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Drama Club Votes To Reject Brustein

By Susan C. Faludi

Board members of the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club (HRDC) voted yesterday to reject a proposal by Robert S. Brustein, dean of the Yale Drama School, to bring the Yale Repertory Theater to Harvard and set up an undergraduate drama program.

The HRDC board voted five to two against the proposal, and will present its stand today to Glen W. Bowersock '57, associate dean of the Faculty for undergraduate education.

Brustein proposed to Harvard administrators three weeks ago that he direct an undergraduate drama program at the Loeb starting next year when his contract at Yale runs out.

Harvard administrators agreed to reach a decision on Brustein's appointment by this week, prompting the HRDC vote.

HRDC board members said last night they do not know how much influence their vote will have with administrators making the final decision.

Brustein declined to comment last night on the club's vote.


Kerry L. Konrad '79, president of the HRDC, said yesterday HRDC members who voted against the proposal believed Brustein's professional approach to drama would not serve the needs of drama students at Harvard.

Konrad added that students would not be working in significant numbers with the repertory to make up for the reduction in undergraduate stage time at the Loeb and access to the Loeb's shop facilities.

According to Brustein's proposal, the number of annual HRDC productions at the Loeb would be cut from seven to four.


Leo-Pierre Roy '79-3, and HRDC board member who voted in favor of the program, said yesterday, "Harvard theater needs a real boost, and the Yale Repertory certainly could give it that shot."

However, Roy added that all the board members agreed the program presents major problems. "We all fear the undergraduates are going to get screwed," Roy said.

Several HRDC board members also criticized the Harvard administration's agreement with Brustein to make a decision by this week.

"They should have put Brustein on hold, organized a search committee and surveyed the whole matter," Roy said.

Konrad said that appointing Brustein and setting up a drama program was "Too big an institutional decision" to be settled on the basis of a three-week timetable.

Elizabeth A. Maguire '80, another HRDC board member, said yesterday Brustein did not satisfactorily answer their questions about the status of House theater under his program. She added that Brustein's program would draw the quality drama students to the Loeb and away from House performances.

"Students studying technical design under Brustein's repertory would not want to go back to Mather House," Maguire said.

Peter Sellars '80, the only theater concentrator at Harvard, called the HRDC's decision "a selfish reaction," adding that drama students have "absolutely nothing to lose" by Brustein's program.

"It's stupid for people to be deprived just because HRDC doesn't want to lose power," Sellars said, adding, "The Loeb is their play-toy and they are afraid of losing it."

Maguire also said that although Brustein claimed he would push for credit in practice and performance, he could give them no guarantees.

Although not satisfied with Brustein's proposal, the HRDC does feel that the Loeb's services now are inadequate, Konrad said. "The creativity at the Loeb is dead, the leadership is moribund," he added.

Konrad said he was impressed with Brustein's presentation at Friday's meeting.

"Brustein would be an exciting change," Konrad said. However, he added that the HRDC feared the administration was "only looking to add to the University's luster, without resolving the problems drama students face.

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