company I don't know. If it's better to leave my name on the books, I shall of course have no objection. If complete inactivity makes me an embarrassment to the organization I'll withdraw. I'd rather not take any part in producing plays from now on.
[ New City] November 29, 1951
Dear Bob-- 1
Your letter is so generous, as you always are, that I'm tempted to say all right, I'll go right to work on another, just for the pleasure of working with people I like so much. Anyway this is no time for me to make irrevocable decisions, and I guess I haven't made any. Inactivity, as you point out, is not always cause for dropping out of the Playwrights' Company--though you omit to say that you singlehanded kept us on the credit side of the ledger for a good many years.
But I fear my problem will last longer than my present depression. It isn't only that I think the gamble isn't good enough for the investors when they put up the money for one by me. It's that the kind of theatre I have always written my plays for is gone or going. I have no hope that it will be resuscitated. Maybe, as you suggest, we'll discover other outlets for our work--outside New York, that is--but it begins to seem to me that what's wanted in New York is quick flash stuff, with plenty of shock or sex, and vapid musicals. That sort of thing was always wanted, of course, but it wasn't honored the way it is now. And there was occasionally room for something else.
It's true that I shall have to find a way to make a living outside the legitimate theatre, and some ways have begun to open up, so I shall sometimes be absent from Playwrights' meetings. I hope it's true that I'll always be welcome when I can attend. 2