Theatre U.S.A., 1665 to 1957

By Barnard Hewitt | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVEN
1920 TO 1930
Fulfillment

It is doubtful if anyone anticipated the exuberant flowering of American drama and theatre which took place in the next ten years. Yet the signs were present in the general dissatisfaction with the "commercial" theatre, the founding of the Drama League of America determined to raise standards of taste, the activity of little theatres producing the new drama with the new stagecraft, the New Theatre (failure though it was), the appearance of Theatre Arts Magazine devoted to the best in drama and theatre, the founding of the Theatre Guild, and the transfer to New York of the Provincetown Players, a group dedicated to the production of new plays by Americans.


POWERFUL NEW TALENT

Among the Provincetown's hopeful authors was Eugene O'Neill, whose one-act sea plays it presented along with short plays by other authors in a tiny playhouse on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village without attracting much attention. However, when O'Neill's first full-length play was presented on Broadway for special matinee performances in February, 1920, the appearance of a powerful new talent was immediately recognized. Ludwig Lewisohn reviewed it in The Nation, February 21. 7

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