HDC Forced Into Sanders Again in Fall
School Commission Ruling, Too Many Seats to Fill Eliminate Rindge for Future HDC Plays
The Harvard Dramatic Club will have to be happy with Sanders Theater, for next year anyhow, President Robert C. Seaver '50 disclosed last night.
Rindge Technical High School's auditorium, scene of the Club's April production of "The Man Who Came to Dinner," is definitely out of the HDC's plans as the result of a ruling by the Cambridge School Commission which prohibits use of the city's high school auditorium by a professional or commercial group for more than three days running.
Although the HDC terms itself a non-profit cultural organization, set up purely for the furthering and advancement of the drama, the School Commission has indicated that it would classify the HDC as commercial.
Union Requests Ruling
The Commission is now considering a request made Monday by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and Moving Picture Operators AFL, that use of high school auditoriums be refused to "professional or commercial groups" unless union men are employed to handle stage productions or motion picture shows.
The HDC used union stage hands in its Rindge production, but the cost would have been prohibitive without Monty Woolley in the cast to draw large audiences.
Club officials complied with union demands on that occasion because they agreed with the union position that the HDC show was competing with the professional theater and that failure to comply would have damaged the union's bargaining position in Boston, Seaver said.
Falled in Town
The Dramatic Club discovered the impracticality of hiring a downtown theater when it had to appeal to every friendly wallet after plummeting into debt in its production of "The Survivors" at the Plymouth Theater last spring.
The possibility of renting Brattle Hall Theater from the Theater Workshop is very slight and does not figure in HDC plans, Seaver said.
With the three main avenues of escape from the shallow stage and stringent fire laws of Sanders blocked, the HDC will definitely be back in Memorial Hall next fall, if it puts on a show at all. Seaver stated.
The ruling now before the School Commission cannot affect the possibility of the HDC's using the Rindge stage. Seaver said, since either the three-day limit or the difficulty of filling the vast auditorium for an ordinary college production alone places it out of the Club's reach.