It was with a sensation of distinct relief that most members of the University read the reassuring letter from Professor George P. Baker which appeared in these columns yesterday. After, the years of polished neglect and cultivated refusal which have been his portion at the hands of the University it would not have been in the least strange if he had finally decided to place his unrewarded talents at the service of a more appreciative audience. A man less inherently loyal would have done so long ago.
Since the founding of the 47 Workshop, which has been in successful operation for over ten years, Professor Baker has met with almost no assistance whatever in his efforts toward extension and improvement. At every turn his requests have been denied and his work hampered by an utterly inexplicable passive resistance on the part of the governing powers of the University. He has asked for official cooperation and has been refused. He has attempted to solicit funds and has been expressly forbidden to do so. Why he continues his apparently undesired labors can be explained on no other ground than that of a wish to be of service to his college--an attitude worthy of a better return than has so far been his.
Just why this silent opposition persists is difficult to understand. It may be a native distrust of the strange and new, or it may be an unconscious relie of the conventional Victorian point of view toward anything and everything in the slightest way connected with the stage. Both very nearly approach the ridiculous. When the drama has reached a point in its development where its legimacy as a means of artistic expression has been universally recognized, for some hundreds of years, he can be no better than a fool who denies the same legitimacy to a study of the mechanical details by which such expression is achieved.
Professor Baker has already been the recipient of discouragements enough to deaden the ambition of a dozen ordinary men: He has directly denied his intention of removing to other more responsive circles. And the University for the advancement of whose prestige he has been working, and which has given him not the slightest encouragement, has so far not even had the grace to blush.