MORE OF THE LOEB

The Mail

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

Your series of articles on the problems of the Loeb Theatre are of interest and even a source of amusement. The real problem of theatre at Harvard is the poor quality of theatrical performances. As a community we do not face up to this. On the contrary, theatre criticism in this community, in general, speaks from a lofty point of view as though the material under scrutiny were also at this level. In fact, the quality of many Harvard performances would be a matter of embarrassment in provincial high schools.

A really fascinating argument in the current debate is that the trouble with Loeb is its professionalism. In one sense one might with that were true. Unfortunately, there isn't any evidence of even modest amateurism. There is little enthusiasm, little energy, and, of course, almost no technical skill in the Harvard performances that I have seen. Worst of all, there is a paucity of intellectual excitement. There is only a crashing parochialism that mistakes quantity and variety of productions, (many of them anti-theatre obscurities) produced in a vacuous atmosphere, for theatre. Imitations of faddish trends in approach to technique, or of some style vaguely suggestive of the British "Classic" style, only underscore the simple fact that there is no unifying point of view or style around here. Until Harvard does have its own style, its theatrical performances are going to be dull and empty.

There are solutions to Loeb's problems as there have been to the same problems in other theatres in other places, but they do not necessarily lie in the directions of more variety, more imitation, more scenery, more red spotlights, more ghastly makeup, more massive productions, and almost certainly not in the direction of more democracy. Preston K. Munter, M.D.   University Health Services.