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Tufts 'Round' Theatre


There is no curtain to go up on the Tufts Arena production of Frederick Lonsdale's "On Approval." An experiment in theater in the round, Tufts offers advanced students and teachers a unique opportunity of seven weeks actting experience, plus nine college credits.

"Summer audiences seem unwilling to perspire and think," remarked staff secretary Joseph Golden, in explanation of the theater's program of comedies and farces. Unfortunately the author of this week's production seems to, have been equally unwilling to do either.

"On Approval" is a typical vehicle for only occasionally clever lines. The play finds two couples testing their potential marriage compatibility by running off to a Scottish lodge for three weeks of living together. It proves a light and sometimes funny enterprise.

After adjusting to the pleasant shock of being ushered to a seat practically in the stage set living room of Mrs. Wislack, played by Louise Licklider, the acting of our hostess is a disappointment. Amateurish and typed seems a fair description also of the efforts of William Siebert as a Duke. The best acting in the play was done by Edward Sostek who did a fine portrayal of a henpecked hunted man. Norman Ashton's direction is also effective.

The small, intimate stage becomes a handicap here. Every facial expression and every smudge of greasepaint is detectable. Farce, therefore, is perhaps too hectic a medium for such an intimate stage. The closeness of exaggerated gestures and the raucousness of the comedy become annoying, especially in this amateur production.

In 1942 the Tufts Arena Theater was launched by John R. Woodruff, now a director.

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