CENSORED PLAY "SOPHIE" ATTRACTS BIG AUDIENCE
WORKSHOP AND DRAMATIC CLUB PLAYERS ARE IN CAST
"I am sorry that so much publicity has been given to the censorship by Boston city officials of the Stage Guild's production of 'Sophie'", said Mr. Edward Massey '15, coach of the forthcoming Dramatic Club production "The Makropoulos Secret", and prominent member of the cast of the play "Sophie" which was visited on Monday evening by Mayor Curley, Mayor Quinn, and Censor Casey as a result of complaints that the play was objectionable.
"Now large audience will flock to the Peabody Playhouse," he continued, "not to see 'Sophie' because it is an interesting and artistic performance, but because it is a so-called risque play."
Hang Out S. R. O. Sign Early
Mr. Massey's prediction was fulfilled at last night's performance of the much discussed play. The little playhouse on Charles Street was filled to its capacity long before the performance began. On Monday evening there had been but a scattering audience, some 50 or more bona fide spectators, a row of newspaper reporters, and Mayor Curley's investigating party, which consisted, in addition to the mayors of Boston and Cambridge, of Chief Justice Wilbur Bolster, Police Commissioner Herbert A. Wilson, and John M. Casey, city censor and clerk in the mayor's office.
But last night every one of the 395 seats in the Peabody Theatre was taken, and disappointed crowds were being turned away at the door.
In the programs of the Stage Guild's production of "Sophie", a three act comedy by Philip Moeller, may be found the names of several people who are or have been connected with the 47 workshop and the Harvard Dramatic Club.
The play was produced by Mr. Massey who is also taking the part of an Austrian Ambassador who figures largely in the action of the play. He is now acting as coach for the Dramatic-Club. As an undergraduate he was secretary of the club in 1914, and a member of the cast of "Peter Pumpkin Eater", the first Dramatic Club production to be played in New York.
The title role, "Sophie" is being played by his wife, Madeleine Massey, and the part of the Mille Heinel, a dancer, is taken by Miss Frances Hyde who is now rehearsing for the leading role in "The Makropoulos Secret." J. J. Coller '24 and Miss Lillian Hartigan of the 47 Workshop also figure in the cast.
In continuing his remarks, made to a CRIMSON representative yesterday afternoon during a rehearsal of "The Makropoulos Secret" in the Music Building, Mr. Massey declared, "There is nothing in 'Sophie' to be offended at, nothing at all. It is an artificial sophisticated comedy of the time of Louis XIV. It depends for some of its effect on light risque lines, sometimes with double meanings. But it is a superficial play,--insincere, and, I think, quite harmless. It was intended for small sophisticated audiences, and not for general public production."
Objects To Officials Action
Mr. Massey did not appear to resent the interference of the city censors. Officers of the Harvard Dramatic Club, however, were far more indignant, considering it a serious intrusion on the rights of private theatrical organizations.
"The production of 'Sophie' is supported largely by private subscribers," said R. S. Aldrich '24, president of the Dramatic Club. "It is more like a private showing than an public performance. The play was produced for cultivated and sophisticated audiences, not for men like Curley, Quinn and Casey."