Processional: A Jazz Symphony of American Life in Four Acts

Processional: A Jazz Symphony of American Life in Four Acts

Processional: A Jazz Symphony of American Life in Four Acts

Processional: A Jazz Symphony of American Life in Four Acts

Excerpt

So much is being talked and written about the art of the theatre--on the one hand the babble of the æsthete, on the other the far more imaginative babble of the press agent--that it is no light task to contribute another few pages to this sum of books, lectures, conversations, articles, prefaces. Each of us has his own bright particular vision of a richer and fuller American dramatic art. And none of this is of any special importance as long as it remains in the realm of theory. In the theatre more than in any other field the experiment must be a living entity, move and quiver in the calcium glare, before even its experimental value can be determined. Explanations of plan or purpose are just so much hokus-pokus after the fact. The play must stand by itself if it is to stand at all.

I cannot however, resist indulging myself in the dangerous luxury of theoretical explanation:-- I have endeavored to create a method which shall express the American scene in native idiom, a method as far removed from the older realism as from the facile mood of Expressionism. It is apparent that this new technique is essentially vaudevillesque in character--a development, a moulding to my own uses, of the rich vitality of the two-a-day and the musical extravaganza.

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