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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

An Ending, A Beginning

“Plays of Prejudice,” UMB’s mainstage production, closed this weekend to great applause. The last weekend produced some phenomenal performances, and – with a flu bug making its rounds – demonstrated the flexibility of the cast, as Rachel Melat (already performing as Bayard in “Incident at Vichy”) filled in as Fritz in “The Jewish Wife.” She arrived on campus early Thursday to rehearse the play with director Ron Nash for a performance at 11:00 that morning.

It wasn’t the only performance this weekend to overcome a last-minute substitution. Some elements of the Jazz Band Concert on Saturday were rearranged when a member succumbed to illness. Unlike the sports world – where several athletes cover the same position – the artistic world demands more creative solutions. “That’s part of the performing arts,” said Conductor Peter Janson after the concert, admiring his student’s professionalism in handling the change-up. In both cases, the substitutions were seamless, and the performances were spectacular.

The Spring 2002 Drama Workshop will be “The Poor House,” a tragicomedy by UMB professor emeritus Louis E. Roberts. Based on “Misericordia,” a novel by Spanish-language novelist Benito Peres Galdos, “The Poor House” depicts the lives of the impoverished in Madrid, Spain. Auditions for all parts will be held early next semester. With a large cast, a spectacular set, and colorful costuming, it has all the makings of a masterpiece. “I’m looking forward to a blockbuster production,” says Dr. Diane Almeida, who will direct.