That fewer plays are being presented at Harvard this year than in any recent year, that more professional actors are being used in student productions, that fewer students are involved in the theater than have been for the past five or ten years are all incontrovertible facts. The Loeb Drama Centr may not be the role cause of the sudden apathy, but a new policy on the part of the Loeb Committee may do much to alleviate it.
So far, productions in the Loeb have been immense extravaganzas, with casts of fifty or sixty actors and technical crews of thousands. The sets have required weeks to install, and parts of one play had to be cut because not enough costumes could be prepared. But more important, the fear of failure has induced directors to hire professional actors to play important roles, a habit which seems to be spreading even to productions outside the Loeb.
The Loeb Committee can help to reverse the trend. It can encourage students to try smaller and simpler productions; it can fit more productions onto the Loeb's main stage; and it can try to turn the Loeb over to the undergraduates. Hopefully, the white elephant can be taught some new tricks.