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March 19, 2012 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-03-19

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6A - Monday, March 19, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

6A - Monday, March 19, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

The play's the thing

Slam dunk for'Jump'
Daily Arts Writer

Playfest 2012 to
present, evaluate
student work
Daily Arts Writer
With the overwhelming popu-
larity of blogs and social-media
forums that provide users with
the liberty to
share their
thoughts and Pbafs
impressions, 2012
it's easy for
anyone to feel Tonight at 7
as though they p.m.through
are a respected March 24,
critic and that varioustimes
others should Studio One,
appreciate their Walgreen
opinions. Play- Drama Center
fest 2012 will
provide a simi- Free
lar feedback
opportunity for students and fac-
ulty trying their hand at critiqu-
ing theater, offering constructive
criticism ina small-scale-produc-
tion environment.
This year's Playfest willinclude
six dramatic readings, one per-
formed every day of the upcom-
ing week, starting tonight. From
School of Music, Theatre & Dance
sophomore Ben Blackman's
existential "Think Tank," to the
"Peter Pan"-inspired "What's
Heaven For?" written by LSA
sophomore Michael Toner, the
variety of plays this year demon-
strates the range of student play-
wrights at the 'U.'
Preparation for Playfest begins
with Theatre & Drama Prof.
OyamO (a.k.a. Charles F. Gordon)
selecting six student-playwrights
from playwrighting courses
whose work seems ready to be
taken a step further. He invites
these writers to enroll in The-
atre 429: "Playwriting Towards
Production," a course designed
to help students understand their

Six dramatic readings will be performed this week for Playfest 20t2.

work as an object to be produced,
resulting in professional readings
during the weeklong Playfest.
"The process begins with one
full class devoted entirely to a
single student's play, since the
class is three hours long," OyamO
explained. "We doa reading there
in class, and then we discuss that
play, looking for areas requiring
improvement. Then the writer
goes back and continues to make
alterations and work on the play."
In Theatre 429, students with
tise and concentration-focus are
given the chance to work collab-
oratively on something creative,
separate from the usual control of
a professor.
Through discussions and
rehearsed readings, the six play-
wrights' shows are workshopped
and revised in the class. Student
directors prepare to direct these
works, and the rest of the class
supports the festival in other
ways as actors, audition monitors
and promoters.
"I also invite people who are
actors and directors because we
need them too," OyamO said.
"Essentially, what we do in class
is we try to fully develop every
aspect, as well as each story, fur-

An important part of Playfest
is the post-show dialogue that
occurs between the playwright
and the audience. These com-
ments are meant to augment and
assist each piece from the per-
spective of a viewer.
"The idea is that this read-
ing will give people enough of
an idea of the kind of play (the
students) have written," OyamO
said. "When the audience has a
feedback session after, they can
respond to the play and the prin-
ciples of the course."
And for the first time, there
is a monetary prize that will be
awarded at the end of Playfest's
run this year.
"Theater is not a guaranteed
paycheck or income; it's some-
thing that you do because you
love to do it," OyamO said. "And
if you're fortunate enough to earn
a living off of it, then that's great.
People in the arts are always going
to have greater difficulty turning
that passion into a living, though."
That being said, courses taught
at such a professional level, as
well as Playfest itself, may offer
a glimpse of realistic production
values and what it takes to survive
in such an industry.

"You ready for a lifetime of
being badass motherfuckers?"
a muscular
Channing *
Tatum mur-
murs to Jonah 2J
Hill at their Ju
police-academy str et
graduation. Hill At Quality16
says nothing and Rave
back and just
looks out over Columbia
the crowd with
the wide-eyed look of a boy get-
ting his first bicycle. The real Slim Shady.
The next shot: Hill and Tatum
on bicycles patrolling a family- high school we'v:
friendly park, unable to stop a know and abhor:
prepubescent simpleton from dents think it's c
feeding some ducks in a pond. friendly, to read cc
And thus begins what will act and to be poli
undoubtedly be one of the fun- Whether or not th
niest films of 2012: "21 Jump school actually e
Street." evant. Bacall's hig
Based on the '80s procedural ents a smart count
of the same name, this buddy-cop stereotypical high
spoof features Hill and Tatum as and Tatum's cha
undercover cops posing as high- ated from.
school students trying to bust a _
drug ring. It's an absurd concept
peppered with plot holes. But who Tatum a
cares? With a vulgar, punched-up
script and strong performances an unlike
from Hill and even the notorious-
ly obnoxious heartthrob Tatum,-
there are only two reasons the
audience should stop laughing: a) In "Funny Peo
They simply can't laugh anymore Seth Rogen that'
or b) the movie's over. ing funny abouta
Despite the release of such man." With "21 Ju
recent spoofs as "The Other has proven himse
Guys" and "Hot Fuzz," screen- might have lost 40
writer Michael Bacall ("Project doesn't lose a singl
X") keeps the concept fresh. In and he's not nearly
addition to satirizing cop films, character as he pl
"21 Jump Street" also takes on "Superbad." He's
the multiculturally smug atmo- kid with a foul mo
sphere of today and yesteryear's Tatum may be a I
ignorant, jock-ruled high school. some of the funni
Bacall changes the Hollywood est) lines of the mo

e all come to from his mouth. In many ways,
Suddenly, sto- the character he plays is self-
ool to be eco- referential and actually makes
omic books, to fun of his image as a sexual icon.
tically correct. Here, his stupidity is endearing.
is type of high Tatum and Hill have great
xists is irrel- chemistry. They bounce color-
h school pres- ful one-liners off each other
er-point to the effortlessly and the scenes flow
school Hill's naturally. Seeing Hill in his high-
racters gradu- school years as a Slim Shady-
wannabe with braces and Tatum
sporting a Fabio-esque haircut
is just hilarious. The casting is
nd H ill: perfect - though admittedly, it
would have been pretty epic if
pair.there had been a cameo by Seth
* Rogen and Bill Hader in their
"Superbad" police uniforms.
So does "21 Jump Street"break
ple," Hill told boundaries? Will it be remem-
"there's noth- bered among such comedies as
a physically fit "Some Like it Hot"? Probably
mp Street," he not. But with a slew of buddy-cop
elf wrong. He movies and TV shows coming
pounds, but he out every year (e.g. every damn
e comedic step "CSI" and "Law & Order") it's
'as caustic of a important to spoof them, to hold
ayed in 2007's Hollywood's creative bankrupt-
just a sweet cy accountable. Movies like "21
outh. Likewise, Jump Street" can do just that,
pretty boy, but and maybe they can even revital-
est (and filthi- ize some of our most formulaic
vie are spewed but beloved genres.

From Page 6A

Night Lights" instead of trying
to live in the glory of projects
The time has come to move

on. But that doesn't mean we
won't forever remember Dillon
fondly. As always, "Clear Eyes.
Full Hearts. Can'tLose."

From Page 5A
their spouse's birthday party.
Is this what the modern family
looks like? Where are the single

mothers and the parents strug-
gling to make ends meet?
If "Modern Family" were
truly teaching tolerance, it would
be more attentive to its female
characters and gender dynam-
ics within the show. And until it

does so, I simply can't agree with
the critics who laud the show as
one of the best.
Upadhyaya is writing strong
female characters for TV. To
assist, e-mail kaylau@umich.edu.

Call: #734-418-4115
Email: dailydisplay@gmail.com *

RELEASE DATE- Monday, March 19, 2012
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