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November 14, 1954 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1954-11-14

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



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-Daily-Chuck Kelsey
New Lighting Rig Aid
For Theater Problems

Grand Opera
To Be Given
In Detroit
Detroit's Grand Opera Associ-
ation will open its fall Opera Fes-
tival tomorrow in Masonic Tem-
Nine productions will star mem-
bers of the New York City and
Metropolitan Opera Companies.
Included in the repertory will be
"Tosca," "Der Rosenkavalier,"
"La Boheme," "La Traviata,"
"Hansel and Gretel," Aida," "Rig-
oletto," "Carmen," and a special
performance of Kern's "Show-
Among the opera stars appear-
ing in the series, Anna Russell and
Hilde Gueden will sing for the
first time in Detroit.
Miss Russell, known for her
comedy recitals spoofing opera
and concert singing, will sing the
role of the Witch in "Hansel and
Gretel" at Saturday's matinee.
Miss Guden, noted Viennese so-
prano of the Metropolitan, will
sing Gilda in "Rigoletto," next
Sunday afternoon.
Ferruccio Tagliavini, Italian ten-
of the Met will appear in tomor-
row's performance of "Tosca" and
returns on.Wednesday in "La Bo-
Wilma Spence, noted for roles
in light opera, will sing the title
role in "Tosca" and Tuesday will
sing Marschallin in "Der Rosen-
Next Saturday, Frances Yeend
will be Aida in the Verdi work.
Laurel Hurely, recently given a
contract by the Metropolitan Op-
era Association, will appear in
"Rosenkavalier," "Hansel" and as
Magnolia in "Showboat," Nov. 24.
Frances Bible, Ann Ayars, Rob-'
ert Rounseville and Lawrence
Winters will appear in leading
roles in "Rosenkavalier,'' "Bo-
heme," "Carmen," and "Show-
Blanche Thebom, Met mezzo-
soprano will sing Carmen. next
Sunday, Eva Likova will appear
as Violetta in "Traviata," Tues-
day and Walker Cassel will sing in
"Tosca" and "Traviata."
Special prices have been ar-
ranged from "Hansel" and "Show-
boat." Prices for "Hansel" are
$3.60, $3, $2.40, $1.80, $1.25 and
75 cents. "Showboat" tickets on
Thanksgiving Eve are $4.20, $3.60,
$3, $2.40 and $1.80,
Prices for all other operas are
$4.80, $4.20, $3.60, $3, $2.40, $1.80
and $1.20.

Forming a complex organization
of triangles above the Dramatic
Arts Center's stage is a lighting rig
designed to meet all the peculiar
needs of theater in the round.
The rig, made of unistrut, a
newly developed steel framework,
can be moved from one end of the
auditorium to the other, enlarged
or made smaller.
Prof. C. Theodore Larson of the
architecture college, who handled
the project, claims it is strong
enough for a man to be perched on
top as well as for props to be sus-
pended from it.
Wanted Movable Gear
The unique structure came into
existence because the Dramatic
Arts Center wanted an overhead
lighting gear which could be shift-
ed with the stage to different parts
of the arena theater.
Their problem was brought to
the attention of architecture col-
lege experimenters by Prof. War-
ner G. Rice, chairman of the Eng-
lish department and member of1
the Center's Board of Directors.
The idea of a strong but flexible
mechanical structure "appealed to
us," Prof. Larson said "because

W iegand Relates Writing Past

that is what we are trying to de-
velop architecturally."
Space-Frame Method Used
The unistrut space-frame method
of construction, currently being
tested in an experimental building
in the architecture college's court-
yard, is the basis of the versatile
lighting rig.
Developed by the Research Lab-
oratory of the architecture col-
lege, the system consists of a se-
ries of triangles added one to the
other. Because only a few simple
tools are needed, the structure can
be easily made larger or smaller,
Prof. Larson explained.
Two unistrut members are placed
against the ceiling from tracks on
which the rig can bd moved back
and forth. The lights can be at-
tached to any part of the rig.
At present, the lights are turned
on and off from a separate control
box. Prof. Larson believes that the
person operating the lights and the
controls can easily be placed on
top of the rig. It would be possible
to lower actors from the rig to the
As now set up, the rig is sus-
pended 15 feet above the 25 by
28 foot stage.

"I must be the 'Kiss of Death.'"
This statement by William Wie-
gand, English teaching fellow and
writer, seems paradoxical. But
Wiegand explains it by telling of
the many things he "almost got
"For instance, there is the time
I won an intercollegiate short story
contest for 'Story Magazine' in
1948. The magazine went bankrupt
before I got my prize. I received
$30 instead of $100," Wiegand said.
"And the story wasn't even pub-
However, the winning story has
not long remained unknown. Last
June it was printed in the "New
York Post."
Novel Into Play
"Or the time my mystery novel,
'At Last, Mr. Tolliver,' almost
became a play. The Arts Theater
had planned to produce it. Cast-
ing had been completed and direc-
tion begun-then the company went
Wiegand's "At Last, Mr. Tolli-
ver" has a very unusual history.
After winning the Mary Roberts
Rinehart award in 1950 for the
best mystery by a new writer, it
was published in a hard-bound cov-
er edition. Later, reprinted in pock-
et books, it reached a sale of over
Published in foreign countries,
the book became "Un Certain,
Monsieur Tolliver" in France and
"Adios, Dr. Tolliver" in Argentina.
A German translation almost went
through, but the publishing house
The mystery is about a doctor
who has lost his license during the
prohibition era for aiding crooks.
Critics' Reactions
"I guess you would say the crit-
ics' reactions were varied," Wie-
gand said with a smile. "The 'New
York Times' said it was 'preten-
tious, pompous, and overlong!'
"I felt better when I read some
'back-woods' reviews," Wiegand
said. "In Omaha they said my next
book would win the Pulitzer Prize.
In San Francisco and Hartford,
they loved it."
Wiegand's "almost made it" ex-
periences also include an attempt
at amateur movie making. The
film, based on Franz Kafka's
"Metamorphosis," was p h o t o -
graphed at the University with stu-
dent actors filling the parts.
"Numerous people promised us
money that we never got," Wie-
gand said. "Everything was make-
shift. We didn't have near the light-
ing needed.
Invitation From Paris
"We finally paid for it, but there
is only one print in existence,"
Wiegand added. The money was
raised from showings at universi-
ties and colleges across the coun-
try where it received considerable
critical acclaim.
"The following year we received
an invitation to have 'Metamorpho-
sis' shown at Jean Cocteau's Av-
ante Garde Film Festival in Par-
is. But we couldn't even afford to
send it because we didn't have
enough .money f o r m a i l i n g
The film, for which Wiegand au-
thored the script and served as ed-
itor, will be shown on campus lat-
er this year. "We'll try to squeeze
it into our Gothic Film screen-
ings," Wiegand said.
Gothic Film Society
Gothic Film is an .organization

-Daily-Marj Crozier

dedicated to showing films of cine-
matic historical significance. Wie-
gand, present director of the soci-
ety, has been active in the club
since its inception five years ago.
"We feel some sort of obligation
to showing films which have in-
fluenced movie history," Wiegand
said. "For this reason, we tried
very desperately to show 'Birth of
a Nation' a few years ago. But
people resented our showing it be-
cause of the alleged fascist phil-
osophy in the film.
"Then we came up with a sneaky
solution. We would show it on elec-
tion night. People were so preoc-
cupied with returns that no one
had time to protest. This set a kind
of precedent, and other organiza-
tions have shown it without any
Murder Trial
Another "not quite" experience
occurred as an aftermath of the
Campbell 'murder trial. A young
nurse had been killed by three
teen-age boys. Wiegand, coverin
the trial daily, got together the
material for a non-fiction case
After interviewing the boys, their
parents and friends, Wiegand wrote
a 500-page book, trying to show
"the community's influence on the
boys." But John Bartlow Martin
was working on the same case too.;
When Martin's book was published,,
editors refused Wiegand's work be-1
cause "we can't have two books
on the same trial."
Wiegand, in his mid-twenties, is;
remembered by most friends for
his conversational ease. One friend
describes him as "the only fellow
who can tell you 15 awards he's,
won without appearing conceited.
He's that pleasant and natural."
His interest in the Campbell case
extends back to the time he was1
thinking of a career as a criminal
lawyer. "After a year in law
school, I decided I wanted to write.
So I changed over to English."I
Wiegand adds that his criminal
record is "as clean as can be. I've
never even received a traffic tick-
Hopwood Winner
A five-time Hopwood winner,1
Wiegand has received recognition


in all classifications, including po-
etry, essay, fiction, and drama.
His second book, a novel entitled,
"The Spider Love," won first
prize in 1952.
"Publishers have told me the
book is too long to take a chance
on. It's about 500 type-written
pages. Everything I've written -
including 'Tolliver'-is too long.
It's a problem I have to overcome."
At present, Wiegand is working
on another novel, using informa-
tion gathered during the Jackson
prison riot as a background. "When
the riots occurred, I went up to the
prison. I knew some of the offi-
cials from a previous visit for
'Tolliver' background. On the sec-
ond trip I got the idea for my lat-
est novel.
"W h a t disturbed me most,
though, was the raw deal given to
Vernon Fox, the prison psycholo-
gist. Fox conducted a brilliant
campaign to get guards released.
He was later accused of being on
the prisoners' side. Fox was, I be-
lieve, the victim of political cir-
cumstances," Wiegand said.
Two Teeth Gone
A sport enthusiast, Wiegand likes
golf, tennis, ping pong, and swim-
ming. His "memento" of a recent
paddle ball game is the absence of
two front teeth, replaced by tem-
porary fillings. "I'm chewing light-
ly until my permanent teeth are
put in," he said.
Between teaching assignments,
Wiegand has managed to turn out
a well-received article, "Arthur
Miller, The Man Who Knows," for
"Generation." He has also written
political scripts during the recent
As a Daily drama and movie re-
viewer, Wiegand has gained some
"notoriety." His non - reviewing
theatrical experiences include only
one stage appearance.
"When a friend of mine wrote a
play for Student Players a few
years ago, I was given my 'big
break.' As the curtains parted, I
was seen sitting at a bar.
"I got up, said 'Good Night,
Katy,' and exited. Then the play

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Works by 13 Ann Arbor art-
ists will be included in the 45th
annual Michigan Artists Exhi-
bition opening at 8 p.m. Tues-
day at the Detroit Institute of
The show has a total of 273
paintings, prints, photographs
sculptures by 180 artists.
Two steel sculpts by Prof.
Thomas McClure, two oils by
Prof. Richard Wilt, an oil each
by Profs. Gerome Kamrowski
and Emil Weddige, all of the
College of Architecture and
Design are in the show.
Other faculty contributions
are by Jack Garbutt and Wil-
liam Lewis. Student artists in-
clude C. G. Christof ides, Moj-
mir Frinta and Bon Yol Yang.
All items on exhibition are
eligible for the 26 prizes total-
ing more than $3,004. Winners
will be anounced at a reception
preceding the opening.
The Institute, 5200 Wood-
ward Avenue, Detroit, has hours
from I to 10 p.m. Tuesday
through Friday, and from 9
a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and
There is no admission charge.

TVl Lecture
To Be Given
Dorothy Daniel, director of pub-
lic relations for station WQED in
Pittsburgh, will deliver a talk on
"Non-Profit Television Is Serious
Business" at 8 p.m. tomorrow on
the 9th floor of the Edison Building
in Detroit.
The public relations director is
well known for her work on educa-
tional television. She will tell of
some of the new techniques for
launching an educational television
In addition, the program will in-
clude a question and answer pe-
riod on television adapters. In
charge of the period will be Earl
Minderman, field representative of
the National Citizens Committee on
Educational Television of Washing-
ton, D.C.
The meeting is open to the pub-
lic. Persons interested in education-
al television are especially wel-
comed. The Edison building was
selected because of its size and
the ease with which it can accom-
modate large numbers of guests.
Sponsorship for the meeting is by
the Detroit Advisory Council on
Educational Radio and Television.



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