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Why the Chimes Rang: A Play in One Act   By:

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Why The Chimes Rang: A Play in One Act: by Elizabeth Apthorp McFadden:

Adapted from the story of the same name: by Raymond McDonald Alden

Samuel French: Publisher 25 West Forty fifth Street: New York LONDON




This play is fully protected by copyright.

Permission to act, read publicly or make any use of it must be obtained of Samuel French, 25 West 45th Street, New York. It may be presented by amateurs upon payment of the following royalties:

1. This play may be presented by amateurs upon payment of a royalty of Five Dollars for each performance, payable to Samuel French, at 25 West 45th Street, New York, or at 811 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, Calif., one week before the date when the play is given.

2. Professional rates quoted on application.

3. Whenever this play is to be produced the following note must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play:

This play is a dramatization of the story by Raymond MacDonald Alden entitled "WHY THE CHIMES RANG," published by The Bobbs Merrill Company.

This version of Raymond MacDonald Alden's story is published with permission of the Bobbs Merrill Company of Indianapolis, Indiana, the publishers of Professor Alden's story and the holders of the copyright.


The copying, either of separate parts or the whole of this work by any process whatsoever, is forbidden by law and subject to the penalties prescribed by Section 28 of the Copyright Law, in force July 1, 1909.


This little play is prentice work done in Professor George P. Baker's class, English 47 at Radcliffe College in the fall of 1908. Several years later it was staged by Professor Baker in the "47 Workshop," his laboratory for trying out plays written in the Harvard and Radcliffe courses in dramatic technique.

I am glad to acknowledge here my indebtedness to the "Shop" and its workers for this chance of seeing the play in action. Of the various advantages which a "Workshop" performance secures to the author none is more helpful than the mass of written criticism handed in by the audience, and representing some two or three hundred frank and widely varying views of the work in question. I am especially grateful for this constructive criticism, much of which has been of real service in the subsequent rewriting of the piece.

"Why the Chimes Rang" was again tried out the next year in seven performances by the "Workshop" company in various Boston settlements. Other groups of amateurs have given it in Arlington, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, California and in Honolulu. These performances have proved that while its setting may seem to call for the equipment of a theatre, the play can be acceptably given in any hall or Sunday school room.

Suggestions for the simplest possible staging have been added to the present publication in an appendix which contains data on the scenery, music, lighting, costumes and properties for the piece.




HOLGER....................... A peasant boy STEEN........................ His younger brother BERTEL....................... Their uncle AN OLD WOMAN LORDS, LADIES, etc.

TIME: Dusk of a day of long ago .

SCENE: The interior of a wood chopper's hut on the edge of a forest .

Why the Chimes Rang.

The scene is laid in a peasant's hut on the edge of a forest near a cathedral town. It is a dark low raftered room lit only by the glowing wood fire in the great fireplace in the wall to the right, and by a faint moonlight that steals in through the little window high in the left wall. This window commands a view of the cathedral and of the road leading down into the town. The only entrance into the hut is the front door near the window... Continue reading book >>

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