In another column, the CRIMSON publishes this morning a communication upon the Players' Club, a society for furthering the cause of acting in the University. Its membership consists largely of men in the Dramatic Club, who feel that there is a place at Harvard for such an institution. This organization seems to infringe upon the ground which is naturally occupied by the Dramatic Club, but acting is such an involved field of endeavor that a club founded exclusively for its study and encouragement may have its place among undergraduate activities.
The Dramatic Club, on the other hand, places great stress upon the writing of plays, another field of wide interest and one which may well form the sole object of a society. The Dramatic Club has, however, established a wide reputation for presenting to the public the best that Harvard has to offer in the lines of both writing and acting, and has been favorably recognized by many outsiders. Moreover, its organization for managing the financial and executive branches of a public production is efficient and firmly established.
If the Players' Club also undertakes public performances, purporting to display the acting ability of undergraduates, useless competition and duplication and consequent loss if efficiency is bound to result. This will militate against the University, for, if the Dramatic Club, its recognized organ of dramatic expression, fails to maintain the high standard set in the past, the public will be led to believe that the interest or ability of the undergraduates is lagging.
In dramatic productions, both elements, writing and acting, should be combined and should be made to co-operate in such a way as to develope the best production of which the undergraduate body is capable. By cultivation of dramatic interpretation, the Players' Club can be of great service to many institutions in training actors, but in giving public performances it is entering a field already adequately filled and acting in a way prejudicial to the best interests of the University.