"Nothing there but infinity and the stage,
George Cram Cook's notes cited by Susan Glaspell,
THE ROAD TO THE TEMPLE
"If we went uptown, we expanded, and we've headed ever since for the rocks."
Edna Kenton, to Cook and Glaspell, July 14, 1922
1 The last phase of the Provincetown Players' productive ferment began with an excitement very much like one that inspired the collective's move to New York. In the summer of 1916, the decision to establish a theatre in Greenwich Village was largely prompted by the discovery of a young playwright, Eugene O'Neill, who seemed to grow out of, and thrive in, the fertile soil of collective creativity imbued with a Dionysian spirit. Four seasons of experimentation, in the course of which twelve short plays of his were produced by the group, afforded him "prolonged preliminary freedom with stage and audience" 1 at The Playwright's Theatre. As a result the dramatist had been recognized as America's most talented even before Beyond the Horizon was produced on Broadway and won the Pulitzer Prize, edging out James Forbes's The Famous Mrs. Fair. In the summer of 1920, Jig Cook was again intent on kindling heavenly fire in the entire—and by this time, fragmented—collective. He was under the spell of a new kind of play O'Neill was writing, one that probed the Jungian unconscious of Western man and appeared to demand a vision of pure space on the tiny stage.
As the wharf remains a symbol of "that great Provincetown summer," 2 of the productive blending of disparate creative talents and energies, and of the first (and formative) spontaneous spurt of the group's accomplishments, so the dome represents the collective's second (and ultimately destructive) artistic eruption. As the former resulted in stimulating recognition, so the