September 2, 1937Dear Miss Reynolds:If your questions were not so definite and intelligent, it would be easier to answer them briefly. I'll do my best, however, following your own outline.
The stage-manager's copy is somewhat shorter and contains additional stage directions and notes for the practical conduct of the play.
The prompter's copy is usually some pages shorter due to cuts of entire speeches or parts of speeches found unnecessary during rehearsal. In case the play is in verse this leads to inevitable dislocation of metrical scheme. Additional speeches or phrases found necessary during rehearsal add somewhat to the rhythmic confusion, though these additions are never sufficient to make up for the cutting in the matter of length.
In my own case the original version is used for publication with occasional slight changes which have been found of immense value to the general scheme, even for reading purposes. This is not the general practice, which is to publish the stage version minus the prompter's notes.
The use of iambic pentameter for the stage is certainly no accident. It has been found by trial and error to combine the maximum of intensity and elevation with a minimum of artificiality in the theatre. Verse which calls attention to itself detracts from actuality in representation. It might be assumed off-