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THE DRAMA AT HARVARD.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

As Harvard and Harvard men become more and more active in the field of dramatic composition, the remarkable development this form of artistic endeavor has undergone at Harvard during the past three years is borne home to us with ever-increasing strength. An analysis of this development reveals three principal animating forces, standing out clear of the others. They are Professor Baker, the Harvard Dramatic Club and the English 47 Workshop. As for the first, little need be said. Professor Baker's reputation as a teacher and critic of dramatic composition is almost international, and without doubt he has been the greatest single factor in the movement at Harvard. His work has been greatly assisted by the Harvard Dramatic Club, which was founded in the spring of 1908 by E. B. Sheldon, R. E. Rogers, D. Carb and others, for the purpose of giving original plays by Harvard and Radcliffe undergraduates and recent graduates. It has been of great moral value in that it has stimulated the interest of students of the drama, and it has been of great practical value in that it has given them an opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge to an actual test. The so-called "47 Workshop" was founded last winter as an adjunct to Professor Baker's course in dramatic composition. Except perhaps that it lays more emphasis on the construction of plays and less on the development of histrionic talent, the "47 Workshop" is very similar in purpose to the Dramatic Club. It is a trying out place for the best plays written for English 47, a place to detect those weaknesses of a play which are brought out only by an adequate performance. The audience is especially selected with a view to the value of its critical judgment, and each member is asked to submit a criticism in order that the play may be rewritten in the light of the general comment. Professor Baker has made a life work of the teaching of technique of dramatic composition. Though not subservient to popular tastes, he is eminently practical, urging his students to write with a view to a New York production. The work of such of his students as Edward Sheldon, D. Carb, R. E. Rogers, J. F. Ballard, Florence Lincoln, and Elizabeth McFadden is sufficient proof of the efficiency of Professor Baker's instruction and a justification of the "47 Workshop." The "Harvard School of Playwrighting" seems to be an accomplished facts.

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