Second Threshold

Second Threshold

Second Threshold

Second Threshold

Excerpt

By Robert Sherwood

My first encounter with Philip Barry was not of a nature to suggest the beginning of a beautiful friendship. It was in the spring of 1921. We were both twenty-five years old and had seen service overseas in the First World War. Both of us were leading a hand-to-mouth existence. He was a postgraduate student of playwriting in Professor George Pierce Baker's English 47 Workshop at Harvard, but he was also working for an advertising agency in order to support himself through another year of the Baker course. I was a movie critic and associate editor on Life (at that time a humorous magazine, at least nominally).

I had received a letter from a Harvard classmate of mine, James Seymour, who was an assistant of Professor Baker's. He wrote that the Workshop was producing a play, A Punch for Judy, by one of the students, Philip Barry; it was planned to give performances of this play in New York and other eastern cities during the Easter vacation; and would I help them to get some publicity? I wrote Seymour that I'd be glad to do all I could and so would my colleague on Life, Robert Benchley, another Harvard man and one who had already achieved celebrity as a critic and a major wit. Benchley and I knew most of the dramatic critics and editors of the time--including Heywood Broun, Alexander Woollcott, George S. Kaufman, Ward Morehouse-- and we managed to obtain much more publicity for this amateur performance than would ordinarily have been the case.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.