8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 1, 1994
By NICOLE BAKER
A children's play? They may be
young adults, but they don't do kiddie
plays. Vitality, enthusiasm and en-
ergy are just some of the key elements
in the Ann Arbor Young Actors Guild.
This weekend at the Performance
Network, the Guild tackles Peter
Hall's adaptation of George Orwell's
"Animal Farm" with a mixture of
youthful talent, adult determination,
discipline and professionalism.
Founded last fall, the Guild is cen-
tered around three theater organiza-
tions: The Lights Up! Company, Fast
Fable Company and the Apprentice
Company. It features players ranging
in age from 6 through early 20's. To
the Guild's credit is last fall's presen-
tation of "The Magic Flute," defi-
nitely not a children's play.
The Guild members have learned
to be flexible, as rehearsal space was
usually in the different basements of
the Guild members. The major re-
hearsal spot was Clonlara School,
where the Guild will be based.
Sue Roe, "Animal Farm" co-di-
rector and Guild founder, discussed
the production. "The innocence of the
kids is being played against the satire
within the play, raising intriguing
questions," she said. Cross-casting
- that is, a boy narrator being played
by a girl - enhances this dichotomy
within the play while maintaining its
cohesiveness with Orwell's novel.
Adapted from Orwell's political
satire, "Animal Farm," the play re-
volves around the lives of the animals
on a farm. The animals revolt against
their mistreatment by the owner.
With the leadership of the pigs,
the animals work together to create a
self-ruled farm. However, after a
leadership struggle things change, and
the pigs begin using the dogs as a
disciplinary force. By the end, the
pigs have become just like the previ-
ous owner, and nothing has changed.
"Animal Farm" is very much an
adult production piece, with all the
intricacies and nuances found within
any political satire. The youth of the
actors and the use of music and move-
ment should provide both an inno-
cence and a fresh prospective.
Co-director Melinda Teter ex-
plained, "Young people are full of
energy and willing to jump in and try
things. They aren't as inhibited as
adults." The production, according
to Teter, is "anything but a typical
Another challenge for these young
actors is that they have to design the
costumes and sets themselves. Uni-
versity student Toni Auletti is assist-
ing with the costumes, which are
minimalist with a black base. There
will be suggestive elements to the
costumes (ears, noses and hoofs), but
the actors will portray the animals
through movement and sound.
The set is also minimalist, with
only elements of a farm. "(It's) like a
child's building block set," Roe said.
With difficult material and con-
cepts, the play should tax the ingenu-
ity of youth, providing fresh insight
into Orwell's political satire.
ANIMAL FARM will be performed
February 4 -13, Thursdays through
Saturdays at 8 p.m. with Saturday
and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. at
the Performance Network (408 W.
Washington), $4-$6. Call 663-0681.
Dance, Dance, Dance
Kadansha International Ltd.
Haruki Murakami's world has al-
ways comprised improbable images
and extraordinary events. In his latest
novel, "Dance, Dance, Dance," this
Japanese author's fictional slices of
reality take on a surreal importance
through his creative characters.
His Everyman-with-no-name has
witnessed an old friend's fiery death,
journeyed to the end of the world (and
returned, only to urinate to the sooth-
ing strains of Ravel's "Bolero" in'an
ultimate climax), and spent an entire
year eating only spaghetti.
Murakami's ironic juxtapositions of
songs and faces, places and events
leave indelible images of what seem
like the products of an alien con-
sciousness that somehow mirrors our
When we return to the main char-
acter, free-lance writer from "A Wild
Sheep Chase," he has returned to a
normal life. Yet the events in his past
still beckon him. Memories of the
Sheep Man, the Dolphin Hotel and
the girlfriend with omnipotent ears
seep through dreams into his reality,
and he knows he must stop their weep-
ing. He wonders, "Why would any-
one want to cry for me?"
Before he finds out, however, the
list of people crying grows. He re-
turns to depths of his past, revisits the
Sheep Man, and a new cast of charac-
ters forms. He is drawn towards odd
companions who somehow always
lead him to his past rather than push
The more eccentric a character is,
the more likely he will serve as a
conduit to reconnect the main
character's memories. Each acts as a
tour guide, propelling him backwards;
even vehicles, ironically, set the stage
for his flashback adventures.
name) soothes the
cries of those whose
memories long for him.
When he understands
their sorrow, he can
finally leave it behind.
Sometimes, these characters show
him periods of his life of rapid change
and havoc. Often, they present all-
pervasive and inescapable visions of
death. His memories of people and
places hang in the air waiting to be
released. His questions linger: Why is
it my job to let these things go? How
are they all related? Why now?
A self-deprecating attitude tem-
pers self-awareness and self-reflex-
ivity, knowing that, like his charac-
ters, he is only shoveling so much
"cultural snow." In "Dance, Dance,
Dance," despite all his grumblings
about the menace of "advanced capi-
talist society," Murakami has cleired
a path for his protagonist to the eid of
his vision. The different characters
nudge him along, pointing out twists
and turns. Murakami himself even
puts in an appearance.
In this way, Murakami distances
Everyman-with-no-name from his
past - as if the passing of time al*
has afforded space. It is in this space
where Murakami allows his charac-
ters to find answers to their questions.
Memories appear as exhibits, only
now he can take the time necessary to
read the placards describing each
event and summarizing his relation-
ships. Given room, his protagonist
can attempt to reassemble his past
into a working order.
"Dance, Dance, Dance" is not*
much a sequel as it is an epilogue.
Confronted mid-life by the reality of
his past, Everyman-with-no-name
must resolve the past before heading
off into new territory. The SheepMan
tells him early on that he is to "Dance
so it all keeps spinning."
Through dancing, he soothes the
cries of those whose memories lo
for him. When he understands
sorrow, he can finally leave it behind.
It is a most enjoyable lesson, filled
with enough adventure that, the
reader doesn't mind learning along
the way. And the reader comes ayvay
from it all feeling reassured, re-
minded by Murakami that the gift of
life is to live.
- Daniel Chud,
Minority students from all majors translate accomplishments,
abilities and attributes into career options for the future
Registration deadline for Winter Term: Wednesday, February 2
CP&P is committed to providing full and equal access
to services. If you need an accommodation or auxiliary
aid, please advise us so that we may work together to
provide the accommodation.
Additional information and
registration forms available from:
32T0 Student Activities Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316/313-764-7460
Career Plannin P'laci ent
A Unit tit Studesnt Attain,
Continued from page 5
murder. Due to a corneal transplant,
she's been given back the ability to
see. Problem is, she's also suffering
from a condition known as "retroac-
tive hallucination." It's a side-effect
of the operation and it means that
sometimes when she looks at some-
thing, her mind won't register it until
a day later. She's also suffering from
hallucinations, due to her traumatic
childhood. So, the basic premise is
did she actually see the killer, or was
it just another hallucination? And if
she did see him, is he now after her,
Yes, your standard thriller, but
Madeleine Stowe, who plays Emma,
gives her so much strength, spunk and
distinct personality of her own that
you can't help but like her and there-
fore care about her well-being. Aidan
Quinn is just enough of a character
actor to give Detective Hallstrom the
depth and quirkiness needed to el-
evate him from the ranks of your
typical tough-but-sensitive cop. And
the real-life band, The Drovers, that
the fictional Emma is a member of,
give a nice, soulful undertow to the
otherwise glossy-gritty reality ofth
Although one of the last scenes
blatantly steals from one of the last
scenes of "Silence of The Lambs,"
(the one that's got an armed Jodie
Foster bumbling about in the dark,
while the armed, useless cops are
bumbling about outside), the film as
a whole boasts an originality, or at
least, an attempt at originality that is
not the norm with your stand.
thriller. Is this enough to make it a
Good Film, independent of its genre?
Well, no, not really. But you gotta
give them credit for trying.
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