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The New Theatre Players announce that they stand for "significant plays dealing with the problem of that basic section of the population--the workers." Their play "Stevedore," running highly worth seeing, and too few see it. With their limited resources the New Theatre Players do an excellent job. The casting is perfect. The play suffers, like most avowedly propagandist plays, from too much earnestness on the part of the playwrights (Paul Peters and George Sklar). It lacks any touch of relief from exciting, sometimes harrowing situations. The structural fault in its conception is obviously this tie scene after another. The acting of both the negroes and whites is good enough to being off the needed effects through the first two acts, but the third act is somewhat of a strain of one's sense of credibility.
Lonnie Thompson, the here, played by Frank Silvera, is a negro railroaded to jail by his employer on a trumped-up charge of raping a white girl. He escapes, and while in hiding leads a gang of negroes against a gang of whites who unofficially undertake to clean up the negro section with bricks and guns. (Scene: New Orleans). The negroes throw up a barricade of furniture and after much noise and violence, during which only the negro side of the barrier is visible to the audience, the defenders apparently are victorious.
There are tensely dramatic moments throughout the play. The round-up at police headquarters is very good and the scene in Bertha. Williams' attic just before the concluding fight, when the blacks are mourning one of their number slain is also effective.
It is fascinating, deeply important movement, this new theatre of the Left. The drama. It may be, is the most efficient tool for bringing the workers' case lucidly before the eyes of intelligent people. "Stevedore: is an impressive product of the workers stage with all its humorlessness a powerful and worthwhile play.
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