Probably the worst enemy of the New York theatre is the cougher in the audience. New York has the most courteous and attentive audiences in the world and a majority at every performance give the play every possible chance, but there are nearly always a few who make no secret of their bronchial afflictions. This is both thoughtless and discourteous, and can be a great detriment even to a good play.
According to medical opinion a cough is controllable. It follows that if those who suffer from colds or throat irritation will only provide themselves with cough drops and a little will power, we can all be more sanguine about theatrical futures on Manhattan.
THE PLAYWRIGHTS' COMPANY
[ 1939] 2
The question is bound up with the perpetual insoluble problem of mankind--how to set up necessary governments without delegating more power than any man, or set of men, can be trusted to use without encroaching on our equally necessary individual liberties. It's because I believe the problem insoluble that I hold out for compromises and temporary arrangements, such as the system of checks and balances within the government and the balance of power between government and independent business enterprises. Any authority which obtains complete control over our economic life will have absolute power, and will use it as absolute power has always been used in the past. Such control might be attained by the great corporations if the government's power were allowed to dwindle too far. But if the government, to curb the corporations, swallows our economic system, then the government has a monopoly of political and economic powers--and the result is such a slave state as the present Russia or Germany.