PHANTOM PUBLIC

The Mail

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

I read with interest Mr. Schoenberg's "Cabbages and Kings" on the subject of drama at Harvard. He would be surprised to learn how many members of the Harvard Dramatic Club, at least, are as strongly in favor of original and/or little-known plays as he is. The problem, basically, is financial.

Is there a theatre public at Harvard? I assure you it numbers less than one thousand--except, of course, for Shakespeare. Will originals draw this public? Considering "The General," presented by the now-defunct Harvard Theatre Group last spring, they will not. Here was a thoughtful play by the co-author of a Broadway production which was by all accounts an artistic success. It had its world premiere in the thinking community of its birth. Yet it was a huge financial failure. We simply cannot take this risk.

It can be justifiably argued that production dates interfered with the box office returns of "The General"; unfortunately there are no good production dates. Nor can much of the blame be laid there.

In short, if we had a public, we would agree with you . . . in fact, we do anyway, but our hands are tied. Hayden T. Richards '55