The University Record, October 8, 1996

Pamela opens at Trueblood Theatre this Thursday

The U-M's production of Pamela opens at the Trueblood Theatre Thursday (Oct.10)

Photo by David Smith

October 10-20 the Trueblood Theatre will feature the first English language performance of Carlo Goldoni's Pamela in the play's 247-year history.

Donald C. McManus, a teaching assistant in film and video studies, translated and adapted the theater piece from the original Italian. In addition to his work with Pamela, McManus will also serve as a guest lecturer at the U-M Museum of Art conference, "Venice Reflected: Making Culture at Home and Abroad," Oct. 11-12.

A love story between two ardent young people kept apart by society, Pamela is no Romeo and Juliet, says the play's director John Russell Brown. "This was written by the master of shrewd and amazing comedy, and in this work he skillfully and persuasively reveals how a woman's intelligence can prove just as strong as a man's passions."

The entire cast will perform and sing the original score composed by Andrew Bishop, a teaching assistant in the School of Music, whose experience with the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus adds to the festive and comedic proceedings.

Pamela was written in 1749 for the Carnival of Venice, Brown says, "and we hope to reproduce the Carnival atmosphere. Music, balloons, gelati, and fizzy drinks are all part of the evening's experience. So, please come early and enjoy the party!"

Part of literary as well as dramatic history, Pamela is based on the 1740 book of the same title by English writer Samuel Richardson. Richardson's book became instantly and wildly popular, so popular that it quickly ballooned into a full-fledged mania throughout Europe. Such items as Pamela cutlery, Pamela dishes, and even Pamela songs became the rage. Many literary spin-offs followed and Carlo Goldoni, always on the lookout for marketable properties, took advantage of the fad and wrote his version of Richardson's story.

A preview performance will begin at 8 p.m. Oct. 9 with regularly scheduled performances Oct. 10-12 and 17-19 at 8 p.m. Performances on Oct. 13 and 20 will begin at 2 p.m. All performances will be in the Trueblood Theater in the Frieze Building. General admission is $14, student seating $7. Admission for the preview performance is $7 general admission and $4 student seating. Tickets are available at the Michigan League Ticket Office.