Little Theatre Organization and Management, for Community, University and School: Including a History of the Amateur in Drama

Little Theatre Organization and Management, for Community, University and School: Including a History of the Amateur in Drama

Little Theatre Organization and Management, for Community, University and School: Including a History of the Amateur in Drama

Little Theatre Organization and Management, for Community, University and School: Including a History of the Amateur in Drama

Excerpt

It has frequently been said that the Little Theatre --using that term rather loosely, perhaps, to describe the amateur renaissance in our playhouse--is the salvation of the spoken drama in America. The reason for so sweeping a statement, of course, is found in the progressive decline of the professional theatre in this country, outside of New York City. That decline has been most marked in the smaller communities, and in the cities most remote from Broadway, but it has everywhere been only too apparent, so that there are to-day many cities of more than 100,000 people, in various sections of the country, without a single professional playhouse offering spoken drama. The multitudinous distractions of modern life, the cost of railroad transportation, as it affects traveling companies, especially the diversion of the masses to the motion pictures, have all contributed to this result. Hence thousands of men and women everywhere who are unsatisfied by the movies, who need the deeper satisfaction of the spoken drama for entertainment, have been driven to supply it for themselves. The Little Theatre, like invention, has been mothered by necessity--but also fathered, perhaps, by the new creative zest which seems to be creeping slowly into American life, the zest to conquer our materialism by the æsthetic employment of our leisure hours.

There are, I suppose, almost as many types of Little. Theatres as there are communities in which the theatres are founded. If Mr. Dean succeeds in pinning them down to a definition, he will do better than any one has done yet. Some exist to satisfy the desire of a small group to appear in public; some exist because a group are dissatisfied with the meager theatrical fare supplied by the . . .

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