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October 07, 1951 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1951-10-07

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4 1




The Arts Theater Club, after completing its
first successful season; is now embarking upon a
second year's program. It is past the trial stage;
and has proven itself worthy of a permanent posi-

To Open Second Season October



tion in Ann Arbor's theatrical life.

Last year's shoestring beginning, club members pooled their

for the city. It will mean a greater chance for club

audiences saw in the club's productions a novel- resources-artistic and material-and caie out members to witness originality not only in inter-

ness of setting, and spirit in presentation that led
them to support it through a full season. From a

on top. If support is forthcoming this year, it will
not only mean a permanent professional theater

pretation and direction, but in stagecraft, produc-
tion and writing-every phase of the theater.

Five New Members Join
Arena Style Company'

Club Begins
With Three
'U' Students


There won't be a graifdiose cur-
tain going up or hundreds of
house-lights dimming, but the Oc-
tober 19 opening of the Arts Thea-
ter Club's second season is never-
theless an anticipated event in
Ann Arbor.
With one successful year as Ann'
Arbor's only professional theater
company behind them, the three
originators of the theater-in-the-
round club, Strowan Robertson,
Oana Elcar, and Jteemy Lepard,
will be joined this year by five
new members, recruited from mo-
vies, television and legitimate stage
groups all over the country. Thei
five new members of the group
are Don Douglas,, Robin Good,f
Paule Karell, Bob Laning, and
Barbara Lowndese.
* * *
HOWEVER, the change-over in
acting personnel does not mean
that the casual, stimulating at-
mosphere, which lies at the core
of the group's tradition, will pe
altered. Following each presenta-
tion, the audience will as usual be
invited to meet with the grease-s
paint smeared actors and discuss
the evening's play.

* a * *

It was only eight months


Hy Berman; business manager
of the group, has announced that
the productions will, as is cus-
tomary, be open only to mem-
bers and their guests. Season
memberships may be purchased
for $5 at Marshall's Book Store,
the Music Center, Wahr's Book
Store, and at the theater office,
209 E. Washington.
Each play will run fifteen per-
formances over a three week per-
iod with productions every night
except Monday. Members may
attend any of the performances
which are convenient, after first
calling the Arts Theater to make
* * *
CARRYING out the pattern es-
tablished last year, the group will
offer a varied selection of plays
chosen for their adaptability to
the arena type of stage.
The first offering, slated to
begin October 19, is Jean-Jac-
ques Bernard's "The Sulky Fire,"
which has been praised as one
of the best intimate plays the
English stage has produced in
the past twenty years. It will be
set in the sparsely furnished
home of a French peasant fol-
lowing World War II. According
to Paulle Karell, one of the
club's new actresses, it is a
"simple, beautiful 'play concern-
ing French home life."
The Beaumont-Fletcher Eliza-
bethan comedy ' "The Knight of
the Burning Pestle," will follow,
This bawdy satire on high-brow
theater is felt by the group to be
particularly suitable to arena pro-
The Arts Theater's third presen-
tation will be a seldom produced
but unique theater piece by Ger-
trude Stein, "Yes Is for a Very
Younga Man." Finally, the club
will produce "The Moon in the
Yellow River." This Denis John-
ston drama is a witty character
study of the Irish revolutionary
Students' Art
Views Noted
Renting pictures is a fine way
to find out what people do and do
not know about art, according to
Dottie Leonard, receptionist in the
Office of Student Affairs.
Miss Leonard has been in charge
of the Art Print Loan Collection.
'This collection, which includes
works by such greats as VerMeer,
Matisse, Rembrandt and Cezanne,
is rented to students each semes-
UNEXPECTED reactions to the
prints have been popping up right
and left.
"The tlhings they say," Miss
Leonard laughed. "One man look-
ed all the pictures over carefully
and then looked up, scratched his
head and remarked that he
thought they were 'pretty good
studetint art.'

-Daily-Bill Hampton
O.K., O.K., but it's my turn to direct you next week.
* * * *
s **
Paint rush, Mae-Up Mix,
As Everyone Gets in the Act'

that three theater-crazy Univer-
sity students started the Arts
Theater Club on a $13 shoestring.
In that short time, prompted by
enthusiasm and sheer guts, the
group has successfully produced
six plays and the critics have
* * *
CLOSE TO three years ago the
originators of the club, Strowan
Robertson, Jeremy Lepard and
Dana Elcar, dreamed up the idea.
All were then students and all
keenly interested in the cause of
good theater.
Though their plans were excit-
ing, it took more than two years
to bring their dream to life.
Meanwhile the three promoted the
scheme through their associations
in the Inter-Arts Union.
Finally the idea crystalized.
Looking for a room one day, Le-
pard spotted a large third floor
room at 209/ E. Washington
St. He felt this would be ideal
for the type of theater the
group had in mind.
Working quickly, the three com-
pletely revamped the room' into
an arena type theater, capable of
presenting plays either, in the
round or with an audience on
three sides.
Their entire capital of $13 was
invested in tickets. With the
early receipts they paid their rent.
Lights were borrowed. Actors who
joined the group skipped their
* * *
THE FIRST production, "The
Respectable Prostitute," by Jean-
Paul Sartre was a succeses. So
were the following plays.
Toward the end of last year's
season, the group added a volun-
tary advisory committee of 12 fac-
ulty members and townspeople in-
terested in the theater. Prof.
Oliver Edel, of the music school,
is chairman of the group.
Arts Theater Club spokesmen
think of the, club as the com-
munity theater of Ann Arbor.
They like to produce plays that
don't get staged in more com-
mercial theaters. And the fn-
tellectual climate of a univer-
sity city is just the type that
they feel is conducive to the
success of such a project.
The company has high ideals,
according to Robertson. They be-
lieve that if their type of produc-
tions are unsuccessful, the future
of theater throughout the nation
is doomed.
For this season they lDave re-
cruited three women and two men
from the theatrical centers of the
nation. All nine believe that they
could do much better financially
back in Hollywood, on Broadway
or on television.
But financial success isn't their
aim. As far as they're concerned,
"The Theater's the Thing."

Group Ti
"Intimate and cozy" sums up
the atmosphere of the Arts Thea-
ter Club auditorium.
But it was not easy to achieve
this informal atmosphere, for
when the members of the club
took the place over last February
they found it in a drab dirty con-
dition entirely unsuited to play
production. However they soon
found that it had many possibili-
ties, and the small group set out
entirely on their own to remedy
the situation.
* * *
TODAY THE third-floor audi-
torium clearly shows the efforts
of many hours of hard work be-
tween rehearsals on the part of
enthusiastic Theater Club mem-
bers. Among the many things
contributing to the club's "new
look" are a fresh jaint job, false
walls, and new drapes made by
the club members.
To achieve the intimate at-
mosphere which members con-
sider essential to the type of
plays they produce, the club uti-
lizes a small auditorium seating
150 people. Folding chairs can
be moved to allow the stage to
take the form of a circle, or a
three-quarter round setting.
The atmosphere is so intimate,
in fact, that during one per-
formance last year an actor dis-
covered he didn't have a light
for a cigarette and was prompt-
ly aided by a member of the
In line with thisinformality the
club serves coffee between acts
and at the end of each show in a
small club room whcih adjoins the
auditorium. Here the actors in-
termingle with the guests and dis-
cuss the performance. The audi-
ence is also allowed to smoke
during the show.
An informal atmosphere can be-
come a little too informal, how-
ever, and the group hopes to ex-
pand soon. Besides the auditor-
ium and club room there is only
a small office, an equally small
dressing room, and a foyer.
All backdrops, props and cos-

* * *

* * *

* * *


4 1

-Daily-Roger Reinke
COFFEE TIME-Getting in practice for the intermission coffee time feature of the Arts Theater
Club, Robin Good, a new actress of the group, takes her turn at the coffee server. Two other new
members, Paulle Karell and Bob Laning, wait their turn, while a guest at last night's open * house
looks on anxiously.
* * '4,.

urns Flat into Cozy Auditorium

tumes are made by the actors
themselves. The stage was de-
signed by Jeremy Lepard, techni-
cal director. Lepard is also de-
signing and building the set for
the first show Oct. 19. To facili-
tate vision, club members built
a riser for the chairs which can
be moved as they change the type
of stage. This year members also
bought a set of stage lights.
But furnishings still come hard.
Downstairs, in the small office,
the club keeps its files-in a
balcony parapet from a previous




Part of the uniqueness of the
Arts Theater Club lies in the in-
formal and versatile way in which
the members handle the produc-
tion angle of the plays performed.
Limited by its small size, each
individual finds himself playing
many parts. p
LAST YEAR one of the club's
U' Pharmacy
College Will
M ark Birthday
The College of Pharmacy will
mark its 75th anniversary with a
two-day celebration Oct. 24 and 25.
The college will be host to 500
alumni, students and guests from
throughout the country. .
* * *
THE AFFAIR will begin Wed-
nesday morning with a tour of
the college and the hospital and
health service pharmacies. After
a luncheon, a symposium entitled
"The Next Twenty-Five Years in
Pharmacy" will be conducted with
former Dean Edward L. Kraus pre-
During the Thursday morning
meeting, several professional pa-
pers will be presented and the
symposium will be concluded in
the afternoon with retired Dean
Charles H. Stocking presiding.
The anniversary celebration will
be climaxed by a banquet Thurs-
day evening in the Union. Presi-
dent Harlan H. Hatcher will be
the main speaker.
In 1876 University pharmacy
courses were first organized into
a school. The Michigan School of
Pharmacy was the first such
school established within a state
university in this country. The
name was changed to College of
Pharmacy in 1915.
Show To Be Held
B y L.ocal A#rtists
A series of one-man shows fea-
turing local artists who will con-
tribute to the Ann Arbor Lending
Galleries and whose works are
available for rent locally will open
today at the home of Mrs. Frank-
lin C. Forsythe, 1101 Martin Pl.
Some of the featured artists
will be: Prof. Chet LaMore, of
the School of Architecture and
Design; Carlos Lopez, Alice Reis-
cher, Donald Gooch, Doris Porter
McLean, Richard Wilt, May Brown.
and Margaret Bradfield.

actresses handled roles ranging
from a young country hussy in
"The Recruiting Officer" to an
aging Greek guardian in "Phae-
One week a player may find
he is assisting Strowan Robert-
son or Bob Laning in the direc-
tion of the play. Another week,
he may be playing the lead role,
and the third week, helping
Jerry Lepard design and con-
struct the scenery.
Everyone, including the bus-
iness manager and the secretary,
helps with make-up and last min-
ute trials and tribulations.
* * *
BETWEEN ACTS and after the
fitial curtain, the actors also dou-
ble as announcers and coffee ven-
Part of the informality of the
Arts Theatre productions comes
from the way in which the dia-
logue of the dramas is given. If
the actors and the directors find
that a certain scene is causing
trouble, they change the scene to
a similar one in which they might
find themselves. Thus the char-
acters behave as the actors them-
selves might act in everyday life.


Student Composer Concert To Be Held

Featuring all-student programs,
a Composer's Festival will be held
tomorrow, Thurs., and Wed., Oct.
17, and will serve as a summary
of student creative activities in
music at the University during
the past two years.
The program scheduled at 8:30
p.m. tomorrow in the Lydia Men-
delssohn Theatre, will be devoted

to chamler music and will be pre-
seixted by the University Student
Two one-act operas will be of-
fered on Thursday in Barbour
Gymnasium, and the University
Symphony orchestra, conducted by
Wayne Dunlap, will present the
final 'program on the following
Wednesday in Hill Auditorium.

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