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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

CAST-OFF BUSKIN

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Frequent variations in its dogma of selection have resulted in the decline of the Harvard Dramatic Club as an independent stage organization. For some reason the executive staff is always unbending in its rules; the period previous to 1924 saw the Club presenting only plays of foreign authors, never before produced in America; the next few years introduced authors of this nation, but slowly turned from straight drama given by students to a semi-professional cast and a repertory either sensational or frankly song-and-dance. The disturbances of last December caused, for this season at least, the abolition of outside aid, but they have also resulted in further depreciation of the value of the Club.

It is no reflection on this spring's production to look askance on the Amusing, tuneful, pleasing, all the stock terms of reviewers may apply justly to it; but its content can be no more than training. If this field is to be the future one of the Dramtic Club, it must give up a position once unique and enter into competition with the annual plays, definitely billed as "shows", of the Hasty Pudding and the Pi Eta Clubs. They have filled adequately in the past the place of light stagecraft at Harvard; the Dramatic Club is becoming a somewhat superfluous third person in the present company.

Unsatisfactory though the recent phase of the Club's productions may have been, it was at least nearer maintaining a serious and meritorious drama at Harvard than the latest policy can be. Admitted that the motive of staging dramas for the first time is commendable, and that the box-office approves of the show in syncopated measure, there must be some recourse other than that of this spring. The value of the Club that could give American premieres in the same season of plays by Goldoni and Capek has been immense. It need not descend to a stereotyped school day selection of classics performed a thousand times before; but the wise admixture of great drama of the past with the significant plays of the present in one season would keep a balance of interest and a constant high level of importance.

Unsatisfactory though the recent phase of the Club's productions may have been, it was at least nearer maintaining a serious and meritorious drama at Harvard than the latest policy can be. Admitted that the motive of staging dramas for the first time is commendable, and that the box-office approves of the show in syncopated measure, there must be some recourse other than that of this spring. The value of the Club that could give American premieres in the same season of plays by Goldoni and Capek has been immense. It need not descend to a stereotyped school day selection of classics performed a thousand times before; but the wise admixture of great drama of the past with the significant plays of the present in one season would keep a balance of interest and a constant high level of importance.

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