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Page 69 text:
am thinking about it constantly," said Contreras. O'Neill's use of
brogue was a constant reminder that, unlike her daughter and
husband, Nora was of uneducated peasant stock.
Conrad reflected his upbringing through the lack of the
peasant class brogue. "This lack represents a well-educated and
gentlemanly station in life," said Read.
lt was Conrad's awareness of his Hgentlemanly station" that
caused him to separate himself from the surrounding "Yankee"
commoners. "He labors under the pretense that he is a great
gentleman, but, in the end, he hammers it into the ground,"
said Read. Conrad strode through O'Neill's play spouting Byron
and recalling his glorious role in the Battle of Talavara under
Wellington. He was consequently scorned by many towns-
"ln the end he is beaten and he starts to speak in the brogue,"
said Read. Read's realization that Conrad could only survive if
he conducted himself as a commoner, must have been very
painful for Conrad, in Read's estimation. "When he starts
speaking the brogue, he insists that it is the way that he really
should have been all those years-the way he was born," he
liarbarick used the Irish dialect only on a few occasions.
O'Neill inserted the brogue into the dialogue of Sarah's charac-
ter mainly to antagonize her father. "Sarah can talk without a
brogue when it is of use to her," said Barbarick,
Learning and effectively applying the brogue in "Poet"
presented a variety of considerations. "There are so many
different types of brogue," said Contreras. "lt's the same with
Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Spanish accents, they all have Latin
premises, but there are certain words that are different," she
"We try only to use a mild brogue,'f said Barbarick. "lf we
used a heavy brogue it would be too hard to understand, and it
would detract from the play itself."
"Touch of the Poet" brought complex excellence' to the Valley
stage. Hopefully, its touch of blarney served as a tonic to the
eaters and sleepers of the world.
Eve Mortensen spurns Conrad's attentions
during a short visit to the Melody home.
David Wall and Ned Gill escort Patrick Kelly
outside after he tries to deliver a bribe to
drunken Conrad Melody.
Dave Read goes through the motions of
threatening his daughter, Debbie Barbarick,
with his dueling pistol as his wife,
Linda Contrares, tries to stop him.
Page 68 text:
Touch, of ill
By Margot A. Meyer
Illustrated by lohn Rosenfield
f'Contentment is a warm sty for eaters and sleepers."
Little Irish-America lent a "touch of blarney" to the Theater
Arts Department this spring with the production of Eugene
O'Neill's "Touch of the Poet."
Known for his revolutionary methods of presenting startling
insights into human nature, O'Neill, in "Poet," presented a
challenge to the actors as well as to the Valley College
Full interpretation was of utmost concern to the case. "lt's a
very difficult pIay," said cast member Debbie Barbarick. "With
O'Neill you have to have so much experience with life to
understand what he is trying to say." Barbarick provided
one-half of the outer conflict on which O'Neill based his story
of an Irish-American family of 1829. She portrayed Sarah
Melody, a young, educated daughter of a tavern owner.
The remaining segment of undisguised dispute was in Dave
Read's interpetation of Sarah's father, Conrad Melody, a pom-
pous and sometimes ludicrous drunkard. But "Poet" went far
deeper into the social circumstances and sufferings of the
Melody family than was apparent in the father-daughter con-
flict, O'Neill used the relationship to illustrate fine points in
human suffering and understanding.
"For me, this play has been like a puzzle," said Linda
Contreras, Conrad's peasant wife. "O'Neill has so many phases
in his writing."
Even as the play neared completion, cast members were still
discovering new facets to many roles. While dissecting an
unusually awkward sentence of a female character, they dis-
covered that O'Neill had purposely structured the grammar of
her speech to indicate an incestuous relationship within her
"O'Neill never puts one word down unless it has a specific
meaning," explained Barbarick. "It's a very subtle but important
approach in portraying the part."
A major tool used by O'Neill to display the culture of the
Melody family was the Irish brogue. "Even some of the words
are spelt a little differently in the script," said Read. "lt's just
like a flavoring, rather than a fully committed transposition to
Irish," he said.
The brogue was used by several characters in varying degrees.
"For me it's very important to have a very heavy brogue, and I
Bruce Burton added atmosphere to
the revelations that were uncovered
in Conrad Melody's tavern.
The occasion was one of many that called for a toast by
tavern locals Ned Gill, Bill Marrone, David Wall, and
Page 70 text:
David Arisa lleltl and Chuck
Shapiro represented the "Guys"
during the T A. Department's only
musical production of the year.
Chris Norris sings, "I Love You,
a Bushel and a Peck," during the
"Guys and Dolls" musical
extravaganza. lt's lor certain that
audiences viewing the performance
hoped she meant what she said.
By Vanessa Finan
Illustrated by Robert Lachman and john Rosenfield
Fred Astaire has a reputation for tap dancing
down the aisles of Macy's department store, doing
kick turns against counters and taking extreme care
to softshoe through the ladies lingerie section . . .
Gene Kelly was the object of a suspicious bypasser
or two as he danced through city gutters "Singing in
the Rain' '... and a young group of thespians have
matched these talents in both song and dance,
leaving audiences thinking they were a lot more
than just ordinary "Guys and Dolls."
Woe to the student who missed the Theater Arts
Departments musical extravaganza which was
awarded an XC rating-X-tremely C-ood.
Under the musical direction of Irving Pope and
the theatrical direction of john Larson, theater arts
students gave a performance that would shake the
dust off reels of motion picture's greatest musicals.
The -thespians cast a spell over their audiences,
drugging them with song and dance in the ambitious
setting of New York's nightclubs and floating crap
Valley's all-star cast supported an intoxicating
performance by Christopher Norris, 'with lohn
Walker nightcapping the show.
Versatile David Arias contributed his expertise to
the production, along with the help of main stage-
newcomer Chuck Shapiro.
Adison Roudall won the audience over with his
theatrics, while Theresa Candido gave a saintly
Combined with the competent performances from
leading cast members was a strong chorus back-
jill Freeman snapped herself into one character
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