Theatre Group Merger

The machinations of the Harvard Young Republican Club during an election year are child's play when compared to the plots and subplots of Harvard's theatrical groups. The theatre groups, moreover, are inherently more dramatic about their affairs.

The Harvard Opera Guild's proposal for a united theatre group would appear to be a rather undramatic and realistic proposal for a more efficient and better supported series of dramatic productions at Harvard. All too often, a college-wide theatre group has been short of funds and, as a result, could not back a large enough production to make a significant amount of money. The proposed committee would, to a large extent, enable a theatre group to avoid lean years caused by financial deficits from the previous season. The new committee would also allow for more efficient scheduling of production dates and rehearsal times. The third power of the committee would be the veto power (by a six out of seven vote) over any suggested program--which seems fairly inoffensive.

But a close reading of the proposals makes it clear that the Harvard theatrical world is still politically, as well as dramatically inclined. The new group, as proposed, would have the "sole" power to contract a debt for the new Harvard Theatre. In other words, the new group intends to be the Harvard Theatre. The three groups about whom the committee will be formed, the Opera Guild, H.D.C., and G. & S. players, should certainly be the nucleus of the governing body of the new Theatre. It is to be hoped they will consider themselves an administrative committee governing its member groups, rather than a power clique.

Thinking ahead along these lines, the head of the Opera Guild suggested that the College Administration restrict participation in a House play to only members of that House. This would be a boon to the College-wide groups, but would ruin House drama, which has been a most enjoyable part of Harvard Theatre. The scheduling power of the new committee, moreover, should not be used to make it difficult for a House group to find a place to rehearse.

Nevertheless, if the new joint committee of college-wide theatre is formed it could be a significant aid to Harvard theatre, now, and when the new theatre is built. But the committee must realize that the play, not the power, is the thing.