July 5, 1951
Dear John-- 1
I hope I'm not being difficult over this casting of Socrates, for I really want that play to go on, and every time a man's available there seems to me to be something wrong about him for the part, whereas when they're not available I begin to find them possible. Morley I considered, and decided against because he seems cool or cold--Cobb I find a hot or at least very warm actor who is all emotion but not enough brain. Alan has just discovered that Gwenn has set out on a tramp steamer trip and can't be reached till the end of July. Alan is now prospecting among other English actors--among them Felix Aylmer and Cecil Parker, as well as Barry Jones. It may be necessary for Alan to go to England.
I've looked over that stock transfer proposal, 2 and think your scheme is better. If there's a vote, I cast mine that way.
Please forgive me for not coming in for the reading of The Idea. My notions for re-writing or casting wouldn't be very relevant, since I wasn't enough in favor of the play to want to produce it. 3 Also I'm trying very hard to get the revisions done on that comedy of mine, and every time I have to read and consider a MS my concentration is gone. 4 Add to that I'm getting to be a chronic invalid and have to conserve my strength. I don't go to N.Y. City or anywhere else if I can avoid it. This puts a considerable crimp in my social life, which was never very prodigal. Never--well, not since I turned forty.