The Dramatic Club presented its spring group of one-act plays in the Hasty Pudding Theatre last evening. The performance showed the result of some extremely competent coaching by the new director, Mr. S. A. Eliot, in a general evenness of acting and quietness and realism of tone. Exception might possibly be taken to the sombre quality of all four of the plays produced. The curtain rose on a death bed, but the general atmosphere of gloom which dominated the second and third of the plays made the first piece seem almost a merry trifle. It is called "The Harbour of Lost Ships," and is by Miss Louise Whitefield Bray, a Radcliffe graduate. The scene is laid in Labrador or Green Bay or some correspondingly Arctic atmosphere where the inhabitants, doubtless by reason of the frigidity of the environment, believe in hell with a peculiar ferocity. A boy is about to die in the company of his sister and a parson, who looks in at the last moment to say that the boy is certain to go to hell if he does not repent immediately. As there is nothing in particular to repent of, the boy is considerably upset and distressed, until his sister turns out the parson and assures her brother it is all a mistake. This cheerful little piece has a certain genuine pathos and is written with a feeling for style, but it lacks true theatrical effect.
"The Reunion," by Miss Eleanore Hinkley, is a much better play, from the dramatic point of view, perhaps the best of the four. "A Transfer of Property," by Mark A. Reed, is a satire on up-to-date religious fanaticism, as "The Harbour of Lost Ships" is of the old-fashioned type. It is an attack on Christian Science, and is on the whole as unskillfully constructed as it is admirably acted. Moreover, it makes the mistake common in plays of its type of failing to give a fair show to both sides of the question. "The Little Cards," by John Redhead Froome, Jr., is a play of Ellis Island, immigration and the Binet test is superficially the most effective of the plays from the theatric point of view, though it lacks the genuine humor and human quality of Miss Hinkley's play.
Of the acting last evening, the chief honors should go to Miss Hinkley as the old woman in "The Reunion," Miss Edith Coombs as the mother in "A Trans- fer of Property," and Miss Auerbach as an Italian girl in "The Little Cards." Of the men in the cast, Mr. Bushnell and Mr. J. H. Hotson were perhaps the best. Mr. Hardinge Scholle, in a small part, did his best to be sinister and disagreeable, but the role does not suit his character. The settings, though in no way remarkable, were extremely true to life, and mention should be made of the efficient shifting of scenes, saving one from the long waits usual on such occasions. It seems hardly necessary to add that great credit is due those responsible for the production, for this time the performance really speaks for itself. It is fairly rare that a first night goes off with such smoothness and on the whole with such distinction. CUTHBERT WRIGHT ocC.
Plays Repeated Tonight.
The four plays will be repeated tonight in the Hasty Pudding Theatre and tomorrow night in Copley Hall, Boston, at 8.15 o'clock. An informal dance will be given after each performance.
Tickets are on sale at the Co-operative Branch and Herrick's for $1 and $1.50. Application for seats may also be made with P. C. Lewis '17, Thayer 26