Jig Cook and the Provincetown Players: Theatre in Ferment

Jig Cook and the Provincetown Players: Theatre in Ferment

Jig Cook and the Provincetown Players: Theatre in Ferment

Jig Cook and the Provincetown Players: Theatre in Ferment

Excerpt

This book began fifteen years ago as my dissertation—a chronological account of the Provincetown Players. It served as my Americanization as well, in the best sense of that word. Some intimations of significance were cautiously inserted, others slipped in without my awareness.

Those unexpected insights were my first justification for reworking materials and ideas used in the thesis. Among others were the perceptions and sensibilities I gained in the intervening years. These were not always results of research, teaching, directing, or the contemplation that went with them, but frequently the result of personalities and events that have altered the state of American theatre and modified my understanding of current practice as well as history.

Naturally, too, I was encouraged to write this book by questions I was asked, and by plays, manuscripts, and documents that surfaced after the pressures of the academic deadline were removed. Even though acknowledged in their proper place, personal reminiscences lovingly shared have a special place here as well.

A familiar disease of scholarship is infatuation with one's subject and, to the detriment of perspective, blindness to all negative features of the beloved. It is true that I still see the Provincetown Players as an epoch-making phenomenon, but my love has grown more mature over the years. Strengths and weaknesses, admirable and infuriating characteristics made up the com-

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