Drama No Less Worthy of Place on Curriculum Than Business, Law, or Medicine

The preamble of a well known document once affirmed that man was entitled to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' That was a new idea. After a while it became pretty widely accepted. But an examination of a few cross sections of our twentieth century tends to the conclusion that our famous preamble should be changed to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of business.'

The country teems with college business schools, extension business schools, correspondence schools, all waiting to snatch up the young man and turn him into a rythmic accounting machine, and then feed him as so much raw material into the steel factories, the aluminum factories, the 'widget factories', and the stool chairs of commercial life. Fond Fathers instruct sons to eat and be merry in their gay college years for there is serious business ahead.

It is the old complaint of Wordsworth.

"The world is too much with us; late and soon.

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:--"


One finds the four walls of an office are considered as life realized to the fullest extent. It is a sad commentary when Harvard, a university which has been the great leader of education succumbs to the tune of millions for a business school but not one cent for a school of the drama.

Dramatic Schools Necessary

The objection is not to the business school but to the proportion. This is a strenuous age, an age of science, and business schools are necessary. But all the more must we have our schools of the drama. Humanity cannot listen to the steam whistle continuously.

Someday we shall pause to wonder what all the big rush is about anyway. People will realize that happiness is after all the end of human existence. And then perhaps someone will ask, "Which contributes more to human happiness, a widget, or a great drama?"

A prominent man lecturing recently before a group of Harvard men said, "The drama is the greatest thing in the world." He was enthusiastic but was he greatly mistaken?

Theatre Mirror of Life

Drama is the revelation of the potentialities of every man. The theatre is a great mirror of life. All creative activities extend human consciousness, and enlarge human power. But there is this difference. A chemist or an engineer may remain ignorant in other departments of knowledge. The function of drama is to bring the infinite variety of the living world into convenient compass for observation. To increase knowledge of humanity is to enlarge humanity.

A good play is like a visit to the seashore. It takes John Jones out of himself while he cries and laughs at 'Cyrano de Bergerac', and it leaves him a finer man. His soul is purged and life does not seem quite so mean as it did before. His warped mental vista has been straightened out.

The world is richer by one fresh group of emotions or ideas by the one man more aware of what goes on within and about him.

Technique Can Be Taught

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