The Daily Herald from Chicago, Illinois on September 28, 1973 · Page 31
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The Daily Herald from Chicago, Illinois · Page 31

Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Friday, September 28, 1973
Page 31
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THE HERALD 1 , Creativity in kids Diana Mundt unleashes it Friday, September 28, 1973 Section 4 --| WHEN DIANA MUNDT wants to relax, the takei out her iketeh board. Barnt and sunflowers are favorite subjects. by GENIE CAMPBELL Diana Mundt was too busy to talk over the phone. She was right In the middle of finger painting, she said, and judging from the shrieks and giggles spilling out of the receiver, lota of kids were doing it too. But that isn't surprising. Having seen Mrs. Mundt's brightly-colored hand puppets attract swarms of children at weekend art fairs held locally this summer, I realize that painting follows her expected pattern. It's another creative outlet for youngsters. The former elementary school art teacher enjoys working with children even though she is no longer in charge of a classroom. She caters to three of her own, Eddie, S; Debbie, 4; and Cathy, almost 2; and whoever else in the neighborhood happens by. The project isn't I m p o r t a n t , b u t t h e p r o c e s s Is ... unleashing the imagination. "Not enough of that is being done with children today," Mrs. Mundt declares with conviction. "I'M MORE INTERESTED in creativity, not the finished product," she continued. "When I -was teaching I didn't believe in using an eraser. If you make a mistake, make it Into something else I would tell my kids." Her puppets, she readily admits, evolved on their own. Her kids join In this relaxing pastime by helping her sort buttons, felt and yarn. Mrs. Mundt has been known to turn out walruses, hippies, dogs and dragons. But then that just depends on which child has chosen which puppet and what he personally decides to make of it. Having made puppets for herself as a child, Mrs. Mundt started up again by making several for her three children. Then someone suggested she exhibit them along with her pen and Ink draw- Ings. NOT ONLY do they sell well, but adults, led in hand by their children, are often then attracted to her drawings. "I love watching the kids at fairs discover them," she said. (Mrs. Mundt will never separate kids from her puppets unless they expose dirty hands.) "But you know what I found out? A lot of adults like to try them on too. One airline pilot bought one because he said It would be great for parties. An orthodontist bought one for his patients." Imagination also plays a big part In Diana's pen and Ink drawings. She purposely leaves some lines out. "I consider my work more impressionist, rather than true and realistic," she said. "I never like to fill In'all the lines. That way people can see what they want In them." / MRS. MUNDT enjoys sketching old farms and barns and much closer to home, the giant sunflowers that line her backyard. Like puppet making, sketching comes easily to the Wheeling housewife and requires little concentration. Often she draws while keeping one eye on the kids playing outside. It is only when Diana Is working with oils that she needs the peace and solitude of her own room devoid of distractions and continual interruptions. For this reason, her oils- have been neglected of late ... though she really doesn't mind. She'd rather spend extra time with the kids. Mrs. Mundt suggests several simple ideas for implanting creativity In children. Cutting out cookies can stimulate a child's imagination, particularly the decorating part. And Play Dough, she feels, Is a great invention. "OF COURSE it makes a mess, but messes don't bother me. Neither does noise. - "And the kids have fun. If they learn to appreciate the world around them and like art, that's what Is important. If they also prove to be talented artists, so much the better." A MEMBER OF the Community Arts League of Buffalo Grove and Wheeling, Mrs. Mundt exhibited her pen and ink drawings in numerous ar fairs this summer. A Paddock review 'Brief Lives' exceptional fare by GENIE CAMPBELL Never before have the likes of such an engrossing, stimulating theatrical offer- Ing as "Brief Lives" passed this way. The remarkable one-man show at Arlington Park Theatre, casting an almost eerie presence over the entire night, successfully hurls one back to the Elizabethan era, to the year 1697. Musicians and make-believe town criers In period costumes beckon ticket holders to their seats where a carefully Induced musty odor already begins to prepare the audience for a rapid trip back In time. The lights dim and the transformation Is Instantaneous. Welcome to old John Aubrey's decaying quarters strewn with a bevy of antiques, clutter and years of castoffs and layered filth. A RAGGED toothless man, waning In years, wakes up, smiles out at his silent c o m p a n y , and p r o c e e d s to ramble . . . from one anecdote to the next taking In former acquaintances, experiences and small philosophies on life, refreshing everyone with his memories of the past. The awe-inspiring performance Is the result of one man's effort alone on stage, R o y D o t r i c e , t h e r e n o w n e d Royal Shakespearean Company actor who breathes life into the deceased diarist, John Aubrey, and presents a more rounded, flavorful picture of one historical era than ever could be accounted for in a written text. I will hence remember the British biographer not so much for the grandeur of his works which, for the most part, are delightful tidbits of gossip, but for the character of Aubrey as presented by Dotrice. AUBREY, relatively unknown In his own lifetime, did much of his writing for others, though following his death, several of his own works were published. Most of the material for "Brief Lives," first presented by Dotrice In 1968, was taken from Aubrey's "Book of Lives." It takes the Shakespearean actor three and a half hours each night to apply the makeup necessary to create the deteriorating yet most comical figure of Aubrey who at 71, in the last year of life, comes across with several scholarly bits but much more often, salty, off-color tales related with a chuckle and a great deal of mirth. At other times small signs of senility show through as Dotrice feigns forgetfulness, and occasionally stumbles. Though almost crude in stature and movement, Aubrey Is indeed warm and likable as he immodestly belches or wrinkles his nose. THE STAGE Is set across one entire side of the theater where seats have been removed just for this production. In place of the usual center stage, burlap cushions have been thrown on the floor to allow students to sit up close where there Is opportunity to interact with the aging eccentric. More than 2,000 antiques and props are reportedly used in the setting that includes the actual jawbone of Thomas More and the .petrified kidney of Sir Thomas Harcourt. There's also a real log fire. No curtain is used so when it Is time, for intermission Dotrice yawns, apologizes for losing his train of thought and drifts off Into a light slumber. He remains on stage the entire Intermission while curious theatergoers take the opportunity to more closely scrutinize both the props and the tired old man who appears as central figure in a priceless aged painting. ONLY DOTRICE, slumped In his chair, must have been secretly psyching out the audience during that Intermission too, for Intimacy is even keener drulng the second act as he refers more often to the presence of the audience . . . a sign that everyone is pleased, actor and pa. Inns. And then, like the final grains of sand slipping through an hour glass, Aubrey wheezes and coughs sickly. Death is near. "You see In me the ruins of time. Glad of It, I desire not to live, in this corrupt age." His head nods and he's gone. ROY DOTRICE But not Roy Dotrice, who returns to receive a standing ovation. Few performances have ever been as deserving of special recognition as his. Unfortunately "Brief Lives" is at Ar- Ington Park Theatre for a limited engagement only, through Saturday, Oct. 6. A PUPPET FOR EACH HAND. Eddie, enjoys making hand puppets and S, and Debbie, 4, have it made. Their keeps her three children in plentiful mother, Mrs. Al Mundt of Wheeling, supply. GarfunkeVs first album Tom Von Malder reviews it in 'Playback.' P. 3 Medley 'Italia Mia' Photographed by Gina Lollobrigida ACTRISS GINA LOUOHKHDA has more than en* talent. She visited Woodffald recently to autograph copies of her new book that shows off her knack as a photographer. by JOHN MAES What would motivate a famous actress like Gina Lollobrigida to roam the Italian countryside for two and one-half years taking 20,000 pictures while disguised in a frizzled wig, a baggy blouse and blue jeans? "I wanted to tell a story about Italy, about the spirit of Italian people of all ages," said the famed actress who has appeared In some 60 films during her cinematic career. That "story" unfolds in Miss Lollobri- glda's new book, "Italia Mia," a collection of photographs by the actress which portray much that is Italy -- from a majestic coastal sunrise along the city of Naples to the austerity of a typical Sunday in Rome's Piazza Barfaerinl. . "I wanted to snow Italian life In such a way that when people look at the book they might see themselves In the pages," said Miss Lollobrigida during an appearance to promote the book at Wakten II bookstore In Woodfield Shopping Center, Schaumburg. , IN A POSTSCRIPT to tbe book she says, " . . . I neglected famous monuments in order to focus my lens on gestures', behavior: on men and women, the humble and the famous, the gypsies along the roads, the streetwalkers on their cold nightwatches..." ' The book begins with a portrait of a sizable segment of the population of the city of Subiaco, where the actress was born in July of 1929. The photographic journey goes on to capture people and things -- the faces of playful Roman children or the meticulous touch of the artisan working to restore a world-famous piece of art damaged in Florentine floods. Sicilian folkdancers captured in full color and native regalia stepping out a lively Tarantella before the ruins of an ancient temple and the balcony that inspired Shakespeare to write "Romeo and Juliet" are among the 191 photos. The book, In essence does not attempt to immortalize the historical landmarks or tbe artifacts of Italy but rather to immortalize those people around them. cognito was not all foolproof, the actress admitted. "I didn't always feel secure in the disguise and was afraid of being recognized," said Miss Lollobrigida, who added she had put plum stones In her mouth to alter her facclines. Sometimes, however, she would venture out to snap a few shots without the disguise. "A few times I had to run when people recognized me and began to crowd around." To Miss Lollobrigida, a one-time student of painting and sculpture at the Rome Academy of fine arts where she was offered her first film role in 1946, photography is actually a "substitute" for her love of artistic expression. Miss Lollobrigida said her film career regulated tbe amount of time she has been able to spend pursuing her artistic interests. "I have missed art and painting while acting and had to discover a substitute. Photography is very interesting and very creative. One can say much more with pictures than with words." TRAVERSING HER homeland in- !JI CAN EXPRESS myself completely with photography and it is good to get satisfaction from doing the things one really wants," she said. Miss Lollobri- gida feels creativity In acting is somewhat stifled because there "are so many other people Involved with you." Rising rapidly to success in motion pictures in the 1950s, Miss Lollobrigida starred in such films as the 1952 release of "Beat the Devil" with Humphrey Bogart," "Trapeze" In 1955 with Burt Lancaster and "Solomon and Sheba" in 1958. She has also played with David Niven in "King Queen and Knave" and in "Come September" with Rock Hudson, not to mention a long list of Italian films. She feels film-making is generally better today fa the United States than in tbe early days of her career despite an abundance of what she called "commercial pornography and other stuff." . "What makes motion pictures better these days," she said, "Is tbe way film is made to tell a story rather than what is conventional" It's also the way "Italia Mia" is made to tell a story -- tbe story of Italy and its people. -

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