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December 16, 1945 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1945-12-16

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'Our Town'in Italy Stars 'U'Student

The decorative royal palace at Ca-
serta, Italy was transformed for two
weeks in Dec., 1944, into a place
called Grovers Corners, N. H., when a
genuinely American play, "Our
Town," was produced, under the di-
recticn of its author, Thornton Wild-
er, by a group of officers and enlisted
men in the Allied forces.
Jim Bob Stephenson, who appeared
here in the current production of
"What a Life," played the role of
George Gibbs, the small town boy
whom Wilder meant to be typical of
American youth. Stephenson was
U' Flying Club
Makes Plans
T POrder Plane
Plans are being made by the re-
cently formed University Flying Club
to place an order for a light plane so
that members of the group may begin
flying as soon as possible, it was an-
nounced yesterday by Evan Fraden-
burgh, '46E.
At the last meeting of the club
Warren Curry, graduate of the CQl-
lege of Engineering's aeronautical
department, was elected president;
Fradenburgh, vice-president; Frances
Hamilton, '48, secretary; Dalton Mc-
Alister, '47L, treasurer; and Don Mil-
bourn, '48, operation's manager.
All those interested in becoming
members of the group who have been
unable to attend previous functions
of the club are invited to attend the
next meeting which will be held at
7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Rm. 1042
East Engineering Building.
It will be decided at this meeting
whether lectures will be conducted
by the group for the benefit of those
who have had no experience in fly-
ing. These would be conducted by
those members who held instructor's
ratings and commercial licenses in
the club.
Be a Goodfellow
Movies of A rmy-Michigan
Game To Be Shown Today
Movies of the Army-Michigan foot-
ball game will be shown at 8:00 p.m.
today in the Union ballroom. No ad-
mission will be charged and everyone
is invited to attend.
Be a Goodfellow
Cold Wave Spread's
((/P)) - Intensely cold weather
pushed down from the North Pole
and threatened last night to over-
spread virtually the entire continent
to the Gulf, of Mexico and eastward
from the Rockies to the Atlantic.

then a technical sergeant in the
Army Signal Corps.r
'V' Student Starsa
In a recent Daily interview, Steph-
enson told how it happened that thef
play was produced in the Italian at-
mcsphere. "A group of theatre mind-<
ed people," he said, "formed a theatre1
club at the Allied Force Headquar-
ters, north of Naples. Thornton
Wilder, a lieutenant colonel in the1
Army Air Force, was chosen as its
"When I heard about the club and
learned that Wilder headed it," hel
continued, "I went to see him and+
persuaded him to let me help him
produce 'Our Town.' Wilder was re-
luctant at first," Stephenson ex-
plained, "but he agreed to put on the
play if I could recruit enough people
for the cast."
Experienced Cast
"Approximately 60 people showed
up for the first reading and enough
members of the women's services, in-
cluding the WACs, appeared to give
us a wide choice for the feminine
roles. After the first reading about
half of these people vanished because
they were shipped out, but we man-
aged to acquire a talented cast, con-
sisting of many people who had had
stage experience in civilian life."
"We managed to find adirector for
the play, a boy from Italy who had
directed a production of 'Our Town'
before. iBut he was unable to help us
until two weeks before the first per-
formance. Wilder was responsible
for most of the direction."
Wilder Professorial
"Wilder is middle aged, dignified
and very professorial in his way of
speaking," Stephenson said. "He is
stimulating intellectually," he de-
clared enthusiastically. "Working
with him was a unique experience."
"Wilder not only knew how the
play had been done in New York, but
he knew the characters as he wanted
them to be. His insight into the
mental attitudes of the people made
our performances far more intelligent
tian they otherwise would have been.
There was barely a line that he didn't
discuss with us, explaining why it
should be done in a particular way."
Lack of Scenery
Stephenson feels that Wilder was
stimulating because of his under-
standing of human nature. "His main
thesis is concerned with the human
soul," he said. "Any man who de-
votes his life to thinking about hu-
manity is exceptional."
"The lack of scenery required for
the play naturally simplified this
technical aspect of our work," he ex-
plaineO. "Only a play with a great
deal of imaginative quality can be
produced without scenery and set-
ting. Wilder believes that each in-

dividual in the audience should be
able, through imagination, to build
up the story in his own mind, de-
riving from the play what, to him,
constitutes the best. Without scenery
the play is universally applicable to
all small towns. Scenery would make
things too definite."
'Little of Home'
"I never saw a cast hang on to
the words of a play as that cast did,"
Stephenson remarked. "Upon each
reading of the play we got more out
of it. And we felt that we were
bringing a little of home to that for-
eign country."
The royal palace, where the play
was produced, was built by Carlo III
when he was attempting to rival the
royal atmosphere of Versaille. "In
the back of the opera house was a
royal box with gilded canopy of plas-
ter made to resemble red plush," he
said. "A huge crystal chandalier
hung in the middle of the ceiling."
Performs in Hospitals
After the second performance of
the play Wilder suggested that parts
of it be shown in the Army hospitals.
Monologues were taken from the first
and second acts and worked into
scenes for this purpose, with Wilder
taking the parts of the fathers and
Stephenson of George Gibbs.
Stephenson, in the Army for four
years, was stationed for a year in
North Africa and a year in Italy.
When he was drafted he was a senior
here and is now completing his senior
year, majoring in speech. A resident
of Ann Arbor, he has appeared in
Play Production offerings since his
sophomore year in high school.

U' Band Series
To Be Edited by
Prof. Ravelli
Transcriptions, New
Works Are Included
Another Michigan "first" is the
new "University of Michigan Band
Series", edited by William D. Revelli,
conductor of the University Bands,
and published by one of the country's
largest music publishing firms.
This series of selected works for
concert band and band methods is
designed to present the finest avail-
able original compositions as well as
skillful and practical transcriptions
in a form that will be found useful
by university, college and high school
bands. Composers will be commis-
sioned especially to write for the
Prof. Revelli will assist in the selec-
tion of material for the series; edit
the scores of all works to render
them suitable for performance by
the type of ensemble for which this
series was conceived; and prepare
explanatory texts if necessary to ac-
company the works published.
In order to maintain a suitable
standard for the series, the Univers-
ity Concert Band will try out each
work before any recommendations,
for changes are made.
First number of the series and just
off the presses is a Beethoven Mili-
tary March, adapted for contempor-
ary band by Felix Greissle. This is
an original composition for band
which has never been published in
this country and has not been avail-
able in any form for almost a cen-

Sidney Giles, New Carillonneur, Says
Bells Among Largest in Size, Range

Only four of five other carillons in
the country are comparable in size
and range to the Charles Baird Car-
illon here at the University, accord-
ing to Sidney Giles who is substitut-
ing as University carrillonneur in the
absence of Prof. Percival Price.
Since the carillon is ope'ated by
direct action, the carillonneur must
have energy and endurance in order
to be able to play for any length of
time, Mr. Giles said.
Keyboard of Levers, Pedals
The "keyboard" of the carillon
consists of hand levers and foot ped-
als, Mr. Giles explained. This en-
ables six notes to be sounded at one
time, two with the feet and two with
each hand. In rapid playing, the
hand levers are hit with the bottom
of the first, he said.
Mr. Giles holds the position of of-
fice manager of the central office of
the University Extension Service. He
is a graduate of the famous Mechelen
Carillon School in Belgium, and has
studied with Prof. Price in Toronto
and Ottawa.
Tones, Overtones Tuned
Mr. Giles has served as carrillon-
neur with the Scottish Rite Cathe-
dral in Indianapolis, and was guest
Democrats Elect Martin
New State Chairman
LANSING, Dec. 15-(IP)-A fac-
tional fight in the Democratic high
command vanished today as Walter
C. Averill, Jr., resigned voluntarily as
State Chairman and David M. Mar-
tin, of Flint, former State Senator
was unanimously elected to lead the

carillonneur here at the University
from March 10 to August 17, 1939.
He has been employed by the Toronto
General Trusts Corporation and the
Public Service Company of Indianap-
olis in various capacities in account-
Each of the fifty-three bells of= the
carillon has several overtones, Mr.
Giles said. Both the tones and over-
tones are exactly tuned. These over-
tones are what make carillon har-
mony different from piano harmony,
he explained.
Chimes differ from carillon bells in
that they are not exactly tuned. Al-
though the sound of the bells car-
ries better in cold weather, a small
amount of snow will deaden the tone,
he said.

Polonia Club
Will Sponsor
Crafts Exhibit
An exhibit of Polish costume,
handicraft, and woodcarving, spon-
sored by Polonia,. the Polish club of
the University, will be on display
through Friday in the showcase at
the International Center.
Handmade linen and laces, small
rugs, Jewelry, carving, and dolls
dressed in the traditional Polish cos-
tumes, which were made by Polish
mountaineers, make up the display.
Two of the dolls belong to Alicia Wis-
zowaty, while the other articles were
brought to America by Estelle Olejar-
czyk after the invasion of 1939.
Buy Victory Bonds!

ANN ARBOR TRUST BLDG. Telephone 3870

__ . _

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Slurs on your

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for diary-designed
dates .. Janie's
whisper-soft (100/)
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powder, luggage,
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American beauty,
melon. Sizes
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