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Joseph Krutch, in an article in the current Nation, inspired by the performance-of "The Master Builder" in New York, points out that Ibsen in his later plays worked under the rule. "My business is to ask questions, not to answer them." It is to be noted that, although he stayed by this idea, Ibsen answered a very pressing question of New York producers last year, and bids fair to do the same this season; to wit: "What shall we play to stave off what promises to be a remarkably dull season?"
How these men turned to Ibsen, and how the famous author, represented by several of his brain-children, rushed to the dike to keep out threatening boredom, is too well-known to be repeated. In a season of revivals, Ibsen headed the list, his only near competitors for honors being Gilbert and Sullivan. Now, however, at this early stage of the season, indications point strongly to the fact that he may again be called upon to rescue the public. Although this is too soon to come to any definite conclusions, when as perfect an actress as Miss Le. Gallienne is engaged in the production of revivals of revivals, one can be reasonably certain that the American playwrights have not been holding up their end. When this condition arises, experience has taught that somebody had better go and see what can be used of the many Ibsen plays.
Although it is unfortunate that the younger generation of authors cannot write enough worthwhile plays to satisfy the demand, it is a compliment to the theatregoing populace that it refuses to accept drivel and receives instead the thought-stimulating and inspiring lines of Ibsen. In this case, turning to the past is a sure sign of progress.
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