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Jane Cowl Gives Reasons for Disastrous Dramatic Season in Gotham--Has Acted Juliet 698 Times, Often Seven a Week


"Boston is no different from other cities in its support of musical comedies," said Jane Cowl, the well known actress, yesterday, being surprised to hear from a representative of the CRIMSON that Boston is known as a musical comedy town. Miss Cowl is appearing at the Plymouth Theatre in "The Jealous Moon," a play of which she is co-author.

"The plays which have had a great vogue in New York," she continued, "are those which the road towns want to see. New York is able to support musical shows largely because of the transient population which spreads the news at home and thus helps to create a road audience for them."

When asked if she could give any reasons for the unsuccessful dramatic season in New York this year, Miss Cowl said: "The season has been utterly disastrous, financially and artistically. There are a number of reasons for this condition, comprising factors which have been slow in coming to a head. The first is that the tastes of the public are obviously becoming lower. The second is that the management of plays is no longer in the hands of a few well established men, but in the hands of many persons some of whom have been mere ticket takers, have accumulated a few thousand dollars, and with their deplorable taste have entered the managing game. Another factor lies in ticket speeulation which, if not curbed, will be the death of the theatre. And a final reason lies in the difficulty of making one's way through New York traffic, a thing which Police Commissioner Whalen may have remedied to some extent."

The conversation turned to the talking pictures, whereupon Miss Cowl said: "It is a purely economic truth that the talking movies will replace the legitimate drama inside of ten years. A theatrical manager is forced to spend between fifty and eighty thousand dollars on a production, can show it in only one city at a time, and then must wait several months before his returns come in. But a motion picture producer is able to make a film and a sound record and to distribute the show for presentation in 70 cities at the same time."

Miss Cowl expressed pride in the fact that she holds two Shakespearian records: first for the most performances of any Shakespearian role, which she holds as a result of 698 performances of Juliet; and second, for the presentation of Juliet seven times a week a thing which she did frequently but which no other actress has ever attempted because of the physical and emotional strain of the role.

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