Archibald MacLeish, Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, last night called Yale's decision to establish a graduate school of drama a sign that Harvard has fallen behind in recognizing the importance of drama.
"Yale's actions are important to drama lovers everywhere, but especially to those at Harvard," MacLeish said. Yale announced Monday that it would establish a graduate school of drama in order to give drama instruction at Yale more stature.
"The benefits will be primarily psychological," F. Curtis Canfield, dean of the new school, said. "Actually our drama department has always been virtually as independent as a separate school," he added.
Yale undergraduates will be able to major in drama, as in the past, and work in the department during their last two years.
Graduate Drama Degree
Yale graduate drama students, however, will actually receive a degree in Drama, rather than Fine Arts, as before.
MacLeish and Canfield both said that the significance of Yale's decision was its recognition that drama deserves the same respect given to other fields, particularly the professions.
"We're really just catching up with many western and mid-western schools," Canfield said.
Yale also plans to make major improvements in its theater facilities and co-operate with theater producers to bring promising young writers to Yale for study.
MacLeish also praised Yale for developing a core of trained actors, and encouraging writers. More trained actors are necessary to give new plays a suitable trial, MacLeish said.
Yale also plans to introduce more courses for potential drams teachers, according to Canfield.