THE MICHIGAN DAILY
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1950
DAC ACTRESS SAYS:
Audience Mood Helps Performers
By DIANE FRASER
"The audience and the perform-
ers are like two electric wires-you
must have that spark between
then for a successful play."
Audrey Ward, currently in the
Dramatic Arts Center's presenta-
tion "Inheritors," perched on a
stool as she thought of past audi-
"An active audience does a great
deal to bring out a part," she said.
"The air must be tangible with
their feelings and warmth to give
a performer that 'something' nec-
essary for successful communica-
Always Wanted to Act
Rehearsal in the next room
,droaned on as the dark-haired
actress settled back to recall her
first thespian experiences. "I
have always wanted to act and
was in many school plays," she be-
Her family wanted her to get a
"practical" education, so Miss
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Ward attended Motint St. Vin-
cents College for two years.
Realizing the theatre was still
in her blood, Miss Ward then went
to Scudder's School in New York
for two years, where they had a
good theatrical department.
It was here she met an instruc-
tor, Edith Chernston, who gave
her inspiration, encouraged her to
see good plays, and gave her a
general theatrical background.
Miss Ward worked as a secretary
while acting in Miss Chernston's
Learned to Act
After working in summer stock
for a couple of years, Miss Ward
heard about the Hedgerow Com-
pany of Philadelphia and joined
as an apprentice. It was during
this apprenticeship that she actu-
ally learned how to act.
The actress was asked to join
the company and became their
leading lady in more than 70 roles.
Hedgerow closed last March and is
reorganizing under a non-profit
Miss Ward spent the past sum-
mer with the Wagon Wheel The-
atre in Illinois before coming to
Ann Arbor for the present Dra-
matic Arts' season.
Season Is Delightful
"I find this season's selection of
plays very delightful," Miss Ward
commented. "And I like the 'In-
heritors' especially well." She
plays the parts of Grandmother
Morton and Madeline in this pro-
"More than any, 'Inheritors' is
a play of ideas and actions of
thought. The audience must par-
ticipate in the play with thought
to enjoy it.
Accidents Can Happen
This is Miss Ward's first experi-
ence in a theatre-in-the-round.
She enjoys acting in it but feels
that there are so many unex-
pected things that can happen
with the audience so close.
"On stage I feel safe behind
the proscenium, but here in an
arena I feel terribly exposed. I
have the feeling of bad manners
with my back to part of the audi-
ence," she remarked.
Audience enthusiasm is respon-
sible for Miss Ward's favorite role,
that of Ann Whitfield in Shaw's
A SI DR GI
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Fine photography since 1890
319 E Huron
Forest off S.U. at 1111 S.U.
... in DAC "Inheritors"
"Man and Superman." "I had the
most fun in this part because of
audience participation," she rem-
Must be Inspired
"I prefer to play characters who
have a bigness of life, in which
the author has incorporated his
philosophy and has something to
say. This is where you can put
your own and the author's ideas
into the character," the woman
Miss Ward leaned forward to
catch her cue for the next act.
"I find the Ann Arbor audience
very interesting to play to. It's
a very live house. This is probably
due to the college and cultural
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