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The Time of Your Life

At the Tufts Arena Theatre (tonight and tomorrow)

By Herbert S. Meyers

For anyone having access to an automobile I heartily recommend the 15 minute drive that takes you to the Tufts Theatre in Medford, The play that is currently in production there is the Pulitzer Prize winner, The Time of Your Life, by William Saroyan, and the performance is as polished as anything you are likely to see by a college group.

It is probably unnecessary to go into any lengthy discussion of the play itself. Although it was first done in 1939, it has been produced by many amateur groups since that time, and is no doubt familiar to most theatre goers. Structurally, it is unconventional theatre. There is little suspense, and even less plot. Most of the characters are reminiscent of the Kaufman and Hart people who merely wander on and off the stage.

But they are true inhabitants of Saroyanland. The author's well-remembered lesson, "Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed," is noted in every speech and action of his main character. And the pointless stories like "Did you ever fall in love with a 39 pound midget," are typical for the free-swinging, spontancously-humerous, Saroyan style.

There are two things that make this particular production noteworthy. First is the remarkably smooth job that is done by the Tufts group. With only a few minor exceptions, the actors were professionally natural in their various guises. Particularly outstanding were the two students in the leading roles, Joe, the philosopher, and Kitty Duval, the whore. The treatments here were full and sympathetic, played with accomplished finesse.

Secondly, I was impressed by the arena presentation. Tufts uses the saucer-type arena with the audience on four sides. It is an interesting thing to observe, and particularly effective for this play.

Tufts is only a short distance from Harvard Square, and, as I said before, The Time of Your Life is well worth the trip.

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