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October 13, 1994 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Relive childhood.
Trick or treat
When I was a little girl, there
wasn't much to worry about. Mom
packed my lunch everyday. I always
had friends to play with at recess.
Little in life was complicated.
But, there was always one deci-
sion which wracked my childhood
brain for months. What was I going
to be for Halloween?
More often then not my mom
Would decide for me based on which

............ F PJ U II I I .

costume she had time to make. Be-
cause °I have a younger sister, our
costumes would usually correspond
some way. One year Kate went as
cowgirl and I went as an Indian,
then it was a pair of witches, then
fairy princesses - you get the idea.
Halloween was always a big holi-
day at my house. My mom would
never let us go trick or treating until
we had eaten dinner. This usually
took twice as long because we spent
so much time protesting that the candy
ould be gone if we didn't leave
4ght then.
Things have changed since the
days when I went trick or treating.
Now children have to worry about
which houses they go to, being out
alone and whether or not their candy
is safe. And if that isn't enough, even
costumes are at issue.
I was reading a column by Free
Press columnist Susan Watson last
ek in which she was talking about
"'ilitically correct costumes. Appar-
ently there are some people who are
upset about children wearing non-pc
costumes. Those bum and gypsy cos-
tumes of yore are now raising ques-
tions for parents and teachers. I guess
my Indian costume would raise a few
eyebrows today.
Watson asserted that it is ridicu-
us to expect children to live up to a
vel of political correctness, espe-
cially on this particular holiday. I
agree. Children should just be kids
and have fun. They should stretch
their imaginations and dress as what
they want. They should be dragons
and grapes and whatever else, pc or
not.
And we college students should
follow suit. I think that college cam-
*ses should start getting back into
the spirit of Halloween. Trick or treat-
ing is a lost art. We need to recapture
the joy we had as children as we sat
around for hours, after begging from
our neighbors, sorting our heaps of
candy.
Remember how fun it was to fig-
ure out which neighbors had the good
stuff and which gave out those nasty
anut butter candies wrapped in or-
geand black? We could return to
those days once again.
Don't you remember parties
where the highlight was bobbing for
apples or trying to bite a doughnut off
of a string? And don't forget the
haunted houses with peeled grapes
for eyeballs and cold spaghetti for
brains.
And there were always those fami-
s in the neighborhood who tried to
scare the pants off the innocent little
children who dared to approach their
home. One family where I live would
go completely overboard with the
scariness. They would shoot smoke
out of windows as loud haunted house
music screeched from under the porch
and a skeletal hand reached out to
grab unsuspecting children. It used
scare me to tears but it was worth
These were simple pleasures but
golden ones. I can remember every
Halloween costume I ever wore. I
remember making myself sick on
candy and loving every minute of it.

MOLLY STEVENS/Daily

Pu -UfrnIi ogef-her
Behind-the-scenes at "Sunday in the Park with George"
By Melissa Rose Bemardo

Above: the full painting
' Below: Georges (Adam Hunter) and Dot
(Whitney Allen)

S unday in the Park with
George" is a show about
the life of the artist, and
the creative process in
which he is embroiled.
But it is a show as much about artists
on the stage as about artists off stage.
Behind the scenes lie several art-
ists of design, whose sole responsi-
bility is to make the stage space as
accurate, workable and beautiful as
possible. You never see these people,
for they finish their work before the
show goes up. But you see the fruits
of their labor, and in "Sunday in the
Park with George," that fruit is abun-
dant.
"Sunday" makes extremely heavy
demands on designers, requiring a
spatially-accurate design, large
amounts of pointillist painting, and a
little 20th century technical wizardry
to boot. Venturing into the wings, we
can witness the minds behind the
design, and their task of putting "Sun-
day" together.
All of the painting and technical
aspects grow out of a single design
concept which comes from the set
designer's vision. That vision came
from New York-based designer and
University alum (M.F.A. Theatre
Design '89) Eric Renschler.
"The reason ("Sunday") interested
me so much is because stylistically
it's very different from the way I
F -

normally work, meaning it's very tra-
ditional, flat, painted scenery, wings
and borders, very flat cutouts that fly
in, move on. That's not the way I
usually approach (design)," Renschler
explained. "My style is generally
more sculptural and more
minimalistic."
"Sunday" is written to take its
design directly from Georges Seurat's
painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the
Island of La Grande Jatte." Therefore
in the beginning stages of design
Renschler had to approach the design
in a way he never had to approach a
show.
"I took the painting and made
multiple xerox copies in a quarter-
inch scale to this theater, so I sized
those, xeroxed multiple copies and
just cut them up, cut the painting up,
put it into layers and then from that I
refined it.
"I used that to get my rough shapes
and proportions, then from that I went
to drafting and to a half-inch model
and a painted model.
The design is not an actual repre-
sentation of the painting; that would
be nearly impossible because of the
varying perspectives in the painting,
so adaptations had to be made.
After several consultations with
director Brent Wagner, Renschler's
designs were passed on to the paint-
ers, lighting and costume designers
and electricians. Renschler checked
up now and then, but was not in Ann
Arbor when the bulk of the work was
being completed.
"The only thing that concerned
me (about working out of New York,"
he continued, "was when I sent the
drawings out and it was costed out, I
was a little worried that we would
have more than they budgeted. We
had to make a few compromises here
and there but most of the original
design was there."
Renscler acknowledges that his
design - predominantly Act One -
bears a strong resemblance to the
Original Broadway design. "If you
compare the two they're very similar,
but I arrived at this design not by
fr. ,nct to nvuntP thtibo 1%t Iby;trx,,nn ft

Above: the chromolume effect
Below: the soldier and a portal

Sunday challenges
cast, audiences
By MELISSA ROSE BERNARDO
nce again the Musical
Theatre Program (MTP)
is taking on a great challenge.
For their fall opener they are performing
one of the most difficult and one of the
most beautiful shows in the American
musical theater, Stephen Sondheim and
James Lapine's "Sunday in the Park with
George." This weekend at the
Mendelssohn Theatre, the MTP will tackle
Sondheim's fantasy recreation of an artist
and his work, which concurrently exam-
ines the creative process itself and the
challenges a 20th century artist faces.
"Sunday" looks at the life of Georges
Seurat, the pioneering artist who invented
and made famous the technique of
pointillism, painting with minuscule dots.
Opening in 1884, the first act focuses
particularly on the creation of his master-
piece, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island
of La Grande Jatte," the mammoth (6' 0"
X 10' 3/8") work which hangs in the Art
Institute of Chicago. The characters with

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