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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 8. May 29, 1952

An Outdoor Play? — Drama Club Deliberations

page 3

An Outdoor Play?

Drama Club Deliberations

The Drama Club appears to be experiencing a resurgence of vitality. Their Drama School on Anzac weekend resulted in some ambitious ideas not the least of which was the discussion of the practibility of producing a play in the open air, somewhat after the style often produced in England around Oxford and Cambridge, Stratford-on-Avon and the public schools. Thoughts spring to mind of "Midsummer Nights Dream" in the Botanical Gardens, "Julius Caesar" on the steps of Parliament Buildings, on the Museum steps, or in the Massey Memorial. It has been done in other centres and it would literally be a breath of fresh air to the jaded theatre-going public who have been given far too few plays of this nature.

The difficulties of such a production seem almost unconquerable, Wellington's climate is not really suitable for an open-air play and the site chosen for it would need good acoustics and adequate seating facilities. But if such a production is to be presented in Wellington (and it should be) the College Drama club should take the lead. A second possibility for the club is the production of a Restoration comedy for nest year's major production. Arguments in favour of this are that it falls within the English department's curriculum of studies for next year and so would have an assured audience and not only that the very nature of this type of comedy should make it popular with the general public. Thus the club will be able to fulfil the function expected of it namely, the presentation of plays of luting dramatic merit in preference to the ordinary type of box-office-appeal play, while at the same time producing a play that everyone will, find enjoyable.

The Programme

zThe Drama School showed signs of much thought and keenness on the part of the committee members who had arranged an Interesting and ambitious series of lectures on various aspects of play production. The clubs president. Bill Sheat, opened the school on Friday afternoon. Ralph Hogg, the first lecturer, discussed past productions and gave good advice on production generally. He was followed in the evening by Huddy Williamson, the well-known veteran of many extravs. who talked on one of the lesser known aspects or production, stage lighting.

Saturday's activities commenced with a talk about mime, demonstrated by Anne Flannery and in the afternoon John Wright discussed stage management Mr. J. Bertram of the English Department told of plays he had seen in England, China and (sinking somewhat) Auckland University.

Two one-act plays were produced on Saturday night. They were,"Love And How to Cure it" by Thornton, Wilder, produced by Betty Dibble: and "Half an Hour," by J. M. Barrie, produced by Meredith Patterson. These were discussed afterwards by the audience which could find few faults. On Sunday Mr Burnet Ross gave on interesting demonstration of making-up, which was followed by discussion of the club's ruture activities. Officers elected were:—

President, W. N. Sheat: vice-presidents, G. P. Monaghan. Miss Genevieve Leicester; secretary, I. Free; treasurer, B. Hill: committee, J. Wright (stsge manager), Meredith Patterson, Pauline Kermode, Anne Flannery, C. Pottinger, P. Treadwell and G. Yatas.

Peggy Thom.