Our American Theatre

Our American Theatre

Our American Theatre

Our American Theatre

Excerpt

Prefaces -- that is, the kind that deserve to show their faces at all -- are probably written by careless folk who use them as carpet-sweepers in the trail of their labors to collect neglected ideas. Or else they are composed in advance of the work itself, in which case the author probably wishes again and again that he hadn't used up that particular phrase.

This preface, to be frank, is written after the manuscript is complete, thus brazenly belying its title. And if there are any serious omissions of significant men and movements within the fifteen-year period of this survey, I do not propose to bestow the faint praise of rescuing them here. My motive, as I have indicated more than once in the succeeding chapters, has been to sketch in the highlights of this period and, in so far as possible, as I aimed to do in "The Russian Theatre," to make our American Theatre live through intimate studies of the men and women who have been responsible for its record. Samples, representatives, whipping-boys.

My thanks are due to a greater number of the theatre's workers than I can mention for assistance in collecting data concerning the period under scrutiny. I am indebted particularly to Kenneth Macgowan, author of "The Theatre of Tomorrow," "Continental Stagecraft" and "Masks and Demons," who, has . . .

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