College Calls for Escapist Dramas In Workshop Poll
Student theatre-goers want "English Satire and Sophisticated Comedy" and the works of George Bernard Shaw for their evening entertainment, according to results of the recent College-wide Veterans' Theatre Workshop poll.
The balloting, held January 14, for purposes of helping the Workshop pick their next production, showed students generally in favor of modern drama, which won a 5 to 1 decision over the classics. As an individual author, however, Shakesphere was the runner-up to Shaw, Mendy Weisgal '45 1G, head of the Play Reading Committee, stated.
Modern Tragedy Next
Next to modern escapist drama, voters signified a desire for modern tragedy, as Eugene O'Nell placed third in the playwright preferences of the interviewees. Behind O'Nell followed Noel C. Coward, Henrick Ibsen, Oscar Wilde, Maxwell Anderson, Clifford Odets, Anton Chekov, and Thornton Wilder. stated, "There was an almost intense monotony of response, which may perhaps be indicative of the stereotyped taste pattern of American audiences in general, and more particularly a definite escapist sentiment."
"Another interesting aspect of our poll results," said Weisgal, "was the very definite thumbs down given to left wing drama." American Social drama and Soviet drama held the celler position in the polling.
In support of the majority opinion, one undergraduate reported that "Art is now divorced for the grovelling Phillistine masses. Hence, not art. Stick to entertainment. Be like Yale," Another said, "I would attend any well done performance of a modern, dirty, and humorous play."
Although one student demanded, "Since you are an experimental group, get the hell out there and experiment," most ballots showed an antipathy towards original student written scripts. This opinion was backed up by such statements as "Nope I'm a reactionary, I don't believe in encouraging the writing of literature. Let's read what we have."
Only 163 out of 1896 ballots returned showed a lack of interest in attending student produced plays. "The Workshop is highly encouraged by the response accorded its poll of students," Weisgal reported. One man, however, saw the Workshop's dooms-day approaching and announced, "You are combatting a mighty current in an unrealistic fashion, and will fail accordingly."
On the basis of the tastes shown in this poll, Weisgal announced, the Play Reading Committee will make the final choice of their spring production sometime within the next few days.
He added that the "Workshop would be happy to receive a copy of Ernst's "Bedtime Blues," which received as extra-ordinary amount of votes