The Blackfriars, MSU's drama troupe, have scheduled “The Madwoman of Chaillot” for the first theatre presentation of the 1965-66 season.
Curtain date stands at November 17-19 with a cast of 22 students. Joyce Hudson of Purvis will portray the legendary lady heroine of Jean Giraudoux's play. Director Dominic Cunetto announced the cast, besides Miss Hudson.
Starring, in order of appearance are Sandy Scalco as the Waiter, Tom Clayton as the Little Man, Vic Carmody as the Prospector, Jack McDowell as the President, Billy Robinson as the Baron, Collen Campbell as Therese, Mike Albright as the Street Singer, Judi Allen as the Flower Girl, Warren Nybo as the Ragpicker, Joe Lilly as the Deaf Mute, Marguerite Hampton as Irma, Ronnie Gamble as the Shoe Lace Peddler, Bruce Peterson as the Broker, Bob Carollo as the Street Juggler, Joyce Hudson as Countess Aurelia, David Vaughan as the Policeman, Malcolm Dingus as the Sergeant, Jim Roper as Pierre, Sterling Harper as the Sewer Man, Peggy Boone as Mme. Constance, Barbara KIrland as Mlle. Gabrielle, and Pattie Kurts as Mlle. Josephine.
A group of promoters plot to tear up Paris in order to unearth the oil which a prospector believes he has located. These plans come to the attention of the "madwoman", considered not normal in her mind, but who is soon shown to be the very essence of practical worldly goodness and common sense.
Seeing through the crookedness of the prospector, she insists that the world is being turned into an unhappy place by the thieves and those who are greedy for worldly goods and power. She foils all the despoilers in an unforgettable climax that "mounts into the realms of high poetic comedy."
The play has an interesting background. When it was first produced in December of 1945 (in France), there were many obstacles to overcome. Louis Jouvet, actor in and director of "Madwoman”, had worked very closely with the author Giraudoux, for two years toiling over production. It was said that Jean had inspired his actors and guided his director, and after his death in 1944, Jouvet felt lost.
In addition, there was a post-war lack of money; but, the Minister of Education judged the play important for the public morale and came to his rescue.
Another problem was that of getting costumes. A friend advised Jouvet to advertise for used clothes left over from 1895 to 1915, which he did and the response was overwhelming,
Giraudoux reached his literary height in "Madwoman", and Jouvet was confident that the play would be a success. But, he had times of great doubt. One of the usual parts of the scenery was that the windows of the cafe were suspended from the sky". On opening night, as the audience applauded the scenery and then the author's name, Jouvet felt truly successful.
"The Madwoman of Chaillot" will begin at 8:00 pm, in Lee Hall auditorium. The cost will be $1.00 per adult and $.75 per student. Tickets may be obtained in front of the bookstore from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by calling Extension 260.
"The Madwoman of Chaillot” was an outstanding success both on Broadway and in the American noncommercial theatre.