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The Tar Hee!
Thursday, June 17, 1971
by Bruce Mann
Remember Avadon-Black, the
traveling actor who brought his unique
type of theatre experience to UNC for
two performances in May 1970?
Wll, it appears that Avadon-Black will
not be returning for some time. Next
Tuesday, the twenty-two year old actor
goes on trial in Federal District Court of
Los Angeles for refusing induction into
the Army, thereby facing a sentence of
up to five years in prison.
The information, scrawled on a slip of
pink paper, came to the Tar Heel
wrapped in a small Safeway Food Store
paper bag, postmarked "Culver City"
with the return address of only
"Avadon-Black, Wandering Actor."
In the letter, he wrote: "I got to know
a lot of people at UNC; many of them
came to see my show. I was here during
the strike. It was an amazing place to be."
The story of Avadon-Black began in
April of 1969 when he left the UCLA
School of Theatre. Traveling with only a
pack, a sleeping bag, and a dream to bring
special "personal theatre" to university
students, Avadon-Black began presenting
admission free one-man shows across the
country, a practice which has led him on
hitchhiking tours to over forty
universities from Bangor to San Diego.
At each of the performances Avadon
tries to involve his audience in the
experience in order that they might gain
insight into complexities of the human
experience. Not as unstructured
theatrically as some living theatre nor as
traditional as a typical Broadway show,
Avadon's presentations aim at helping
people emerge from their standard
"It is necessary for people to get
together outside of their roles to truly
understand each other," he once said.
"My way is through the theatre."
Avadon tries to accomplish this
through the many facets of his show. One
part of his program is devoted to the
re-creation of the various
characters-truckers, soldiers, and
salesmen-who have carried him over
29,000 hitchhiked miles. All of these
segments concentrate on how people of
various backgrounds and different
Before you take off for the
summer shack, be sure to
browse the old emporium
for exciting vacation
Paperbacks on all subjects,
from light escape fiction and
mysteries to meaty works
Children's books too, including
a large selection of shuckable
. paperbound editions.
Enjoy your respite more
this trip, by beginning with
a pleasurable stroll through
119 E. Franklin St.
Open Evenings Til 10
experiences confront problems of their
For example, in a sequence he
performed at UNC, Avadon plays a
soldier from Fort Ord who tells of his
personal army experiences: the cold
inhumanity of military bureaucracy, a
desperate need for money to support a
family, and a frightening murder by
military guards. Another piece has
Avadon playing a confused and frustrated
insurance salesman running away from his
unreceptive wife who will neither accept
his kisses nor sleep with him.
Interludes in the program feature the
poetry of Stephen Crane and e.e.
cummings, and a surrealistic portion of
each performance focuses on certain
characters drawn from the audience and
sketched on stage.
Some say Avadon infuses his
self-conjured theatre with a magic touch,
and -the statement rings frighteningly true
since, in addition to his acting
proficiency, Avadon is also an expert
magician. Avadon uses his magic talents
(including his trademark, the walnut
shells and the hidden pea) not only to
advertise his presence on campus but also
in order to get to know people, what they
are doing and thinking.
"Magic is like a common denominator
in reaching people," he once said. "It's a
way of talking to people and seeing how
After two years of magic and theatre,
though, Avadon is waiting for his trial. He
returned to Los Angeles February 2 to
refuse induction into the armed services,
and he feels strongly that his decision is
"Life is sacred. I will do everything I
can to perpetuate and inspire life. I will
not learn to destroy. I cannot accept
alternative service as that would affirm
the goveniment's right to impress men
into service. I can't put an end to war or
to the military corruption of the human
spirit. I can only refuse to participate."
In 1970 the Daily Tar Heel published
the hopeful statement "eventually he
would like to organize a touring group for
his 'personalized theatre' dream." Now it
seems that because of the decision,
Avadon-Black's vision must wait some
few years for fulfillment.
WUNC-TV features 'Caesar
"Pere Goriot," "Julius Caesar" and
"The Advocates" highlight WUNC-TV's'
offerings this week on Channel 4.
Honore de Balzac's "Pere Goriot,"
from his massive compilation, 'The
Human Comedy," continues Sunday
night at 9 p.m. (repeated Wednesday at
10 p.m.) on "Masterpiece Theatre," the
highly touted Public Broadcasting System
series. Alistair Cooke narrates.
"Pere Goriot's" target
bourgeoisie and in particular, those of old
Goriot, a doting father who depletes his
wealth and dignity to get his ungrateful
daughters into high society.
This Friday night at 8:30 p.m.,
Shakespeare contributes to the "NET
Playhouse Biography" series with a
production of "Julius Caesar," starring
Robert Stephens, Maurice Denham,
Frank Finlay, and Edward Woodward.
Of the four featured players, three are
well known to NET Playhouse audiences.
Stephens, who played in the film "The
Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," has starred in
Playhouse's production of "Much Ado
About Nothing" and in Chekhov's "The
Seagull." Finlay also co-starred in "Much
Ado About Nothing" as the comic
Dogberry, and Denham played the father
in John Hopkins' tragic four-part series,
"Talking to a Stranger."
. Senator Edmund Muskie (D., Maine)
will urge withdrawal of all U.S. troops
from Indochina by the end of this year in
an appearance on "The Advocates,"
Tuesday at 9 p.m.
Muskie, leading contender for the
1972 Democratic presidential
nomination, will join Advocate Howard
Miller in calling for Congressional action
to force a December 1971 withdrawal
deadline. William Rusher, publisher of the
National Review, will lead the opposition.
Proponents believe setting an early
termination date would spur serious
peace negotiations in Paris, and that
continuing U.S. presence in Southeast
Asia would represent a U.S. attempt to
"save face" at the cost of a higher death
Opponents assert a precipitous
withdrawal would strengthen the enemy's
hand at the bargaining table while
endangering Vietnamization efforts and
possibly permitting a rapid Communist
takeover. They consider the President
well on the way to ending U.S.
involvement at a less risky pace without
Moderator for the program will be
Open Daily 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Sat & Sun 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
On Your Way To Class Take
A Cold Drink In Our New
Kosher Style Hot Dog .40
French Fries .20
Large Drink .20
Only .59 8CT
Valid June 17-23, 1971