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Cast Provides Confrontation By Stripping Nude For Play

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"We decided to strip naked ' within the confines of the University situation because we thought it would make a better confrontation." So said a spokesman for the six actors and four actresses who were arraigned this afternoon in Washtenaw County District Court on charges of indecent exposure. They were arrested Ann Arbor Pólice Chief Walter Krasny and "several" officers who watched the play, "Dionysus in '69," performed last night at the Michigan Union. The cast did not perform in the nude in Detroit Saturday, one assistant manager said, because "we had no contract with any university there, as we have bere. We were unorganized." She said the performers decided to have a "confrontation." Krasny said he informed the members of the cast that they would be arrested if they stripped bare. Cast members took off their clothes and Krasny's men made the arrests after the play was completed and after conferring with the county prosecutor. Arraigned in District Court were: Anne B. Barclay, 22; Margaret J. Ryan, 28, Ceil Smith, 26; Joan Mclntosli, 23; Samuel E. Blazer, 28; Pa trie k E. McDermott, 24; Richard Dia, 23, William Findley Jr., 27; Wiliam H. Shepherd, 24 and Robert J. Bosseau, 27. All are members of the New York company called "The Performance G r o u p." They removed their clothing for approximately 35 minutes to enact "the birth of the mythical god of wine and the death of a king." Ann Arbor District Court Judge Pieter G. V. Thomassen entered "not guilty" pleas after each of them s t o o d mute to the v.v.-.-.-.v.-.v.v.-.v.v.v.v.-.v.v: ■:■::-:■;■;■:■:■;■;%■: ■::-.■::■:■:■:■:■:■;-:-:-;:■::■:■::■:■:: Review Of Play On Page 8 amination for all 10 for March 12 and released them on $75 bond each. The Performance Group posted cash bonds with the court for all defendants. L The charge is a high court I misdemeanor which could I involve one year in jail or a I $500 fine. They were released I on personal recognizance until I the arraignment. Daniel M. McCreath, president I of University Activities Center, I sponsoring the arts festival, said I the play will not be performed I tonight but that a discussion "of I freedom of expression in the I dramatic arts" featuring the diI rector and cast of "Dionysus" I will be held instead. People I holding tickets for the play can get refunds from UAC, he said. Krasny, who said he was called "a blue-nosed pig" and heard Ann Arbor referred to as the "laughing stock of the n a t i o n , ' ' reconstructed the scène: "About 600 persons - aged from 16 to 80 - were allowed into the ballroom with some sitting on chairs and most watching the play from the floor. Some 200 persons with tickets were turned away. The cast carried many spectators to their seats." It was learned today that University officials, who had set up a special section for the officers previously, told Krasny upon arrival that he and his officers would have to sit with the rest of the spectators and that no cameras would be allowed in the ballroom. Pictures and identifications were taken by officers in the dressing rooms afterwards. A threatened sit-in by about 500 spectators failed to materialize when Krasny informed them thatthey would be "booked and charged" if they obstructed traffic in the Union. After the arrests were made, Richard Schechner, director of the play, held an impromptu press conference on the steps j leading to the third floor of the Union in front of about 200 students. A male was standing undressed behind Schechner as he spoke. same nude scènes had been performed in front of a mayor in Minnesota and drama critics nationwide with no incidents. He said New York Times critic Clive Barnes, who was at the University, would 'testify on the performer's behalf. The play, which began in an underground theatre in New York, last June, has been performed in Colorado Springs and Minnesota. University President Robben W. Fleming, commenting on arrests of cast members, said: "By performing clothed in Detroit on Saturday night, the cast of Dionysus pretty well demonstrated that nudity is not essential to their production. "I am informed that they were told on Sunday afternoon by Chief Krasny (Ann Arbor Pólice Chief Walter Krasny) that if they completely disrobed in Ann Arbor they would be arrested. In the face of that information they rïecided to test the law. "They were arrested and they now have the test case which they sought. I assume that the law will now adequately deal with the matter." State Sen. Gilbert Bursley, R-Ann Arbor, viewed the ] and said: "I think it most regrettable that this play had to include two nude scènes. I don't think they were necessary to achieve any artistic merit the play might have had. It reportedly played in Detroit minus these two scènes. I feel the reaction upon the public as the play is reported can only cast discredit upon student activities and make more difficult the role of the 'U' administraron. "I will certainly support any action the local authorities wish to take."