anyone else--even the most expert. Sometimes, it is true, a director adds something effective to a play which was not in the script. I may do that myself in the course of rehearsals. But what I add is certain to be in the spirit of the play--and what another director added might not be--in fact, would be pretty certain not to be. --In regard to the re-writing, the play will not need much. I have been working on a number of revisions, and will find other minor things to be patched, but as a whole the play must stand or fall as it is.
I would like Berias as assistant because he knows the technical end of the theatre exceedingly well, and I know I can work with him.
Mr. French has made sketches and plans for the sets that I like immensely and we've talked over the costumes and general atmosphere. He has not worked in the New York theatre before, and will have no other productions on his mind while he works on Valley Forge. He will have both time and enthusiasm to give the job. Last year I asked for Jo Mielziner, but the idea was vetoed by the board in favor of Bobby Jones. Bobby didn't care much for Mary and was sitting up nights with a Jed Harris production, with the result that he gave us an indifferent job--good-looking sets, and good-looking costumes but seldom what the play called for. This year I'd like to have a man who will work with me, who will give me what I want and who will be unsparing in his effort to get things right. Mr. French's experience has all been in Chicago and since he came to New York he has put his time on painting and architecture. But he has set many plays and taken many on the road--and is a very competent man in general. I understand that there are ways of getting around the fact that he's not a member of the scene-painters' union.
You will understand that I want a formal appointment as director and would want the business of the director left to me. The contract which Terry 3 had for Mary would be satisfactory. Hollywood is offering me three thousand a week just now, but I won't insist on that. 4
Sincerely Maxwell A.