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The Atlantic Book of Modern Plays   By: (1888-1953)

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First Page:

THE ATLANTIC BOOK

OF MODERN PLAYS

Edited with Introduction, Comment and Annotated Bibliography

by Sterling Andrus Leonard

Department of English The University of Wisconsin and The Wisconsin High School

The Atlantic Monthly Press Boston

The rights of production of these plays are in every case reserved by the authors or their representatives. No play can be given publicly without an individual arrangement. The law does not, of course, prevent their reading in classrooms or their production before an audience of a school or invited guests where no fee is charged; but it is, naturally, more courteous to ask permission.

1921

The Atlantic Monthly Press

First impression, December, 1921 Second impression, April, 1922 Third impression, October, 1922

Printed in the United States of America

CONTENTS

FOREWORD

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

INTRODUCTION: ON THE READING OF PLAYS

THE PHILOSOPHER OF BUTTERBIGGENS Harold Chapin

SPREADING THE NEWS Lady Gregory

THE BEGGAR AND THE KING Winthrop Parkhurst

TIDES George Middleton

ILE Eugene O'Neill

CAMPBELL OF KILMHOR J.A. Ferguson

THE SUN John Galsworthy

THE KNAVE OF HEARTS Louise Saunders

FAME AND THE POET Lord Dunsany

THE CAPTAIN OF THE GATE Beulah Marie Dix

GETTYSBURG Percy Mackaye

LONESOME LIKE Harold Brighouse

RIDERS TO THE SEA John Millington Synge

THE LAND OF HEART'S DESIRE William Butler Yeats

RIDING TO LITHEND Gordon Bottomley

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION IN READING THE PLAYS

NOTES ON THE DRAMAS AND THE DRAMATISTS

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PLAYS AND RELATED BOOKS

FOREWORD

We are at present in the midst of a bewildering quantity of play publication and production. The one act play in particular, chiefly represented in this volume, appears to be taking the place of that rather squeezed sponge, the short story, in the favor of the reading public. Of course, this tendency has its reaction in schoolrooms. One even hears of high school classes which attempt to keep up with the entire output of such dramas in English readings. If this is not merely an apologue, it is certainly a horrible example. The bulk of current drama, as of published matter generally, is not worthy the time of the English class. Only what is measurably of rank, in truth and fineness, with the literature which has endured from past times can be defended for use there. And we have too much that is both well fitted to young people's keen interest and enjoyment, and beautifully worthy as well, for time to be wasted upon the third and fourth rate.

Obviously, much of the best in modern play writing has not been included in this volume. Because of copyright complications the works of Mr. Masefield, Mr. Shaw, Mr. Drinkwater, and Sir James Barrie are not here represented. The plays by these writers that seem best fitted to use by teachers and pupils in high schools, together with a large number of other dramas for this purpose, are listed and annotated at the back of the book. Suggestions as to desirable inclusions and omissions will be welcomed by the editor and the publishers.

Following in their own way the lead of the Théâtre Libre in Paris and the Freie Bühne in Germany, and of the Independent and the Repertory theatres in Great Britain, numerous "little theatres" and drama associations in this country are giving impulsion and direction to the movement for finer drama and more excellent presentation. The Harvard dramatic societies, the Morningside Players at Columbia, Mr. Alex Drummond's Community Theatre at the State Fair in Ithaca, the Little Country Theatre at Fargo, South Dakota, and similar groups at the University of California and elsewhere, illustrate the leadership of the colleges. In many high schools, as at South Bend, Indiana, more or less complete Little Theatres are active. The Chicago Little Theatre, the Wisconsin Dramatic Society, the Provincetown Players, the Neighborhood Playhouse, in New York, and others of that ilk, are well known and influential... Continue reading book >>




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