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May 14, 1950 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1950-05-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE MICHIGAN DAILY
ong Planning Precedes Drama Season Oj

SUNDAY, MAY 14, 1950
e'ning

Tickets, Cast
Scenery Are
Top Problem
'Tempest' Gets
Final Touches
It takes a lot of work to make
a playwright's dream come true.
Casting, rehearsing, scenery
construction, costuming and tick-
et sales are major headaches for
any production.
And these are just a few of the
activities that are in progress at
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre where
the Ann Arbor Drama Season is
preparing for the opening to-
morrow night of "The Tempest,"
the first production of its five
week season.

*

* *

*

* *

* *

*

PREPARATIONS for the sea-
son's five productions began early
in the semester when Prof. Valen-
tine Windt of the speech depart-
ment traveled to New York to
procure actors for this season's
presentations.
He was successful in signing
such distinguished actors as Ced-
ric Hardwicke, Vera Zorina,
Hiram Sherman, John Alexan-
der, Joan Morgan and Scott
McKay. Student actors were
also selected to appear along
with the feature stars in sup-
porting roles.
This season's opener, William
Shakespeare's "The Tempest," was
familiar ground to the two stars,
Moss and Miss Zorina who played
the roles of Prospero and Aries on
Broadway in 1946.
WITH THE casting, over, atten-
tion was turned to such affairs as
tickets and publicity in prepara-
tion for the opening. The "Tem-
pest"" cast arrived in Ann Arbor
a week ago to begin rehearsals.
While the actors perfected
their lines and motions in the
rehearsal rooms of the League,
the sets designed by Robert
Mellencamp were being built on
the stage.
Construction of sets was par-
ticularly complicated because the
Shakespeare play called for a
shipwreck, an uninhabited island,
tricks of magic and many changes
of locale.

:. ,

LET
are:
who

'IM HAVE IT-A comic trio from "The Tem pest" rehearses a key scene. From left to right they
John Alexander, who will play Caliban; Wal ace Acton, cast as Trinculb; and Truman Smith,
will be Stephano.

GLITTERING GOLD-Mrs. Robert Mellencamp attaches gold
braid to the skirt of a costume. Working in a basement room in
the League, Mrs. Mellencamp has created all the costumes for
"The Tempest."
iI>FirIi

FORt THE instantaneous chang-
es of scenery required by the play,
Stage Manager Joseph Leon has
built a revolving stage so that
use of the curtain is necessary
only at intermission and the close
of the play.
But Leon's task is never over
for as soon as performances .of
"The Tempest" get under way,
he will have to begin construc-
tion of sets for the production
of '"The Barrier" the season's
second play which begins May
22.
In a room cluttered with cos-
tumes, masks and sewing machines
behind the stage in the base-
ment, Emma Mellencamp is put-
ting the finishing touches on the
actors' stage wardrobes today for
Monday's performance. And in the
pit of the theatre, Wayne Dunlap
is rehearsing the University Lit-
tle Symphony on the music and
cues with the actors.
* * *
DURING THE final dress re-
hearsals Director Windt, Stage
Manager Leon, the Mellencamps
and Juan de Laban professor of
modern dance who is supervising

the play's dances, will gather in
the first few rows of the other-
wise empty theatre and watch
with critical eyes as actors go
through their parts.
While the play was thus tak-
ing shape, long lines of theatre-
goers cued up before the two
windows of the Lydia Mendels-
sohn box office.
Here James Murnan who has
been with the season since its
beginning, easily finds his way
among the various colored ducats
printed for the Drama Season
three months ago in Chicago.
* * *
"THE TEMPEST" will feature
a distinguished cast of actors with
extensive backgrounds.
Miss Zorina made her ini-
tial stage appearance in her na-
tive Germany in "A Midsummer
Night's Dream." She was a hit
in "On Your Toes" and then
came to Broadway to star in
"I Married an Angel."
Moss has recently been seen in
"Twelfth Night," the same produc-
tion that had its premiere here
last spring. He has also appeared
in "The Fifth Column," "Front

Page," such films as "Loves of
Carmen," "Border Incident" and
over the air on "Studio. One" and
"Lights Out.
* * *
JOHN ALEXANDER who has
played innumerable Shakespeare-
an roles, will take the part of
Caliban. Joseph Macauley, often
called "the man of a thousand
faces" for the Variety of parts he
has played, will appear as Gon-
zago.
Wallace Acton played the role
he will play here, that of Trin
culo, with Zorina and Moss in
their Broadway production. And
Truman Smith and Jon Dawson
will be familiar to Drama Sea-
son audiences for their appear-
ance in "Twelfth Night" last
year.
Season tickets for the five plays,
"The Tempest," "Born Yesterday,"
"The Winslow Boy," "The Bar-
rier," and "Getting Married" will
be on sale throughout the first
week of the season.
The Ann Arbor Drama Season
which was founded in the twenties
by Robert Henderson, New York
actor and producer and his mother
who lived in Ann Arbor.

A
DAILY
PHOTO
FEATU RE
S to ry by
David Weaver
Pictures by
Barney Laschever
Alan Reid

TREAT YOUR
MOTHER
to
DINNER
at the
L LENEL

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