Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958

By Laurence G. Avery; Maxwell Anderson | Go to book overview
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pressure comes not only from the necessities of the theatre but also from an emotional cross-wise pull the task is well-nigh impossible. Much as I sympathize with your desire to keep the play as it was I can only say that unless we look the other way for a while and let Bob function he'll be paralyzed entirely and the play will suffer.

You may answer that the play will suffer unless you are able to make certain restrictions, and that may be true. One never knows about plays, whether they'll go or why. But at this point I think you should either turn the responsibility over to Bob entirely or take it over yourself. The way things are going we are likely to emerge from rehearsals with more nervous wreckage than accomplishment.

I say this quite honestly liking Sidney's play more than I like my own, 2 and only hoping the production will honor his memory. 3


Following Sidney Howard's death, Robert Sherwood attempted to revise Madam, Will You Walk? for its Playwrights' Company production, but he met continuous opposition from Polly Howard, who wished no changes in her late husband's script.
Key Largo.
Problems remained in the script and developed in the cast, which featured George M. Cohan. When Cohan resigned during the Baltimore tryout in mid- November, the company cancelled the production. ( T. Edward Hambleton and Norris Houghton produced Madam, Will You Walk? in 1953 and in 1955 the acting script was published by Dramatists Play Service.)


Hotel Statler
Cleveland, Ohio
[ November 7, 1939]

Dear Victor-- 1

Do you think the enclosed might be effective as a hand-bill to be distributed with programs? I'd be willing to begin with the opening night of Key Largo.

McDermott gives us a rave review here. 2

Best to the office Max


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Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958
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