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September 18, 1997 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-18

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1O8 - The Michigan Daily Weekend Magazine - Thursday, September-18, 1997

9

The Michigan Daily Weekeid Magazi

{ eb i4 R * s }q e f s k_.

I

N ETWORK
Continued ten Page 78
blindness, and the happiness she has come to know
in "her wodd." One of the most poignant moments
of the play occurs as Molly describes the thrill of
swimming. Her mounting excitement creates a role
reversal, as the audience begins to see how those
with sight are the disadvantaged because they can-
not derive the same pleasure from life as Molly.
Mr. Rice (Mark Rademacher) equals Mollys
enthusiasm for life with bitterness. As he speaks
about Molly surgery, the audience learns about his
wife who left him, and they watch as he slowly
drains the bottle on his desk. By the play's end, it
becomes difficult to decide if one should pity or

detest Mr. Rice. Rademacher creates a complex
character struggling with the essential question of
life: What is true happiness?
in contrast, Frank Sweeney (Malcolm Tulip),
caught in a slump of ill-fated business schemes such
as importing Iranian sheep,
intertwines comic relief with
drama. Frank determination to
restore Molly's sight eventually M
creates the condition that tears
her apart. Frank represents the
childlike desire to make every- at 8
thing right; he never thinks of
the consequences of his actions. This naivete sets
him apart from both Molly and Mr. Rice, and his
performance is strong throughout.

c
Bp.

Perhaps as impressive as the performance itself is
the new professional status of the theater. The Small
Professional Theater Contract with the national
Actors Equity association increases the quality of
Network performances. "Molly Sweeney" marks
the Performance Network's
first professional series.
E V IE WBusiness manager David
My Sweeney Wolber said, "By bringing in
Performance Network Equity actors and pairing
oday, tomorrow, and Sat. them with local actors, the
.m., sun. at 2 and 7 p.m. quality just soared. We're
raising the stakes with the
whole series this year."
Professional theaters give local playwrights an
opportunity to have their work survive and move

on to other theaters. For example, the Performance
Network's first professional production, "Good-
night Irene," which premiered in Ann Arbor last
spring, is now showing in Washington D.C., with a
possible run in New York.
Of course, the cost of running a professional the-
ater has forced the Performance Network to
increase ticket prices. A student ticket costs $9, but
Wolber stressed that Pay-What-You-Can Thurs-
days are still an important feature of the Perfor-
mance Network.
"Even with the price increase ... our ticket
prices are less than you would pay in Detroit,"
Wolber said. "And with Pay-What-You-Can
Thursday, we're aiming at people who think they
can't afford theater to give it a shot."

ECampus Arts Feature
Performance Network goes pro with Moll

By Stephanie Love
Daily Arts Writer
An apple. Unmistakable, easily rec-
ognized by color, shape, size; in
essence, by sight. But for Molly
Sweeney, a Granny Smith feels like a
Red Delicious, hard and unyielding to
the touch, smooth but not perfectly
round. Her fingertips brush the stem,
and the texture and shape tells her she is
not holding an orange or a banana.

Blind since she was 10 month
Molly's world exists only insid(
head. But in Brian Friel's lyrical
"Molly Sweeney," set in Ball
Ireland, the lives of Molly, her hug
Frank and Mr. Rice - an alcoholi
geon attempting to restore his care
unfold through a series of monolog
After living without sight, l
comes to know the world throt
series of impressions created th

n

N

I COME JOIN US FOR PRAISE AND |
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mark Rademacner Ileft), Yvonne uu Que ana maicolm Tulip star inBrian Friel-s
"Molly Sweeney."
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