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October 04, 1928 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1928-10-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


... .. .. a v . a v ts i i r- a t ..LJ7 G9LLJL Y3"t U'.~il.
a.HcI N fli



Music And Drama


Flowing Pen of That
Old Narrator, Tap

Who's that comin' down theystreet?
Who's that lookin' so deplete?
Why, boys, that's an agent!
Why should he look so run down?
Why is he just leavin' town?
Why, boys, he's an agent!
What's the heinous crime he's
Why does he shrink so from the'


We hope that someone had
warned Walter Pritchard Eaton
that he was treading on dangerous
ground when he spoke of the state
of the drama at this University.
But whether or not he was warned,
we have still before us the fact
that he managed rather success-
fully to make the dramatic activ-
ity (so-called) at the University of
Michigan look like the elecution ef-
forts in a fifth rate American high
Not that he intended to do any-
thing like that. Facts he was
dealing with-and facts he had.
The talk of the University Wits of
the Elizabethan stage-those
young men who stepped from the
academic halls of English Univer-
sities to revolutionize the drama-
made the starting point of Eaton's
allegations that the Universities
have had their place of power in
the formation of the English-
spoken drama.
Then rapidly the speaker came
to our own country and our time.
The famous "47 Workshop" of
Prof. Baker at Harvard, according
to Eaton, 'marked the rise of the
influence of the University on the
dram( of our country. In this
workshop were bred and trained
the men who today are making
our drama-playwrights, design-
ers, directors, managers.
Now for the facts. Of the best
American plays produced in this
country in a single year-two years
ago, by the way-more than 80 per
cent of them were written by writ-
ers trained in American universi-
ties. More than 50 per cent of the
managers and directors of drama-
tic enterprise came from the same
source. And in this country today
we have Prof. Baker at Yale, and
the North Carolina players at the
University of North Carolina, from
whose midst came Paul Green,
author of the Pulitzer Prize Play,
"In Abraham's Bosom."
Mr. Eaton's talk, in its entire-
ty, threw down a challenge which
fell directly at our; own door. To
appreciate that in the last twenty
years the Universities have pro-
duced the Eugene O'Neills, who to-
day are redeeming the American
drama from the "ten-twent-thirt"
era and the bedroom farce deluge,
and to understand that this influ-
ence is directly in proportion to
the interest which the Universi-
ties have taken in dramatics in the -
last twenty years, constitutes a
gauntlet which none can run but
the brave.
The dramatically minded peo-
ple of the campus were immediate-
ly faced with the question of what
the University of Michigan is do-
ing. Sadly enough, the answer
"Nothing." Such plays as "The
Butter and Egg Man" and "The
Best People," while they may pro-
vide entertainment, contribute
nothing to the American stage.
We have within our midst not
one single agency which has for
its purpose the production on the
stage of student plays. The shades
of Dodo have passed away and we
are left with nothing but the ashes
of popular plays which have prov-
en their worth on Broadway and
are produced for their box office

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Thousands of dollars are sown
each year on the opera. And,
shamefully enough, thousands are
reaped. But if one sets down in
plain letters the accomplishments
of the University of Michigan in
experiment, they are almost
negliible. "Beggarman" - "The
Cradle Song"-"The Last Warning"
-these come to mind. But they
are smothered beneath hundreds
of trivialities, even some banali-
But this is not alone mere rant-
ing. We hereby constitute the
Music and Drama Column, and a
few members sufficiently inter-
ested, as a committee to entertain
comments and suggestions from
people on the campus interested in
dramatics. Prof. Campbell should
be intrigued. Mortimer Shuter and
Valentine Windt should bury the
hatchet and come forward. The
president of Comedy Club, Thurs-
ton Thieme, should enlist the serv-'
ices of the club. Any other actors,
producers, professors, deans, and
above all, students, are asked to

After the cheering

HE great stadium seems a living thing, swaying; swinging,
moving with each play on the field. When the last fan has gone
and there remains only crumpled programs and bits of torn tickets,
the stadium takes on another aspect-cold, strong, gigantic, its
empty seats rising row upon row.
Have you ever stopped to consider what it means to build a
stadium? More than concrete, more than steel and cement go
into it. Knowledge of climatic conditions, drainage conditions, sub-
soil. Knowledge of engineering and construction. For the stadium
must be as perman'ent as a power plant or dam.
Stone & Webster's engineers design and build stadiums, power
plants, factories. Twenty millions of people are now supplied with
light and power furnished by stations built by Stone & Webster.
The story doesn't end with construction. Stone & Webster
finances utility and industrial concerns, and operates gas, electric
and transportation companies in many parts of the world. You'll
find the Stone & Webster organization is worth knowing and worth

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