MRDS Newsletter: Performances Spring 1995
Performances Spring 1995
Department of English
Office: 1100 Willow Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
After almost twenty years in Santa Barbara under the leadership of Professor Homer Swander, the organizational center of ACTER (A Center for Theatre, Education, and Research) has moved to Chapel Hill. The new Director is Alan Dessen; the new General Manager is Cynthia Dessen. After a lengthy battle, we have won permission to continue using educational visas for our troupe, so that ACTER's future is secure provided we can continue to interest schools in our residencies. We had a very successful Fall 1994 tour of Macbeth and we are booking now for the 1995-96 season: Romeo and Juliet in the Fall, Macbeth in the Spring. The price for a week long residency of 3 performances plus two one person shows and up to 33 classroom visits by 5 British actors in $16,750. If you would like to learn more about ACTER or are interested in a residency, our mailing address is: ACTER, Department of English, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3520; or more directly: ACTER, 1100 Willow Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Our telephone numbers are: (919) 967-4265 or 929-5614; fax: (919) 967-4265; e-mail: email@example.com.
PLS Production Report
Occupacion and Ydelnes (ca. 1440's)
Over the past 25 years Poculi Ludique Societas has acquired a respected position world-wide in the production of medieval and Renaissance drama but it seems we're not quite so well known at homeespecially among the undergraduates at the University of Toronto. In an effort to remedy this situationand perhaps convert a couple more impressionable students into believers of medieval drama, PLS went on the road and toured the 3-man production of Occupacion and Ydelnes around the University of Toronto campus, in the last couple of weeks before the end of the spring term. It was a 'car boot' tour: everything was crammed into the back of Terry's carcostumes, posters, and our setone stool. Our intent was to stage a sort of 'guerilla theater'don't tell the students anything about what they are going to see, just do it. In all, we performed the play in seven different spacesnone of which were designed with theater in mind. The most successful, but equally chaotic, was the evening at a local pub, Pawnbroker's Daughter. Chosen for its 'ye olde english' atmosphere, the place was packed by the time we arrived, and the actors could barely find enough space to set down the stool.
Since the play is recorded in a Winchester manuscript and because of its decidedly academic slant, we speculated that Occupacion and Ydelnes might have been played at Winchester College, the first private school in England (predating Eton). With that in mind, we approached individual colleges at the University of Torontohoping perhaps that we could provide the entertainment for one of their high-table dinners. The most formal, Trinity College, accepted. While Trinity wasn't Winchester, its dining hall was not unlike it, in size and appearance. (Apparently Strachan Hall was modelled on the hall at King's College, Cambridge.) Certainly, it proved a wonderful backdrop for the last performance of the Toronto run. And they graciously invited the cast to dinner afterwards.
Much thanks goes to Doug Hayes, a first-year doctoral student at the University of Toronto, Department of English, for taking on its direction. Thanks too, to the cast, Michael Chorney, an architecture student at the University of Waterloo (Doctrine), Tony DiMito, a professional actor (Occupacion) and Joanne Rochester (Ydelnes), a doctoral candidate in the English department, designer Kimberley Whitchurch, and master's student Camille Hopkins for tirelessly putting up posters around campus. The text was edited, and the entire project was initiated, by Gerard NeCastro, doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
While we had intended to bring Occupacion and Ydelnes to Kalamazoo in May, and wanted very much to do so, the lack of financial support from various sources prevented us from doing so. Instead, cast willing, we'd like to remount Occupacion and Ydelnes for the SITM Conference in early August. Video-taping plans are also in the works. Hope to see you then.