A Debate on Who Should Run the Loeb
The Ford Committee of the Faculty's report on the Loeb Drama Center and theater at Harvard came out last March--but far from settling an argument, the report fed it, and last week a possible conflict between Faculty and student drama participants seemed on the point of breaking out.
The center of the controversy is the Loeb mainstage, and who will or will not be allowed to use. Up until now, the nine-student executive board of the Harvard Dramatic Club has decided what plays, producers and directors will appear at the University's best dramatic facility.
And prior to this year, there was lots of grumbling about that from many of the 600 students active in drama. Members of groups like Black Cast, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society and House drama societies claimed that the HDC was run by Loeb elitists who too often favored their friends when it came to deciding between applications for use of the mainstage.
It is unclear whether Dean Rosovsky had those complaints in mind when last October he created a committee of five faculty members chaired by Franklin L. Ford, McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History, to review the status of the Loeb Drama Center.
The committee's report was clear enough: the absolute and corruptable power of the HDC was to be ended, and a new Harvard-Radcliffe Drama Council--composed of members of all drama organizations--would take charge.
But the lag-time between Rosovsky's charge and the report's issuance was crucial, the present HDC executives having been elected on an anti-elitist platform, and containing at least five members with ties to drama organizations outside the Loeb.
These executives argue that past abuses have been corrected, and there is no need for a new drama council--the HDC will continue to work fine, they say, if its constitution is amended to provide for mandatory non-Loeb representation on future boards.
That position--as well as responses to the other eight recommendations of Ford's committee--will be outlined in a statement to be released next week by the HDC.