Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art

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VI. LIFE WITH FATHER
A Period Comedy by Lindsay and Crouse

Introductory Note to Clarence Day, the playwrights, and Life with Father

COMEDY, BY ITS VERY NATURE, belongs to its own day. But Life with Father--which Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse turned into the most enduring comedy in American theatrical history--really belongs, not only to Clarence Day (happy pun), but to the day and age it depicts, to the day and years when it was written and produced, and to our own and days to come. It pictures New York in the late 1880's; it amused and heartened America during all the years of World War II; and it remains to kindle our laughter and understanding of family life.

Each of the three authors of Life with Father contributed significantly to its substance as a period comedy.

Clarence Day, Jr., who wrote the autobiographical and family sketches upon which the play is based, was born in New York in 1874, the son of Father ( Clarence, Sr.), a Wall Street broker, and of Mother ( Lavinia). He was grandson of a newspaper man, Benjamin H. Day, founder of the New York Sun, and nephew of Ben Day, who gave his name to the printing process long in use. Clarence, Jr., went from St. Paul's School to Yale, graduated in 1896, then entered business with his father. A turn in the navy during the Spanish-American War left him with the arthritis that by middle life completely crippled him. He married in 1928, and fathered a daughter. He carried on some business from his bed, but gradually developed himself as a humorous essayist--in prose, verse, and illustration--and ran a book column for the Metropolitan Magazine. His first volume, This Simian World ( 1920), was harder on the humans than the apes. His family sketches, written for various journals, were published as God and My Father ( 1932), Life with Father ( 1935), and Life with Mother ( 1937). Father Day, who lived to a ripe age and long enough to read some of the first of these

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Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Preface to Drama: - An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art i
  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Contents v
  • Part One - The Preface 1
  • I - Preliminary 3
  • II - The Playscript 25
  • Scene I 44
  • Scene II 52
  • III - The Stageplay 64
  • IV - The Play 93
  • V - The Drama 124
  • H.M.S. Pinafore or the Lass That Loved a Sailor 145
  • Part Two - The Plays 181
  • I - Antigone 185
  • Scene I 192
  • Scene II 197
  • Scene IV 202
  • Scene V 206
  • II - Othello 221
  • Act One 224
  • Scene III - The Council Chamber. 229
  • Act Two 232
  • Scene II - A Street. 242
  • Act Three 251
  • Scene II - A Room in the Citadel. 261
  • Scene IV - Before the Citadel. 263
  • Act Four 276
  • Scene II - A Room in the Citadel. 282
  • Scene III - State Bedroom in the Citadel. 290
  • Act Five 297
  • III - The Ridiculous PræCieuses 320
  • Scene I - La Grange, Du Croisy 323
  • Scene IV - Madelon, Cathos, Gorgibus. 324
  • Scene V - Cathos, Madelon. 325
  • Scene VII - Mascarille, Two Chairmen. 327
  • Scene VIII - Marotte, Mascarillie. 328
  • Scene X - Cathos, Madelon, Mascarille, Marotte. 330
  • Scene XI - Cathos, Madelon, Jodelet, Mascarille, Marotte, Almanzor. 334
  • Scene XII - Lucile, CéLimène, Cathos, Madelon, Mascarille, Jodelet, Marotte, Almanzor, and Fiddlers. 335
  • Scene XIII - Du Croisy, la Grange, Cathos, Madelon, Lucile, CéLimène, Jodelet, Mascarille, Marotte, and Fiddlers. 337
  • Scene XVI - Madelon, Cathos, Jodelet, Mascarille, and Fiddlers. 338
  • Scene. XVIII - Gorgibus, Madelon, Cathos, and Fiddlers. 339
  • IV - Hedda Gabler 344
  • Act Two 347
  • Act Three 370
  • Act Four 390
  • V - Candida 420
  • Act I 423
  • Act II 445
  • VI: Life with Father - A Period Comedy by Lindsay and Crouse 482
  • Act One 485
  • Scene II 503
  • Scene II 517
  • Act Three 548
  • VII - The Glass Menagerie 569
  • Scene 1 572
  • Scene 2 578
  • Scene 3 583
  • Scene 5 587
  • Scene 6 594
  • Scene 7 601
  • VIII - The Crucible 636
  • Act One - (An Overture) 639
  • Act Two 663
  • Act Four 683
  • Appendix 731
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