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March 08, 1925 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1925-03-08

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I usic and Drama

+ +'=


I I -. ___________

The Theatr

e Ascendant Wierdnessa
another summer season in Detroit at By MarIon Barlow
the Carric: and at the enl of that Wierdness and a bit of fantasy are
season, her dream, her life long am- outstanding among the plays to be
bition, was no longer just an air
d~nrittn +dohi tna c,1 fn t -n+ n


Jessie Bonstelle,

by Phyllis Loughiton.I

(Editor's Note: This is the fourth of
a series of six articles on contempor-
ary personalities in the modern world
theatre. Among other subjects there
will be an interview by Paul Stephen-
son, assistant director of the Ypsil-
1.anti Players, with Edward Gordon
The following article is especiallyE
timely due to the appearance of Miss
Bonstelle's production of "The Goose
Hangs High" by Lewis Beach withi
Mrs. Richard Mansfield, the dis-I
tinguished American actress, in the!
role of the mother, Friday afternoon, I
March 13, at the Whitney theatre.) E
"Ply it exactly as you feel it, and'
then you'll get the true characteriza-
tion." I have heard Miss Bonstelle,
"Bonnie", as she is affectionately call-
ed, use that phrase over and over
curing rehearsals, and I believe it is a
clue to her remarkable ability. She
does everything as she herself visual-
izes it, and she seems to have the1
knack for just the right visualization.
Early in the morning she is at her
best, sometimes to the utter distrac-
tion of the company. A ten o'clock
rehearsal is early, painfully early, tol
an actor; and to have someone breeze
in the door, throw off her coat with a
"Well, let's get to work" just as
though it were a.. "Well, it's great
weather for golf" is decidedly dis-
doncerting. It just isn't natural or
human to go to bed at three and get
rp at eight ready for work; but then,
"Bonnie" is exceptional.
Like Napoleon, of whom Peter Pan
said, "Well, he was great, and he was'
ittle too-", Miss Bonstelle is small
physically (though I doubt if she likes'
t6 admit it), barely over five feet. But'
in her mind and her soul she is big,'
pushing the world and conventional-
ities aside to make room for herself.
Hers is most prepossessing presence,
magnetic, and expressive, moving
hands; small, strong lips; intelligent,i
Alive eyes; blond hair, and a wealth
of vivacity.
She is indefatigable. I have never
seen her when she wasn't working
flor heard her say she was tired. At
rehearsals she is like a bee in a field
of clover, tasting first this flower, then
that. She will sit "out front" for a
while, alert, attentive, watching the
actors, pencil and paper in hand. She
,hurriedly scribbles a note or two as a
reminder of corrections to be made;1
the next minute she is down at theI
stage, snapping her fingers for atten-
"Do it this way, and see how you1
like it," And then she does it "this"
way. Captain Hook of "Peter Pan",f
the lover of "Francesca", the Irishe
washwoman, or the court lady-shet
does them all. Not just telling how,
but doing it-that's genius.
'During the rehearsal of a dialogue
scene, with little or no action in it,
she will talk with the scenic artist,
'perhaps-painting the imaginary set.
She will tell him how to place her7
t mind-picture on it-what colors the
set should be, of what hue her dress
will be, approve of this idea or dis-
approve of that-then dismiss him
with "You see what I mean, Steve,
tInow work it out."
n"oWork it out"-another one of her
watch words. During fourteen sea
sons of stock in Detroit she was con-
stantly "working out" her idea of es-
tablishing a real art theatre in De-
troit. She was a true pioneer of ar-
tistic work there. She had the cour-1
age of her own convictions, and
above all she was big enough to
carry on in the face of almost de-
feat at the Shubert Michigan Theatre,
where she tried so valiantly to achieve
the impossible-turn a burlesque
house into a good playhouse. After
the winter season there she played
y: Sunday

Cream of Asparagus
Wafers Olives Celery =
Roast Young Chicken with
Prime Rib Roast of Beef au jus
Early June Peas
Mashed Potatoes
Home Made Apple or Raisin Pie =

and Fantasy THEATRES H Juan da l
Goldsmith's iollocking humor at its This week offers little that is new La Sociedad Hispanica of the Uni-
est, is to be the largest work of the to Detroit theatergoers. "The Pot- versity of Michigan presents its amp-
class this spring. Certain of the per ters" remains at the Garrick, the nual performance on March 11 in
sonalitis who are taking roles are "Passing Show" at the Shubert-De- Sarah Caswell Angell hall. This
Normn Johnson, whoa is never in troit, and "The Goose Hangs High" at year's presentation is a comedy by
mis Jmivehsity career known a grade the Bonstelle Playhouse.. Don Juan Eugenio Hartzenbush:
lefs than A and Alfred Browning,; Each of these shows, however, is ,(1806-1880), "Juan de las Vinas".
who has learned thatrudinent of act-, well worth seeing, and deserving of a Although the author's name is German
igwh h ha ers the careent of t-two-week run. we should note that his father was
iany would hme great-He is not The only really new opus is a mo- German, his mother Spanish and he*
afraid to make an idiot of himself. tion-picture, the "Passion Play", at, was raised and educated in Spain, and
the New Detroit. This is another of ,that "Juan de las Vinas" is one of
} Original one act plays by mem- these super-productions, and is sup- some hundred theatrical works by the
hers of Professor Hollister's classes posed to be the picturization of an same author, who is considered a
are to be given the same evening. iitinnlike the nav at Obber- scholar in his field.

as Vinas

_ __ 1

castle, but was beginning to take
shape, and now it is realizedi in "The!
Bonstelle Playhouse.'
She is the moxing spirit in thatI
playhouse. It is her personality, her
energy, her zeal, that have made it
such a ;rilliant success in so short a
It is one of the most artistic theatres
in this country-not elaborate, but
beautiful and restful. The rich, heavy,

I ue J t 1.II Os semester, 3L r gro'es-
querie is always striking. The Play
Production classes will produce Maet-
erlipck's "Death of Tintagiles," which
is of course, neither grotesque, nor
fantastic nor weird. It produces an
V effect not to be described by any of
these man made categories. "The
Death of Tintagiles" is entirely out
rof focus with ordinary experience. It

which, considering his fortune made,
he abandons his contradictory mode of
procedure and immediately becomes
entangled in such difficulties that all
seems lost, even the lady of his love,
until, going back to his "system",
every thing is regained.
The cast is as follows: Juan, Doug-
las M. Whittemore, '27; Leocadia,
Juan's sweetheart, Maud Corey, '25;
Don Venancio, Leocadia's father and a
professor of horticulture, Chas. T. Lee,
'27; Don Gorgonio, administrator of
the estate of Juan's parents and keep-
j er of the secret of his origin, Marshall

"Thp. Passing of The Third Floor

lii Li(.UL1Vll +inC c++c raaJ cs vNN
Thn rnlaa of ("hriRtnc lqn

red curtain, undecorated parts in thelportrays the emotions of mortals, not ------ a ergau. .e ruu n
middle, directing the eye to the drap- quite. ordinary, on a plane which only Back," the most recent play of the Judas are taken by Adolph and George
md, rchdrec essey which tae th exists i n thmingroup is of a boarder who deforms Fassenacht, brothers in whose family I
, the other boarders by the force of the privileges of playing these roles
place of boxes. The audience sits "Outward Bound" to be given by his personality. Never a word of has been handed down since 1600 in!
close to the stage-like a family look- Comedy club sometime during our preaching does he expound. People the little town of Freiberg. Dimitri
ing on at the children playing. In- balmy spring months, is another like the boarder, and he is widely 1 Butchowetski is directing the play, the
stead of the conventional orchestra product of a fervid imagination. For known.
something different has been intro- belivers and unbeieves alie there only tangible recommendation to be
duced, the trio, concealed in. an al- is a very. naive, fairly pleasant or These plays have been selected found.
cove at one side of the balcony;-and trayal of Heaven and Hell. An en- nd at present are under the direc- iAtthe Majestic theatre, we have
itplyrelmscI tion of Professor Richard D. TP. 1liol-: with us again "The Bat." It may not
tplays real nusic. tertaining, faintly ridiculous way ofts be a thing of beauty, but it certainly
"Sometimes before a performance, I !being d dead is suggested. There is lister, who being devoted to enjoy- beea tobeaty, but i
like to come here and just sit for a humor in the play which is not quite ment, finds in the amateur theater, seems to be a joy forever.
minute out front, alone.," Miss Bon- funny, and intense weirdness, not al- an outlet for his wit and insight. For the music lover, there is an-
stelle once remarked and I can read- together serious. It is calculated to All of the plays le hls chosen are other pair of symphony concerts,
ily understand. It is so clean, so pure, thrill, to play upon certain chords diverting; each is distinct in charac- hchestda hall, directed by Victor Kolar.
so much a part of Bonnie's life that that are seldom touched, or to enliven ter from the others; one is decidedly
it is almost sacred. whatever mysterious inner reflexes unique; and two of them, at least, In the face of the barrenness of the
The theatre is her home, and the that may respond to twisted fun. are not sermons on Christian ideals. week, theatrically speaking, it seems
cmayihefai.Thditn-I fair enoughu to look into the following
company is her family. The distinc- Several o our campus heroes and Some of the actors are excellent; which is correspondingly bount-
tive characteristic of a onstelle -heroines ae to appear i "Otwad others are learning; still others, un- eons The much-heralded, (and just-
pany is that it Is a family. It's all ;hrie rIoapa n"uwr os h uhhrle,(n ut
faes a there no f al Bound." Among them are Phyllis der Professor Hollister's direction'lytoo,) " with superbJeanne
fis rdar on hirbs."ihwhich jhto)"Ri,'ihsuebJan
norstnobisness; ther stg as rde, Turnbull, Elizabeth Strauss, Jack are doig their be(st. "ith wi Eagels, comes to the New Detroit at
just as much a part of the family as Hassberger, famed as the weak kneed teirse remak," to quote romi "Out- that time. And Schumann-Heink is
the actors,and they are all her sub- villain of Captain Applejack, Robert ward Bound," I shuts up, being sorry appearing at Orchestra hall Wednes-
jects, too. -Henderson, Paul Vickers, Valentine for anything I've said." day night, March 18, and the Deni-
! Davies, and Barre Hill. himself and - shawn Dancers with Ruth St. Denis
Miss Bonstelle is absolu'te rulera Twnbeo
nrp rv*nht none other. and Ted Shawn will be there Satur-

"Juan de las Vinas" was played for I H. Levy, '27; The Alcade, represent-
the first time on March 12, 1844. It ling the authority of the times, Wales
depicts life and customs of the 18th W. Signor, '25; the Caballerizo; a
century. The plot centers about the courier of the King, A. Henry Kentta,
character of the same name as the '25; Criados, Loran G. Bartley, '26
play. Juan, a youth who is ignorant' and Leslie Stoddard, '27; Criadas,
of his parentage decides to do the op- 1 Evelyn Gray, '26; Margaret Slavens,
posite of what his conscience tells him '25 and Lucy Domboorajian, '26; Al-
is right, forced by the bitter experi- guaciles, (soldiers) Harry M. Sin-
ence that all that he had done in his i clair, '27 and John A. Bridgman, '27.
twenty years of life had gone wrong, The play seems to promise consider-
though it was what ordinarily any able entertainment due to the fact that
ronest person would consider right. it is a light comedy and that the mem-
In following his "system" he becomes bers of the cast have taken part in
involved in difficult situations from previous Spanish plays and other
which he emerges victorious, with the campus dramatics Miss Maud Corey
exception of the one occasion upon (Continued on Page Fifteen)

over ner kmngdom-absolute, but not
despotic. I have never seen anyone
with such a facility for making people
work and like it. Any member of the
company or the staff, does exactly asj
she says, and enjoys doing it.
"Billy, I want an old-fashioned door-
bell for this act-the kind they never
use any more." And Billy says, "Yes,
Miss Bonstelle," and proceeds to hunt
for a doorbell. And he keeps on, too,
until he finds one; because he knows
that she will say, "Fine, great, just
what Iwanted." She is appreciative-
that's why she gets things done.
Not only does she keep thoe
around her busy but she works un-
ceasingly herself. In New York, shej
is a director and producer, in Detroit,
she is that plus a manager and an ac-
tress and that is real work. I don't;
know when she ever finds time toI
learn her parts yet she does, as well!
as, generally, the whole play. On the
opening night of "The Triumph of
X' ", while watching the performance
froni out front, she saw one of the
actors floundering for a line; in a
flash she was back-stage and had giv-
en him the line, without ever looking
at the manuscript.
You'd really wonder how she lives'
with so much work on her hands.
Ask her how. She'll tell you "Work
is life."
Next Week: Norman Hackett, by
Robert Mansfield.
Read the Want Ads

, drmn'sBok Notes
Suderman's "Far Away Princess", D OHmS
"The Subjection of Kezia" by Mrs. IAT TI]fH annualO. Henry Menior-
Havelock Ellis, and "The Maker of l l Dinner of the Society of Arts and
Dreams" by Robert Down, will com- Sciences in New York onFebruary
prise the first program of the Play 19, the prizes for the best short
Production classes, to be presented stories of 1924 were awarded as fol-
March 12. "The Far Away Princess" lows: the first prize, $500, to Inez.
concerns the ideals of a poet, slightly Haynes Irwin for her story of an in-
shattered when the curtain drops. cident in Shakespeare's career, "Thei
Miss Lydema Williams is to play the Spiing Flight," (McCall's) ; the secondj
part of the supercilious, ambitious Prize, $250, to Chester T. Crowell for
mother of a would be sufferer from "Margaret Blake," (Century); and the
anaemia, and a social climber. special prize, $100, to Frances New-
lKezia, who is to be subjected, is man for the short story, "Rachel and
played by Edith Alvin, an interesting her Children," (American Mercury).
personality. The plot concerns coun- The judges were Ellis Parker But-
try folk of England, and, as is to be ler, retiring president of the Author's
expected, the final subjugation is in League of America; Blanche Colton
the complete downfall of the mild Williams of Columbia University;
weary husband. Frances Gilchrist Wood; Edward J.
It is said of Robert Down, as of all I Erwin of Davidson College, North
authors who die in early youth, that, Carolina; Robert L. Ramsay of the
had he lived longer, he might have University of Missouri; Ethel Watts
ranked among the geniuses. Perhaps Mumford; and Allan Nevins, Iiterary
on* the other hand, his fame, resting Editor of the New York Sun.
largely upon "The Maker of Dreams," The three prize stories are first in
may be more secure than it might a list of fifteen best stories of the
otherwise have been. The mind which year in "The O. Henry Memorial
created this polite, unconventional Award Prize Stories for 1924," the an-
fantasy of ordinary, life, might have nual memorial volume issued by the
tired after many. such attempts. society, which Doubleday, Page &
He has left to us, howbeit, another Company published on February 19th.
pretty story of pierrot and pierret,
with original character, the maker t "A
of dreams in addition. Read the W ant Ads
"She Stoops to Conquer," with

(lay, March 21.
Chiropodist Ort hopedist
707 N. University Ave Phone 2652
Just as long as we do your
cleaning and pressing you
will have a smile on your

Quick Service

Good Work

.328South Main St.
Phone 644


William Faversham, who
will appear in Zoe
Whitney Theatre.

with Margaret Anglin, the famous comedienne,
Akins' "Foot-Loose" tomorrow evening in the



1 -


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months, it will pay you to investigate our prop-
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Phone 1981




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