"The founding of the Harvard Dramatic Club came to pass under the influence of liquor," was one of the statements made by H. T. Parker '90, one of the club's founders and, since his graduation, dramatic critic of the Boston Transcript.
Mr. Parker, in his talk at the Dramatic Club's first open meeting of the year, held in the Living Room of the Union last night, told of the early history of the club, and discussed briefly the advantages of dramatic experience in college.
Club Founded at Boston Party
Mr. Parker, who was graduated in the class of 1890, explained that the club was founded during his college days, and that its inception first occurred during a party in one of the Boston hotels.
"At first," said Mr. Parker, "we tried to do plays written by undergraduates and recent graduates. I am glad that the Dramatic Club has since then decided to produce plays written by professional dramatists, as in our plays we were hampered by poorer material both in acting and producing the plays. We were constantly in financial difficulties, and once had to appeal for assistance to members who had graduated. All this has changed now, and I think it is largely the result of the Club's new policy of using plays written for the professional stage. These give better material to work on; they interest the public more; and they give you a chance to see what you can do."
College Training Tests Actors
The chief advantage from partaking in dramatic activities while in college, Mr. Parker thought, is the accretion of something more than a passive interest in a play. "Everyone thinks that he can act, as witness some of the casts that come to Boston, and another advantage gained from taking part in dramatics is that you can find out definitely what your ability is.
"By presenting new plays, the Harvard Dramatic Club does a great deal towards removing the emphasis that institutions of learning are bound, by the nature of things, to place on events of the past.
"In the modern world there is very little time given to emotion and imagination," continued Mr. Parker, "and as there is a good deal of both of these qualities in everyone, actual experience in dramatics gives one a chance to let off imaginative and emotional strain in the same way that an athlete lets off physical steam. Not only this, but when you attend theatres in later life you will get much more out of them, if you know the stage from the inside."
After Mr. Parker had closed his address, Eduardo Sanchez '26, President of the Dramatic Club explained the mechanics of the various competitions that are starting in connection with the annual fall production.
Blue books will be placed in Leavitt and Peirce's and candidates should sign for tryouts which are to be held tomorrow from 3.30 to 10.30 o'clock in the Music Building. Full details of the competitions will be explained at this time.