By Bill Morrison
An "actor" who once stormed out of
a George Schwimmer production at Thompson Theatre later
accused me of being the director's press agent. WeIl, he was right. Favorable reviews - when they're deserved - do constitute
Good reviews were Schwimmer's due. For three years he gave Raleigh its most consistently excellent
and intellectual stage productions. No more. The director has resigned from the staff of the N. C. State University theater.
MANY WILL CARE
But no one who takes theater
seriously will forget what Schwimmer tried to accomplish in a select body of plays ranging from Brecht's "Private Life of
the Master Race" to experimental one and three act works by new play- wrights.
His staging of "A Song for All Saints"
by North Carolina playwright James Lineberger has never
on the recent Raleigh stage. Directed
with symphonic intricacy and myriad variations in mood
and touch, this indictment of man and his inhumanity to fellow man also lashed out at theatre strictures. It held the excite-
ment one once found off-Broadway. Memories of this work - one work, only an example - make it even harder for me to accept
the reality that Thompson once came so near....
Fine Bertolt Brecht Revival Provides Fascinating
By KATE ERWIN
Over the ugly inexorable roar of a German Panzer, the
life of the German people under National Socialism is cryptically documented in Bertolt Brecht's "The Private Life of the
As a revolutionary writer, Brecht attempted to elude an audience hungry for illusion and create
a sense of "pastness," or of past events being recounted in a theatre, rather than an illusion of reality in which the audience
loses itself in events as though they were really happening. In the same way, the actor is expected to portray his character
not as though he were the character but from a strictly representational approacb.
Director George Scbwimmer succeeds happily in this attempt
at "alientation," as Brecht called it.
Against a dark stylistic setting, the actors fade in and out of scenes,
playing a variety of roles in rehearsal clothes, thus preventing the audience from identifying the actor with the character
he or she portrays....
The production of "The Private Life of the Master Race" is an impressive performance
and a fascinating experience in theatre.
By JIM CHANEY
The Glass Menagerie,
as it is produced in the Frank Thompson Theatre, is an entirely pleasing experience. The adaptation of Williams' play to arena
presentation is expertly performed by a cast of professional actors.
George Schwimmer, the director and
designer of this play, has done a truly excellent job. He has dealt with many unconventional techniques, such as lighting
effects and sound, without losing a sense of complete reality in
BY BILL MORRISON
Plays Score Hit
THE QUEEN AND THE REBELS
a drama in two acts by Ugo Betti
...The set, designed by Schwimmer, is the most impressive
of any built for a stage show this season in Raleigh. The real brick floor, the heavy wooden doors, the woodwork, the furniture
and the plaster walls add flavor to the production.
Finally, Schwimmer's staging and his direction
of the leads more than makes up for the weaknesses in the script.
Something new in theater came to the Saginaw area Tuesday
night, and with the unconventional pieces - two one-act plays - a possible revitalized interest in stagecraft which eventually
could develop into the audience seeing itself as part of the acting force.
The show is likely to be recognized as some kind of
|The cast of THE HUNDRED AND FIRST
A PLAYWRIGHT WEIGHS IN:
In almost twenty years of experience as a director, producer and playwright, I have worked
with a large number of artists in a wide variety of situations.
I can say quite confidently that I have rarely encountered a professional such as George Schwimmer.
While working with him on my play, "The New Bijou Soft Shoe," which he optioned, I found him
to be highly knowledgeable, inspirational and very dedicated.
His precise understanding of dramatic structure, coupled with great intelligence and a supportive
but firm sensitivity, made the experience one of the most satisfying of my career.
Perhaps the most important facet of Mr. Schwimmer's gift is his clarity of vision. His ability
to focus on the significant, while not overlooking important details, was truthfully amazing to me. As a teacher, he has that
rare quality of being able to clarify without stifling creative expression.
It is my pleasure to recommend him
in the strongest possible terms.
WARREN JOHN DEACON
|Jean Vinson in A Song For All Saints
|Jean Vinson and Ray Pond in The Private Life of the Master Race
'Bell Ringing' Performance Scored by Little Theatre
By JACK SHERIDAN
...By use of scrim curtaining, Director George Schwimmer has managed
scene transitions well, and the various sound and scenic effects show the vast amount of work that has been done.
Schwimmer's direction of the subway scene is particularly well-done,
as are all of his ensemble scenes entailing singers, dancers, and principal players....
|Bells Are Ringing
|Anne West and Zoe Kamitses in The Glass Menagerie
Contemporary Approach Revitalizes Henry IV
by Karen Dillon
The current production of Henry IV, Part 1 is performed in rehearsal clothes....Having
actors in clothes they are used to, rather than period costume, promotes a loose, free acting style, and a natural, conversational
delivery of blank verse.
A good example was the character of Poins, played by Dan Humiston. I can't imagine his moving
with the same kind of quick cool grace in period costume. This was one of the best justifications for rehearsal costume....
The set was beautiful and effectively used. The movement of play was fast and handled well,
particularly the many battle scenes that occur in the last act.
The tavern scene with Mistress Quickly and the bawd, in which the entire set was used, made
a very attractive stage picture.
|Set for HENRY IV, Part 1, Designed by George Schwimmer
|George Whitmore as Hal and Don Bell as Falstaff