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June 28, 1942 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1942-06-28

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14th Repertory

Windt Shows
Bright Lights
To Actresses
Ruth Hussey, Martha Scott
Learn Stage Technique
Iu Repertory Theatre
Many stage and motion picture
stars today can boast a humble
Repertory dramatic origin, as Direc-
tor Valentine Windt can testify.
Hollywood beauty Ruth Hussey,
daughter of a Michigan geology pro-
fessor, and shown to glamorous ad-
vantage as the newspaper photogra-
pher in "Philadelphia Story,",got her
start on he University stage, under
Windt's direction, appearing in
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" and "The Round
Movie-goers are well acquainted
with cineactress Martha Scott, star
of "Our Town" and "Cheers for Miss
Bishop." On campus, Miss Scdtt
appeared in a score of dramatic ve-
hicles, including "Berkeley Square,"
"FIomantic Young Lady," "Taming
of the Shrew," "Mr. Pim Passes By,"
and "Marriage of Convenience."
Ada MacFarland, black-browed
heroine of "Margin for Error," "Much
Ado About Nothing," "Trelawny of
the- Wells" and "The Little Foxes,"
went straight from the Mendelssohn
stage to Broadway and the road cir-
cuit with the Maurice Evans-Judith
Anderson troupe as the eerie first
witch in "Macbeth."
Another Windt protege is Ralph
Bell, remembered here for his stellar
portrayals in "Henry VIII" and "Eth-
an Frome." Currently playing lead-
ing roles in the March of Time's
weekly radio re-creation of the
world's news, he also has appeared
in a number of New York stage suc-
cesses, and the radio serials "We Are
Always Young" and "Valiant Lady."
Bell succeeded Milton Berle in the
lead role of the 1940 hit play, "See
My Lawyer."
One-time assistant business man-
ager of and active participant in the
lRepertory Players, winning plaudits
for his performances in "Autumn'
Crobus," "The Importance of Being
Earnest" and "The Taming of the
Shrew," Lauren Gilbert has become
well-known to Little Theatre audi-
enes throughout the United States.
Gilbert, co-manager of his own sum-
mei stock theatre in Holyoke, Mass.,
was seen here recently with Francis
Lederer in "No Time for Comedy."
Amateurs Play Hits
Although the acting company as
well as the Technical Staff of the
Repertory Players is made up almost
entirely of students now enrolled in
Play Production courses, and former
students who wish further training,
leading contemporary plays have
been secured for production here.

New York Theatrical Professionala
To Comprise Six-Man Guest Faculty

Will Handle Costuming,
Designing Of Scenery,
DirectingOf P'layers
Michigan will be the first univer-
sity in the country to boast a full play
production staff drawn from the
ranks of New York theatrical pro-
fessionals, when a six-man guest
faculty takes the Repertory Players
under its wing for the current sea-
Supplementing the direction of
Prof. Valentine Windt of the speech
department, who will have charge of
the productions "Hay Fever," "The
Rivals," and "H.M.S. Pinafore," will
be Claribel Baird, slated to direct the
recent Broadway success, "Letters to
Lucerne." Mrs. Baird, on the Okfa-
homa College for Women faculty, re-
turns to Ann Arbor for her third
year, a great favorite of local audi-
ences. She may be remembered for
her delightfully cynical interpreta-
tion of Annabelle Puller in last sum-
mer's Repertory offering, "George
Washington Slept Here," and her
appearance in "The Rivals" is anxi-
ously awaited.
Also sharing the directoral spot-
light will be Charles Meredith, cele-
brated Little Theatre director, fresh
from success in the Dockstreet The-
atre, Charleston, S.C.; Dallas Little
Theatre, Dallas, 'T4ex.; and Le Petit
du Vieux Carr6, New Orleans. He
will return to the latter in the fall,
serving in the capacity of managing
director. This is the second time
that Meredith, who will direct "Thun-
der Rock" and "Misalliance", has
been associated with the local dra-
matic group.
A far cry from the make-shift
scenery and costuming of the pri-
mary Repertory attempts will be the
products of this year's imported
technical staff. Distinguished among
the guest fac'ultymen is Howard Bay,
whose name as stage designer has
been found on the programs of a
number of New York "hit" produc-
tions during the past three years. In-
cluded among his successes are "The
Little Foxes," "The Corn Is Green,"
"Brooklyn, USA," ".. . one-third of a
Nation . . .,' and the recent Stein-
beck work, "The Moon Is Down." A
Gpggenheim Fellow for 1940-41, Bay
has been on the faculty of the New
Theatre School and Vassar College,
reaching a high-point of his career
last week when elected president of
the Scenic Artists Union at a na-
tional convention. He will bring
with him two assistants who work
with him in New York, Horace Arm-
istead, scenic painter, and William
Kellam, stage builder.
English-born Armistead, an easel
painter of distinction, has participat-

ed in many exhibitions and has had Lucy Barton, talented Broadway
a one-man show at Morton Galleries. costumiere, will go to town on "The
He has done stage designing and Rivals," an elaborate costume play.
painting for Eva Legallienne's Civic Miss Barton, author of numerous
Theatre in New York and the fam- works on the art of costuming, was
ous Elich Gardens in Denver. responsible for the finished appear-
Kellam, one of the best and busiest ance of the dress in the 1939 Reper-
scene builders in New York, has re- tory plays.
cently been stage carpenter for "Ar- With the combined talents of this
senic and Old Lace." This spring staff backing production, the 1942
found 11 shows playing in New York Repertory season promises to be one
with settings built by Mr. Kellam. of the most successful to date.
yWindt Called ramatic Leader
ByFamouls Th11eatre Arts Critc

Used Summer School

Valentine Windt, in his 14th year
with.the Michigan Repertory Players,
has just been named one of the 28
American dramatic "leaders, whose
qualities, training and ideals made
for success during the past quarter-
century," by critic Rosamond Gilder
of "Theatre Arts:"
"Leadership in years to come may
be found" in these Tributary Thea-
tre Advisory Board selectees, Gilder
Born in Budapest, Windt was
brought to this country as a child,
and prepared to become an English
teacher at Cornell and Princeton, but
changed his plans after experiment-I
ing in the evening sessions of a dra-
matic school. In 1928 he was ap-
pointed Director of Dramatics at the
University. -
"When I first came to Michigan,"
he says of this period, "I found that
theatre activities on the campus were
dominated largely by social clubs.
Democratic methods and workman-
like standards shifted the emphasis

from the clubs to courses in cur-
riculum," Windt maintains.
In the spring of 1939 he was ap-
pointed to direct the Ann Arbor Dra-
matic Festival, a further step in his
efforts to integrate the various dra-
matic groups on the campus, both
student and professional.
"From the very beginning it has
been my passionate conviction that
there can be no real difference in the
theatre between the amateur and the
professional. even though, of course,
good professionals are invariably
more skillful," Valentine Windt con-
"When the theatre finally decep-;
tralizes itself in this country and es-
tablishes itself maturely everywhere,
it will, in my opinion, have attained
significance as a great social force,"
the Professor concludes.
Directing the stars is an old story
to Professor Windt, who has worked
with Madge Evans, Michael Whalen,
Jose Ferrer, Francis Lederer, Florence




wrecked there 90 years before.
Through this difficult medium of
ghosts, Ardrey develops his theme of
faith in the future of mankind.
"Hay Fever," one of the most
hilarious of Noel Coward's farces,
will be presented the third week of
the run. In this, the ultra-bohemian
atmosphere of a family of artists sets
the stage for the maddest weekend
ever to envelop an unsuspecting
Listed as one of the best 10 plays
of the year by Burns Mantle, Fritz
Retter and Allen Vincent's "Letters

Ann Arbor's Busy Bookstore
One-Half Block West of Education School


Reed, Leon Ames,

Conrad Nagel. to Lucerne," involves a girl's fin-


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