Daily Independent Journal from San Rafael, California on February 24, 1967 · Page 17
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Daily Independent Journal from San Rafael, California · Page 17

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San Rafael, California
Issue Date:
Friday, February 24, 1967
Page:
Page 17
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An Actress Takes To New Home Afloat B t MAYBELLF SPcnruitTtT By MAYBELLE SPECKMANN Charlene Polite, the young American Conservatory Thea- w^° k living on the umphale, a houseboat in Sausalito, is among those in me company who hope San Francisco will become the permanent home of ACT. Wearing a very modish pinstripe pants suit, the tall, slender beauty, who has auburn hair and green eyes, made a voice and speech, music, and use of the body,” she said, “as well as related skills such as makeup and hairdress. There are also seminars on the newest trends in theater, classes in direction and what we call theater games, or exercise of the imagination. These might consist of creating whole scenes or situations from looking at a couple of objects.” The classes are not limited —eyes, maue a * , ------:— — ...... striking contrast with her very ? mer7lbers of the company, informal but colorful living f. P°inted out- ACT through leading lady in “Six Characters In Search of an Author” and the maid in “Man and Superman.” She also acts in “Under Milkwood” and will probably be in “Our Town.” “The 16 plays are to be given in the 22 weeks that began on Jan. 21, and will continue through June 18,” she said. “The summer will be free for rehearsing new plays, and after a season in Chicago the com­ pany will re-open in San Francisco in September for another 22 weeks.” Charlene hopes to keep on living on the houseboat where she has stayed ever since she drove, with Bianco at her side, from New York to San Francisco. In it she has installed the wooden rocker she takes, with her everywhere. In her limited leisure time she loves to get in the little quarters. TOese are a cozy apartment adjoining a ballroom-art gallery on the houseboat owned by Virginia Barclay. Every artistically inclined previous occupant of the apartment seems to have contributed to the decor. Greeting us at the apartment door in the best watch dog style was Bianco, the white German shepherd dog that is Charlene’s constant companion at home, in her sportscar and even at the theater during rehearsals, performances and classes. CHARLENE WAS TOO full •f enthusiasm about the nonprofit repertory theater that is presenting 16 plays in a 22- week season at the Geary and Marines theaters in San Francisco to talk much about herself. in*! “I’ve been with the theater since it began two years ago,” she said. “I have a B.A, in theater and English literature from Youngstown University in Ohio. I had a scholarship to the Pittsburgh Theater School, and while I was there I auditioned for William Ball and was asked to join the American Conservatory Theater, known to everybody now as ACT. “It’s a wonderful company,” she continued, “the nation’s leading repertory group. Most of the people are primarily interested in repertory, rather than Broadway or movies. They’re not star type people but people-type-people who have had all kinds of jobs and like to do the things everyone does. They’re not a clique by themselves. They want to be part of the community,” she remarked. “No matter what their training or professional experience, Bill treats everyone in the company as equals and makes them feel important. “I think he is one of the finest directors id the country today. Repertory theater has always been very limited in this country. He got tired of London and Canada bringing their classic legitimate theater over here, and founded this company that is a great inspiration. That’s, why we all want it to work so badly. Everyone in the theater is behind us 100 per cent.” Charlene went on to explain that the company has a very large staff — about 125 concerned not only with every aspect erf production but even maintaining its own school. The acting staff consists of about 35 people, she said, 24 of whom are professional actors and the others advanced fellowship students. Charlene herself hold the Helen Menken memorial fellowship. its community conservatory training program will offer training to theater students from various Bay Area colleges. Complementing this program will be special sessions for gifted non-professionals in acting, voice and movement. “PART OF THE EXCITEMENT of our theater,” says Charlene, “is being able to see one person in many different roles, playing everything from a housewife to a queen.” Her roles are those of Marianne in “Tartuffe,” Florence in “The Torch Bearers,” Amy in “Charlie’s Aunt,” the other woman in Willy Loman’s life in “Death of a Salesman,” the TO PUBLISH ENGAGEMENT AND WEDDING STORIES IN THE Forms for engagement and wedding story information to be printed in the Independent-Joumal are available from the I-J offices in San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, Tiburon and Corte Madera. Wedding forms should be returned promptly to the I-J office in your area, and information will be printed immediately after the wedding. Photographers should be urged to submit wedding picture prints promptly. Color photos cannot be used. The Independent-Journal does not print wedding stories or pictures more than 30 days after the wedding date. An engagement form may be accompanied by a professional black and white photo, which may be picked up at the I-J office after publication. Snapshots, polaroid or color pictures are not suitable. m omen SECOND SECTION 3iihrpgnòfttt-3lmtntal, Friday, Feb. 24, 1967 15 boat anchored just outside the full length doors of her living room and row over to Angel Island. She enjoys feeding the cranes and sea gulls, listening to classical music on her radio, horseback riding when she can, and dining out and dancing as often as possible. ONE TERRIFYING experience failed to affect her determination to continue living on the houseboat. This was during the heavy storms in the latter part of January. “I was on the boat the night of the big storm,” she recalled. “About 5 a.m. Bianco woke me, and when I opened the door to let him out, a big wave came in, I was terrified. I could see no road, no docks, nothing. “I screamed out the window, ‘What’s happening!* But the boat had broken loose and was about a quarter of a mile out in the bay. “Finally a helicopter flew over, and the pilot asked me if I was all right and told me not to panic, that they would have the boat pulled back to shore. “I couldn’t see any of the cars, including mine that had been parked along the shore, and when I asked him what happened to them, he said they were all under water. “Within a few hours the houseboat was moored again. I had a matinee that afternoon and had to hop a ride on a pickup truck to the theater.” Charlene’s sportscar was retrieved from the mud not too much the worse for the experience, and she now drives as usual to work across the Golden Gate Bridge with Bianco at her side. IN HER BEDROOM on the balcony of the living quarters on the houseboat Omphale in Sausalito Charlene Polite, American Conservatory Theater actress, studies her part in the next ACT play in which she will perform. This is the role of the leading lady in “Six Characters in Search of an Author.” She performs in about half of the 16 plays, staged by ACT in its 22-week season. OPEN SUNDAY 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. WHITE SALE... CHEST S* mm Now on Deluxe Quality Pine. Check our prices, our quality, then take 'em home in your car, truck or trailer. CHEST 4 énmt CHEST • InwN ,!'■ IMMEDIATE DELIVERY - NOW IN STOCK CHESTS 3-Dra wor Deluxe m "WO 5 30” wide, 16” deep, 281/2” high ................. 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Mahogany Triple Dresser This was a sellout in our last sale but we've reordered this handsome triple dresser with center drawer glides. Now in stock again at boat is anchored just outside the full length glass windows of her houseboat living room. Making friends with and feeding cranes and gulls are other activities she enjoys at her on-the-water- home. (Independent-Journal photos by Jim Kean) (•tyHgttu- •r prablini. trow Mill Valley take Hifkwey !•! North SHE PUTS IN A 12-to-14- boor-day, including classes, rehearsing and performing. The school, which is one of the most interesting activities of the company, has some of the finest instructors in the country, she believes. “Classes are given in every possible kind of training in k

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