
of N.W.A.'s music comes from
Eazy-E boasting, "I just smoke
mutha-fuckas like it ain't no thang,"
or Ice Cube flipping the bird to ev-
ery auhtority figure in the world
when he says, "Everywhere we go
they say damn/ N.W.A.'s fuckin' up
the program." In the latter half of the

20th century, we're all pretty much a
nihilistic lot, and it's much more
productive that someone can vent
this anger by popping in the tape
and cruising around with a trunk of
funk than by castrating Jesse Helms
or "Papa Doc" Bush (as if it was
What male doesn't indulge in the
fantasy of mad, violent, wandering,
lustful, roManson that Eazy-E ex-
presses so well when he declares,
"You think I give a damn about a
bitch/ I ain't a sucka?" America is
much more afraid of its first-class ci-
tizens coming to grips with this
aspect of their psyche than by the
anguished cry of its population of
impotent Black men.
N.W.A. taps brilliantly into the
myths of Stagger Lee, Shine, Jack
Johnson and Muhammad Ali -
tales that were created to give
Eldridge Cleaver's Black Eunuch a
vehicle of power in a society where
all forms of "legitimate" expression
of humanity were taken away, leav-
ing only a coiled snake filled with
See STATE page 8

* *******************


studied in Paris and London with
Philippe Gaulier and Monika Pag-
neux. Fried or Boiled opened in
April of this year at the Kendall In-
ternational Festival of Dance, Mime,
and Visual Theatre. It has played
throughout England and will con-
tinue to tour the U.S. and Europe
through 1991.

FRIED OR BOILED is playing
Sept. 20-30 on Thursdays,
Fridays and Saturdays at 8: p.m.
and Sundays at 6:30 p.m. It is
playing at the Performance
Network, 408 W. Washington.
Tickets are $10, general
admission, $7 for students and

AT 7:30A.M.

The U of M Gilbert and Sulli-
van Society is holding auditions for
the fall productions of Princess Ida
today from 6-10:30 pm in the
Michigan League Studio (basement.)
For more information call the
UMGASS office at 761-7855.
Mass meeting today for the
Comedy Company, the University
Activities Center's sketch comedy
troupe, in the Michigan Union
Kuenzel Room at 7:30 pm. Audi-
tions will be on Sept. 24th-26th for
actors. Call the UAC at 763-1107

for more information. All interested
writers and performers are encouraged
to attend the first writers' meeting
on Sept. 24th at 7 pm in the UAC
Auditions for the Basement
Arts production of Seascape With
Sharks and Dancer by Don Nigro
will be held today Sept. 20th from
6-8 pm in the Frieze Building,
Room 2528. Sign up sheets are in
the Green Room on the first floor,
and scripts are available in the
Theater Office, 2541 Frieze. For

more information call Mark Wilson
at 998-1769.
The University Activities
Center's Soph Show is holding
auditions for Sweet Charity this
weekend. Auditions are open for first
and second year students only. Sign
up for auditions times and places at
the UA C offices, 2nd floor of the
Union. For more information call

I * * * *


Write with us
Call 764-0552



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Order your college ring NOW.
Stop by and see a Jostens representative,
Monday, Sept. 17 thru Friday, Sept. 21,
11:00a.m. to 4:00.m.,

FRIDAY * 9-21-90

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