Theatron: A Novel College Theatre Concept

( All conversation was recorded in the plushty furnished Bates penthouse of Evangeline Morphos. Wellestey '71. the Executive Director of Theatron. Other participants included cast members Joe ????. William Henry, Yale ?? drama critic for the Yale Daily News. ?? Ellen ??? ??? the stage manager for Theartron. )

THEATRON rated first page coverage in the Wellesley News; B A D and the Christian, Science Monitor both sent reviewers in their opening performance of Bertoh Brecht's. A Man's A Man last Friday. (Eli?? Norton was supposed to some but if he did. he didn't make ?? ?? the reception which followed.) But the show isn't playing ?? ????? ? and then it's ?? ?? ?? in the ?? which means that if you're not ?? the Loeb's in-crowed here. you probably don't know anything about this great new concept in college theatre. That's why I'm writing this feature of course: to let you in an Credit Things to Come.

Which is not to be taken lightly. Theatron is the brainchild of Evange line Morphes and Michael Zielik H (A.B.. Princeton ??. M. A.. Harvard ??). Together they have built what may be the most exciting thing to hit college theatre since the Leeb's lights were installed in 1969.

Theatron even ually hopes to be a self contained inter ?? traveling repertory company composed of the best people in acting set design, ??. theatre administration, and play writhing. ??? ?????? start.

The first production is entirely self contained except that a Brecht play is being used. A foot is in the door here too. The music was written by Bradley Burg. who is presently writing a musical with Eric Bentley; it is Mr. Bentley's translation of A Man's A Man that is being used.

An intercollegiate group they've got: as well as the precedent for a continued interest beyond undergraduate days. The cast includes students and graduates of Harvard. Yale Princeton, Wellesley. Emerson, North eastern, and Babson. The set was designed by Michael Timchula. Dartmouth 68, a first year graduate student in architecture at Yale.

Yale Law Studentizing

"Can I just tell you the story of how I found Mike Timchula? Cause I think he's just a great set designer. The Yale Law School had come on tour with a plastic environment which they had set up in Harvard Yard, and then they brought it out to Wellesley, and I was talking to a friend of mine in class, and she said, 'Say, did you see that plastic thing? Well, I know the boy who designed it' So I gave him a call and told him about Theatron, and he was tremendously excited about it. and has been putting in tons and tons of time . . .

"How long has Mike been doing this sort of thing with plastic?"

"He's been doing it for several years. Apparently he began with wood and then realized that there is a shortage of wood as a possible material for artistic creation, and got into plastics. The thing in Harvard Yard was a giant plastic bubble about fifty feet long, just sitting there, and Yale Law students were sort of Yale Law studentizing in it, and inside were little plastic rooms. . . ."

The set for A Man's A Man is constructed of inflatable plastic bubbles. The bubbles are blown up by standard ventilation fans which are kept running during the performance. This continuous flow of air allows for holes in the set: several of the pieces have doors which are used during the course of the play. And in the lobby there is a plastic recruiting booth in case you want to join His Majesty's Imperial Indian Army. The audience loves it: one man had so much fun playing inside the lobby bubble that he lost his seat for the second act.

"What's it like inside?"

"Oooh, it's terrific-for example, you go in the pagoda, which is about fifteen feet high. and you get this feeling of tremendous height, because it's open at the top. And from time to time it sways-it's great."

"It's a very strange thing to be inside it. I'm inside for most of the first act. It's very would like, and very good for an actor: it's tremendous for concentration. . . ."

"Every actor should have a womb."

"Well, you know, it's really a good thing right before you go onstage, to focus for a minute on what you're supposed to be doing and what you're supposed to be feeling."

Pop Art Gone Sour