American Folk Plays

American Folk Plays

American Folk Plays

American Folk Plays

Excerpt

One of the most often quoted of Oscar Wilde's penetrating epigrams is to the effect that life imitates art. Perhaps Barrie never thought of his responsibility when he wrote Peter Pan. I have known two Peter Pans in real life. I once called Bernard Shaw a weird composite of Peter Pan and St. Francis of Assisi, of Puck and Euripides. I believe it was the late Montrose Moses who once called Frederick H. Koch a sort of Peter Pan in modern dress. That was my first vivid impression of him--gay, cordial, beaming, effervescent, naïve; in Norfolk jacket and lavallière knot--with a pipe prominent in the foreground. When I was introduced to him in 1918 by my colleague, Edwin Greenlaw, then head of the English department, who had brought him from North Dakota to North Carolina, Koch immediately assured me of the enormous influence exerted upon him by my The Changing Drama.

"Why, Dr. Henderson," he said, convincingly, "while studying that book, I underlined every passage that I considered important and wished to study further. Only the other day, I looked through my copy once more, and discovered to my astonishment that very few passages in it remained unmarked!"

Koch's chief concern on arrival in Chapel Hill was to discover a stage whereon to produce folk dramas. Dr. "Johnny" Booker of the English department escorted him over the University and showed him the only stage on . . .

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