Editors and Theatre People

The Crimsongoers

Three undergraduate shows opened inside of two days this week, and on opening nights there are always some editors of the CRIMSON who like to stay up late and watch the theatre people come in for their reviews. They seem almost to be carrying champagne goblets in their hands, boys in black tuxedos or oversize Chester-fields, white silk scarves draped carelessly about their necks, forever kissing girls in red coats with fur collars, and sometimes kissing each other.

There is never so much color and laughter in the building as on opening nights. The editors, who are loquacious enough when the newsroom is their own, seem wan, unshaven, even vaguely underdressed, as if they had forgotten to scrub for their own party.

Lately, since CRIMSON reviewers have decided it is nicer to be loved than feared, the old enemy-encampment aura has disappeared from the place, and a certain familiar felicity in power exists between the paper and the world of drama.

The theatre people have taken to calling editors "baby" or "sugar," and usually at least three or four of them throw their arms gaily about the reviewer before the sun rises. In the old days, when bitter pans were more the mode, the cast waited anxiously in the outer hall as the reviewer typed out his vitriol behind closed doors, handed his copy to the night editor, and left through the window. Now the cast simply moves its party into the newsroom at about 3 a.m., and many drop into the downstairs office to ask the reviewer how he enjoyed the show or chat about other matters.

CRIMSON editors are used to staying up all night--that is the way they get their paper out--but the very hour constitutes a special occasion for the theatre people and their exhiliration lends a curious atmosphere of bustle to the preparation of the morning edition. Editors scurry about with a more purposeful air; glancing over A.P. dispatches, composing headlines, running up from the basement to report how much type has been set. And the theatre people act drunker than they are; preening themselves, performing little dances or comic bits with one another, trying to engage editors in their own brand of snappy repartee, joking together about the fatuities of the CRIMSON.

In all the banter there lurks the secret understanding that we are, after all, only college students playing Newspaper, they college students playing Entertainment. We are a little awed by their dazzle, they a bit impressed by the cacaphony of typewriters and long-distance phone calls.

But each group is prideful of its own heroes and pleasured by the insulated coherence of its own world. Come the next nasty pan this happy commerce between our spheres will diminish, and we shall retreat again for a time, as "writers" and "actors," into the apartheid of mutual ridicule.