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December 07, 1990 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-12-07

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ARTS
Friday, December 7, 1990

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

ape, retaliation taken to Extremities
by Elizaeth Lenhard _

"Raul has a certain devil-may-
care variety of humor, but it's not
for the sake of making mirth, but to
turn people around, give doubt, di-
ade, manipulate and finally destroy.
e... represents the men who know
the law and how to beat the system.
I Have observed it countless times in
courts and who does not like it,
don't kill me. I'm only the messen-
ge.
,Raul is the rapist that writer
William Mastrosimone describes in
the afterward of his play Extremities
performed this weekend by the RC
*layers. The play's action, while in-
credibly complex in its realm of in-
terpretation, is simple in construc-
tion. Marjorie is home alone. Raul
walks into her home and attempts to
rape her. A violent struggle leaves
Raul blindfolded and bound in Mar-
jorie's fireplace. Raul vows to have
Marjorie sent to prison for commit-
ting assault and battery, and
& hreatens her with his violent
venge.
Marjorie, feeling she has no other
choice, prepares to kill Raul. When
her roommates arrive home, their
perception of the situation dwindles
from compassion for Marjorie, to
horror at her actions, to fear for their
own legal rights, to accusations
against Marjorie for encouraging her
attack. The result is defeat for all
*arties involved.
The play's action can be inter-
preted in several ways. It is not a
classic repartee between victim and
villain. Andrew Inman, director of
Extremities, states his opinions on
the characterizations.
"The movie Extremities was a
sensationalistic view of rape, and the
play is more about personal interac-
tion." Therefore, Inman felt it was
rucial to the play's success that au-
diences be able to "get past the rape
scene." "If the audience doesn't get
past the shock of the rape scene,

New troupe does fables of
the reconstruction
by Mike Kolody
Ultra hip animal: they've got 'em. Far more vogue than Big Bird...
groovier than Grover... more sensical than Superman. Yes, it's true -
these animals are so keen that the Mutant Ninja Turtles seem like
nothing more than silly dimwits with numchucks. "Come off that hare
stuff!" screams a most emphatic rabbit, "R-A-Gimme a B. R-A-B.
Gimme another B. R-A-B-B-I. What's that spell ? R-A-B-B-I-T. RABBIT!
Voila! U of M Children's Theater proudly presents The Fabulous
Fable Factory by Joseph Robinette: unabashedly not for adults, and
certainly, then, a lot of fun.
An innocent, young hero, Millicent (Elizabeth Keiser), exhibiting
purity a la Little Red Riding Hood, stumbles into a rather mysterious
fable machine that, as one might expect, makes up fables.
Surrealistically speaking, this is Aesop's fable machine, and like the nice
guy that one would expect Aesop to be, he shows Millicent how to work
it - an action that leads to many a fantastic, contemporary tale which is
brought to life on stage. With segments titled "The Character Conceiver"
and "Pluto the Plot Plotter," the fable machine is an interesting device on
its own, churning out old stories like "The Tortoise and The Hare" and
"The City Mouse and The Country Mouse" in a humorously modern
way.
Unfortunately, there's a problem with all this fun, as the fable
machine is missing a very important part: a moral maker. It just so
happens that Millicent has a marvelous talent for making morals. The
struggle centers around the following question: should she stay, or should
she go?
Created to perform for little kids like Millicent, U of M Children's
Theater is a newly-formed student organization specifically designed to
create drama for disadvantaged children in the Ann Arbor area. "We hope
to offer children an escape from the stress of unfortunate situations such
as abuse, handicaps and poverty," reads the group's statement of purpose.
So far the group has performed at places like Parkridge Community
Center, Motts Children's Hospital and Ronald McDonald House, and all
the shows were performed for free.
THE FABULOUS FABLE FACTORY will be performed this afternoon
at 5 p.m. in the Arena Theater in the Frieze Building. There is no charge
for admission. Bring the kiddies.

Anne Genson and Anthony Bedwell rehearse the rape scene in Extremities. Proceeds for Sunday's performance
will be donated to SAPAC.

they will miss the rest of the play's
message. They aren't going to react
to it."
Inman didn't make clear what he
felt the "message" was, but he did
add that he felt the play's flaw was
that the brutality of the rape scene,
which occurs at the play's begin-
ning, hinders the audience from feel-
ing sympathy for the rapist and dis-
gust at Marjorie's retaliation. The
reason for this aberration is that "the
situation is unreasonable, how many
times would (the victim reversing
the assault) actually happen?"
Perhaps fair and equal represen-
tation was Inman's intention. The
result, however, favors the rapist by
giving him an "out" of insanity.
"Raul is aberrant, fictionalized,
deranged. You can excuse anything
he does because mentally, he's out
of it," Inman said, adding that he
views Marjorie's increasingly des-

perate and violent behavior as "Raul
bringing himself out in Marjorie."
But in the face of Raul's assault,
verbal harassment and threats, Mar-
jorie's response seems logical. In-
man infers that he believes when
Marjorie adopts Raul's terrorist tac-
tics, she is herself becoming a
rapist.
Anne Genson's performance as

Marjorie is not an echo of Anthony
Bedwell's hyperactive dramatics as
Raul. Rather, Genson realistically
depicts the feelings of a woman who
feels she is left no other choice than
to counteract the rapist's attack in
her own self- defense. She feels she
is trapped, literally, as illustrated
when Marjorie backs herself into a
See EXTREMITIES, Page 7

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December 7

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