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October 29, 1929 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1929-10-29

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?AG! FrOUR

1T1-1FEM T C 11T C W DfW T r

TUESDfAY.A (CTBE'9. 1020 "

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gIw t dtit&rn .Uattg!;
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EDITORIAL STAFF,

of 'forty-niners'; the William Rock-
hill Nelson museums now being
erected in Kansas City, once chiefly
renowned as a railroad and stock-
yards center; the long-delayed ap-
preciation of James Gibbons Hun-
eker as a valuable and sound critic;
the establishment of a department
of fine arts at the University of
Iowa, and newly instituted lecture
series on the arts at Yale and
Michigan-all these give credence
to the presence of a virile, intelli-
gent and well-conceived verve in
our contemporary life toward an
equitable appreciation of cultural
values, per se.
Campus Opinion
Contributors are asked to be brief,
confining themselves to less than 300
words it possible. Anonymous comn-
munications will be disregarded. The
names of communicants will, however,
be regarded as confidential, upon re-
quest. Letters published should not be
construed as expressing the editorial
opinion of the Daily.
Editor, Michigan Daily,
Sir:

Musicand Dama

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MANAGING EDITOR
ELLIS B. MERRY

Editor.................. George C. Tilley
City Editor......Pierce Rosenberg
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Night Editor- Charles R. Kaufman
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1929
"L'ART POUR L'ART"
Three-quarters of a century ago
in these commonwealths, one who
dared to take up the bludgeon in
a crusade for the fine arts, more
particularly the plastic arts, was
a voice howling in a veritable wil-
derness. An interest in water-col-
ors or the distinctions of a Velas-
quez was hardly compatible with
the engrossing business of conquer-
ing the wilderness, amassing one's
fortunes, and settling the vagaries
of the bimetallic standard, or of the
"400."
As the already well-defined lines
of social cleavage spread from the
East over the balance of the coun-
try, attendant upon the growth of
large personal fortunes and class
consciousness, men of leisure turn-
ed to more ethereal concerns and
devoted themselves to the practice
of the arts, or to the formulation
of academic and critical criteria in
judging the work of the practition-
eers. Yet, the hoi polloi remained
outside the sanctum, scoffing at
these as they did at the figure of
the velvet-clad Wilde while he
saundered down Broadway gazing
with erotic intent upon a sunflow-
er. Meanwhile, certain men of
means and unobtrusive good taste
were gathering to themselves col-
lections of art objects, which ulti-
mately have been donated to the
public at large and admirably hous-
ed in appropriate structures.
These efforts of isolated 'patrons
of the arts were the forerunners of
manifold circumstances and activi-
ties which now are at once pro-
ducing and enhancing an appreci-
ation of plastic arts in the minds
of the masses. Furthermore, in the
wake of these, the colossal vulgar-
ity of the World War, epitomizing
much of the inanity in our head-
long crassness, in spite of the ideal-
istic propaganda, created a sort of
purification process, which allowed
men to go the gamut of material-+
ism and contemplate its conclusion,
then finally to secure relief from
their disgust in less mundane af-
fn ira_ T is ni r 01 ?1 r'nr.4in ..that

May I submit to the readers of
The Daily a statement of fact con-
cerning the policies of the Depart-
ment of Speech in regard to those
aspects of its activities which are
grouped under the name of play
Production?
1. Play Production is a convenient
label that is used to cover, (A) a
group of academic courses in this
department which have to do with
various aspects of the production
of plays and, (B) the laboratory
and workshop activities which are
essential adjuncts to these courses.
2. All plays produced by Play
Production, regardless of the audi-
torium in which they are produced,
are laboratory plays. They~ are all
used for teaching purposes, and all,
without exception, bear essentially
the same relation to the regular
courses that activities in the phy-
sical laboraory bear to the various
courses in physics. This is just as
true of the plays produced in the
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre to
which admission charged, as it is
of plays produced in the Univerity
Hall auditorium for which no ad-
mission is charged. It is just as
true of plays produced in the Sum-
mer Session as it is of plays pro-
duced in the regular year. In an
ideal situation there would be no
charge whatever made for any
'plays produced by Play Production.
The Money taken in by Play Pro-
duction, when admission is charged
to its performances, is spent on
permanent equipment, or to pay for
other productions to which no ad-
mission, or insufficient admission,
is charged.
3. Mr. Windt announced no new
policy last week in regard to the
participation of students in Play
Production in dramatic activities of
student organizations. He simply
called the attention of his students
to what has been for some time the
policy of the department, a policy
which is substantially* identical
%yith the policies followed in prac-
tically all of the American univer-
sities where curricular attention is
paid to dramatic affairs. The em-
phasis should probably not be put
upon the word "permission," but
upon the fact that Mr. Windt
"wants such arrangements made at
the earliest possible opportunity to
avoid conflicts and misunderstand-
ings." The policy of the Depart-
ment in regard to student dramatic
organizations, as in regard to all
other student organizations with
which it has any common interest
(and they are numerous) is to be
in every way as helpful as possible,
all with due regard to our prior ob-
ligation to the university curricu-
lum, and its proper standards.
It is clearly impossible for cours-
es in dramatics to be properly con-
ducted on a textbook, lecture, and
quiz basis. Laboratory work in
scenery, lighting, costuming, acting,
and directing are everywhere, so
far as I know, considered essential
to proper instruction. The labor-
atory work in connection with
these courses needs team-work, the
cooperation of some times large
groups. It is impossible for the di-
rector of such activities to carry
them on successfully unless the
work that he has to assign from
time to time to individual mem-
bers of the group can be at once
undertaken by them. All that Mr.
Windt is asking of the students is
that they consult him early in re-
gard to projected participation in
outside activities in dramatics, and
that in each case the requirements
of the courses and the laboratory
be considered first. This does not

mean, and has not meant in the
past, that students have been told
they could not take part in the pro-'
ductions of student organizations.
It has simply meant that plans are
laid in advance and the work of
the courses and the laboratory is

ARMA VIRUMQUE CANO
It is unfortunate that the already a
"wobbly" situation of campus dra-A
matics has been dealt such a vig-1
orous, even if momentary, blow byp
what appears to be misinterpreta-
tion of recent announcements. It
is clear that many will see fit to
interpret Mr. Windt's recent publict
announcement of a policy thatI
really has been Play Production's I
for over a year as a "bombshell"a
aimed at the enemy with the ideaI
of establishing himself as dictator.-
There is nothing new about this I
misinterpretation. Many have been
pleased to picture the campus in
I the throes of a dramatic struggle.
Talk of war and bitter antagonismt
and survival of the fittest has been
going on for some time now. It is
interestingly romantic, as all gossipI
is, but really conducive to the ulti-
mate resolution of difficulties in a1
University Theatre-a project in
which it is assumed all alike are
interested.
It is more sane to see in Mr.
Windt's announcement the logical
outcome of his organization's rapid
development through the past year
and a half. It was inevitable that
the various organizations should
come to some definition of the field
of their activities. If this defini-
tion precipitates a struggle (which
it shouldn't), then the question is
as to the intrinsic importance of the
organizations. Announcements and
decisions of Play Production I
would choose to consider far more
important than those of any other
organization on the campus. Un-
ion-subsidized Mimes and Comedy
Club, strictly speaking, contribute
nothing to the growth toward the
realization of a University theatre.
All their productions can do is to
prove the existence of real acting
talent on the campus. Whereas, it
is the job of Play Production, a
university organization, to prove by
the efficiency of its operation, as
well as by the success of its pro-
ductions, the need of a University
theatre. If Mimes and Comedy Club
choose to read into Play Produc-
tion's effort to solve the many as-
pects of this problem a desire to be
their commercial competitor, then
they deserve no sympathy. For such
isn't the case.
The real trouble lies in the fact
that Play Production just at pres-
ent does look like a commercial or-
ganization. But as has been re-
peated ad nauseam, it is absurd to
blame Mr. Windt for the fact that
the campus situation is not yet
ideal. Just at present Play Pro-
duction is forced to take on a semi-
commercial character to support
and build itself to its ideal condi-
tion-that of a strictly experimen-
tal laboratory inviting people to
watch its work. It is obliged to
use the Mendelssohn theatre that
its students may have the use of
the remarkable equipment there,
but more important, because it has
almost reached the limit of its pos-
sible expansion in University Hall.
To accuse Mr. Windt of cherishing
"big producer" ambitions just be-
cause of this at present necessary
twist in his organization's policy is
to confuse the issue.
And, of course, it was wrong to
think Mr. Windt's announcement
about students confining their ac-
tivity to his organization as a nov-
elty. Indeed, Mr. Shuter announc-
ed last January in The Daily that
"those who actively engaged in any
other campus organization are bar-
red from trying out for Mimes."

This announcement, coming from
the director of a strictly extra-cur-
ricular activity is, to say the least,
strange; not dissimilar to a possible
condition of the editor of Gargoyle
refusing to use candidates who
were taking Rhetoric courses. The
point about Play Production is that
it is not a student activity; it is,
a course for which credit is given.
It is true that public performance
in a theatre, the playground of the
ego, is far more satisfying a stu-
dent obligation than several bored
afternoons in a science laboratory.
But the two laboratories are, iden-
tical in reason for existence. To
successfully carry on his experi-
ments Mr. Windt must demand that1
his organization be intact - its
membership and their availability so
sure that he can carry on his pro-
cess of expansion adequately.
To repeat, Play Production's
problem is the creation of an aud-
ience so numerous, so articualte
and so enthusiastic as to convince
University officials that a theatre
is necessary to the cultural life of

TONIGHT: At the Wilson The-
atre in Detroit, the Stratford-upon-
Avon Company presents "King
Richard II" by William Shakes-
peare.
0-
DETROIT SYMPHONY
Ossip Gabrilowitsch, fresh from a
triumphant Europeon tour, brings
his Detroit Symphony orchestra uW
Hill auditorium tomorrow nignt in
an interesting program. Mr. Gab-
rilowitsch has become increasingly
important in American music in the
nine years in which he has directed
the destinies of the Detroit orch-
estha from an almost unknown in-
stitution to its present place among
the leading orchestras of the world.
Late in February Mr. Gabrilo-
witch sailed for Europe where his
manifold engagements were as fol-
lows: two concerts as soloist with
the Amsterdam Concertgebouw un-
der Mengelberg at Amsterdam, the
Hague and Rotterdam; two with
the Vienna Symphony as soloist and
conductor; in April three concerts
with the Berlin Philharmonic; a
recital tour in Greece; in May, the
Paris Symphony Orchestra as con-
ductor with Cortot as soloist; and
in June, as soloist, as soloist under
Furtwangler in the Brahms Festi-
val at Yena. His year of diversified
efforts won for him great recogni-
tion throughout the land. It is not
improbable that this year he re-
turns to his own organization with
renewed energy. Certainly his tour
must have sharpened his musician-
ship. His opening concerts in Det-
roit have been interesting and his
two appearances in Ann Arbor this
year will be enthusiastically re-
ceived. He is offering the following
program to morrow night:
Overture to Rosamunde Schubert
Symphony in D Minor Franck
Lento; Allegre non troppo
Allegretto
Allegro non troppo
Serenade for Wind Instruments in
E flat major, Op., 7-R. Strauss;
Symphonic Dance in Basque Style
from the opera, "The Venus of
the Basque"-Wctzler
First Rumanian Rhapsody, in A
major, Op. 11-Enesco
DRACULA
The Mendelssohn theatre is mak-
ing a brave attempt to bring so-
phisticated pictures to Ann Arbor
audiences. The program of this
week features the Murnau produc-
tion, "Count Nosferatu," a pictur-
ization of the Brain Stoker vampire
novel "Dracula." This picture shows
some traces of the able direction of
Murnau who was responsible for
the fine production of "The Last
Laugh," which introduced Emil
Jannings to his American audience.
Murnau has been more recently im-
ported to direct Hollywood's one
pretentious attempt at symbolical
drama "Sunrise."
"Dracula" is poor in technical ef-
fects. Interior lighting and fade-
outs are managed scarcely as well
as they were in American pictures
of pre-war vintage. However, Mur-
nau knows camera angles better
than most American directors-the
street scenes in particular show his
ability in this line. He has a gen-
ius for the pictorial. Most of the
exterior shots are very fine. Espec-
ially noteworthy are the scenes
filmed along the seashore. Mur-
nau makes the most of light and
shadow; he manages to suggest a
wide range of color in the mono-
chrome.

The actor who played the vam-
pire Count Nosferatu is possessed
of a physique and sufficient his-
tronic' ability to give the title role
a certain fiendish realism. His di-
abolical make-up rivals Lon Chan-
ey's creations in plastic art. He
reached the "heights of horror" in
the scene immediately preceding
dissolution.
.The romantic young hero, Wald-
emar, is overacted according to the
usual German method. An out-
standing piece of character acting
is done by the man who plays Nos-
feratu's accomplice. The sly cun-
ning and sheer evil of this individ-
ual are most clearly portrayed in
the prison scenes. The less said
about the feminine members of the
cast the better.
The original film was apparently
of much greater length, the cutting
of the present one having been
neither judicious nor adequate. The
picture drags heavily at the begin-
ning and the ending which is al-
most laughably sudden seems to-I
tally irrelevant.

d l , ! 1 'l. / '. / Y. 1l

rrr .rr x ; I

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WEDNESDAY, OCT.30 8:15 P. M.
Choral Union.3re

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