The following two chapters are placed toward the end of the book not as an afterthought, but rather because cinema and television naturally follow the stage both historically and in their basic techniques.
Since 1915 the motion picture has been vastly more popular than the stage in attendance. Its popularity with the masses has never really been approached, except by radio for a few short years, and then by television since approximately 1952. Today we know that forty to seventy million Americans go to the movies weekly and that an estimated one hundred million watch television nightly. It is a matter of record that eighty-eight per cent* of our population have accepted television as a normal part of their daily lives.
These figures reveal the fact that the theatre is being more widely enjoyed today than at any other time in the entire history of the world, not even excepting Greece at the peak of her power. Indeed, it can be said that for the very first time we have a truly American theatre, reaching every segment of our citizenry, both economically and intellectually.
However, these two powerful forces, born of Art and Science, must, not only because of their age but by their very nature, borrow and constantly adapt to their own use from the vast storehouse of knowledge and experience acquired by the stage in its three thousand years of existence. They must adhere to the principles discussed in the previous pages, which are the foundation of any dramatic understanding in any medium. The techniques of the motion picture and more especially of television are essentially those of the stage. Any deviation is one of degree rather than of kind. With the background of these stage precepts in mind, let us now consider in the following chapters the motion picture and television as they are related to the stage, showing some of the differences, advantages, handicaps, problems, and requirements of these two younger areas of theatre entertainment.____________________