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"Lay On, MacDuff"



(Ed. Note--The Crimson does not necessarily endorse opinions expressed in printed communications. No attention will be paid to anonymous letters and only under special conditions at the request of the writer will names be with-held.)

To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

I have read the CRIMSON editorial which criticized the Dramatic Club's statement of its policy several times, but I cannot quite perceive the stand it takes. It first states a fact with which all thinking members of the Club are in full accord, that the Club's legitimate field of choice is among good plays which have not the box-office attraction requisite for professional production. "But in default of such, a Liliom would not be amiss." The very next sentence strongly recommends "avoiding the re-hashing of box-office successes." Does the CRIMSON mean by this that Liliom was not a box-office success? Or would the Club's production of it not be a re-hash?

This seems to be just another case of the CRIMSON's well-known vacillating editorial policy. But the letters which this editorial evoked are more consistent. Mr. Rounds, in yesterday's CRIMSON, paints a doleful picture of the Club with its tiller lashed bearing down hard on the black rocks of "sub-time mediocrity." His plaint that all plays not professionally produced, or even all old plays not professionally revived are mediocre or worse is obviously groundless. The professional theatre is dependent, to a much larger extent than the Dramatic Club, on its box-office. And even the most rabid admirer of the general theatre-going public will hardly credit it with the same level of intelligence as a Harvard audience. The result of this state of affairs is that there are many plays which would not pass the pragmatic test of filling a New York theatre with Broadway Babbits and yet are worthy of the Dramatic Club's attention. And anyone who has ever glanced over the rich fields of Elizabethan and Restoration drama knows that not one in ten of the best plays of those periods is ever seen on the professional stage today.

Let me state in conclusion that I fully agree with Mr. Rounds in his final statement, that the justification of the Dramatic Club's existence lies in the production of a significant play, but I further contend that a play which has been professionally produced in this country is robbed of its significance for an organization of as high a standard as the Harvard Dramatic Club. W. Nelson Francis '31

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