Playwright Deplores Contemporary Drama

American theatre-goers want "empty-headed amusement," Robert H. Chapman, instructor in English and co-author of "Billy Budd," said yesterday at the Law School's fourth Coffee Hour in Harkness Commons.

The American public does not take the arts seriously enough, Chapman said and added, "We don't budge out of our cozy chairs into the rain to see a play--we don't stir out of our complacency."

"I believe a play that doesn't have an idea in it isn't worth its salt," he told his audience. Yet he pointed out that the best money-makers are musical comedies which "require little effort to interpret."