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Park, William Ldward, Stories That Are Not Stor-
106, 119, 137, 151, 166, 183
Spelling, Good, and Good Writing, 5
The Happy Ending, 149
Story, What Makes One Great, 158
Vocabulary, Increasing One's, 155,
infusion of new blood, but that infusion is almost stopped by the present system.
The great need of the American drama for years has been a means for the unknown dramatist to secure a foothold. He requires that, not only to reach the ultimate goal of production, but even to get a hearing ; and now an organization has been formed to provide that very foothold for the unknown dramatist. The organization, known as the National Federation of Theatre Clubs, has as the first of its avowed principles the contriving of ways and means to aid in producing plays which appeal to the judgment of intelligent people, to afford authors and actors enlarged opportunities for coming before the public, and to bring worthy works to the notice of producing managers through trial performances instead of manuscripts.”
To the unknown dramatist that sounds almost too good to be true, but it is true, nevertheless. The National Federation, organized in May with forty members, now has about twelve hundred members. It has met with such a degree of success that it is now producing plays at the rate of about one a month. With a splendid organization the officers are all experienced in theatrical matters — business has been systematized so that all the plays put on have been artistic successes, and they now bid fair to become financial successes. From the point of view of the author, he has everything that he could ask for, a hearing in New York at a recognized theatre, and if the play does not catch the public fancy, either the author or the public is to blame.
At the meetings of the Federation which come in between productions, it is interesting to hear the playwrights who are to have their work produced tell how they tried in vain to get a hearing from commercial managers. Henry Irving Dodge, author of “The Higher Court,” which was produced at Maxine Elliott's Theatre, October 6, is a man with gray hairs who has been striving for recognition many years.
After a performance before members of the Federation the play was given by request at two matinees in the Lyric Theatre, and the public was given an opportunity to buy seats. The
play then confirmed the favorable impression made at the initial performance.
The Road to Arcady," by Edith Sessions Tupper, produced at the Berkeley Theatre, November 25, and it ran a week and a half. The next production was delightful comedy, “ His Wife by His Side," written by Ethelyn Emery Keays of Great Neck, L. I. Mrs. Keays, who is the wife of Dr. Frederick Keays, and the president of the Vassar alumnae association, tried about four plays on the regular managers, but did not get a hearing.
All indications now point to a most successful future for the National Federation in doing a work that is genuine philanthropy, for all of us will agree that it is philanthropy to give the unknown author his opportunity. The credit for the success of the Federation is due in large part to the calibre of the men and women who comprise its membership and board of officers. In the list of members are the names of Henry W. Savage, W. A. Brady, David Belasco, Augustus Thomas, and many other well-known figures in the theatrical world. The president is Sydney Rosenfeld, the playwright, and the secretary is Frederick F. Schrader, playwright, librettist, and editor of the New York Dramatic Mirror.
It was from the experience of years that Mr. Rosenfeld spoke when he said in an interview in the New York Times recently : "A poet may not find a publisher for his verses, but the cost of printing his verses and issuing them is sufficiently small to enable him in the majority of cases to publish his poems himself. So it is to a certain degree with the novelist, the painter, and even the composer. But for the dramatist there is no end but the stage, a stage director, costumes, scenery, and an auditorium, even if he cannot obtain an audience. All these he must really command before he can really put his art to the test, and how many playwrights can afford this? Practically none ! Then how can the dramatist be a dramatist, how can he even learn how to improve on a previous failure?
We are going to help him out of his difficulty. We are banded together in a crusade to proWe are
duce the unknown dramatist's plays before the eyes of the manager.
' And there comes in an important point. We act in opposition to no one.
We are on everybody's side. We stand with the playwright, the manager, and the playgoer. We help the playwright by visualizing his play for the manager. We help the manager by saving him the trouble and expense of producing a play with the risk that, when acted, it may prove a gross failure compared to the great success that it prophesied when read in manuscript. And we help the playgoer by giving him a good play at lower prices.
“We aim above all things to be democratic. To insure absolute impartiality, all manuscripts that are submitted must be anonymous. In place of an author's name a motto must appear, but after the accept
ance of the play by the Federation the author's name will be made public, unless he objects. Then the committee that reads the plays will be changed as soon as it has accepted a play. This is to keep clear of the ruts of prejudice, to keep new points of view. We are very optimistic. already successful. The main thing is to make the public realize that our work is important, in the artistic world — perhaps the most important work that has been taken up of late years. Every additional member means so much more power for us to wield, so much more influence for the revivifying of the theatre. We have already had to enlarge our offices in the Knickerbocker Theatre Building several times. We want at least ten thousand members for the Federation. And we'll get them." New YORK, N. Y. David H. Wallace.
COMMON ERRORS IN WRITING CORRECTED. – XXII.
“Can it be possible” and “It need not necessarily be” are tautological phrases that cannot be defended.
Brevity is the soul of wit, but it is possible to be too brief. Even exigencies of space did not wholly justify the editor who, to reduce a story to the length desired, condensed the last few paragraphs into a single sentence. This is the way it read : “Von Berken took a small glass of whiskey, his hat, his departure, no notice of his pursuers, a revolver out of his pocket, and finally, his life.”
England has a parcels post, but in the United States the law provides for a parcel post, so that the use of “parcels
parcel” in speaking of it is not a matter of taste, as many people think. post is in harmony with “letter mail.”
A beautiful example of the split infinitive is given in the politician's promise : "If elected, I can and do assure the voters of
Ward Six that my aim and object will be to honestly and efficiently, to the best of my ability, represent them in all matters coming before said Board pertaining to the needs of Ward Six and the welfare of the entire city.
The newspaper headline, Queen of Norway Goes Under the Knife,” is a striking example of bad taste.
A displayed advertisement of a 14-k Gold Lady's Watch ” would be criticised in Denver or Chicago, but it is particularly painful to see one in a Boston paper. However, perhaps it is not as bad as the Glencoe (111.) Record's advertisement: “For sale : A three-horned lady's side saddle.”
“ Anthracite" is not an adjective, but a noun, meaning a hard, compact variety of mineral coal, differing from bituminous coal," so that the common phrase, “anthracite coal,” is manifestly wrong. CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Edward B. Hughes.
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“ The little book is philosophical and sociological in its nature, but it is not of the esoteric, unpopular type. It is devoted to a propaganda, a sane and intensely practical one, which the author believes is, in its essence, the refinement of common sense.
The book's appeal will be widespread, and it will have a wide sale. These are not the mere optimistic beliefs of a writer enthusiastic over his own work.
Convincing proof of their soundness is available." If the publishers neglect this opportunity they will have only themselves to blame.
Another golden opportunity for publishers is offered in this letter received by a Chicago mail order house :
“ Gentlemen. I have written a novel which some of my friends wishes me to have it published. and I have been requested to write you up. on this subject. as you hold a line of interesting books. and trust you will reply soon. and On what terms you would except it. If it be excepted at all. Its. A Story of great love. and great Suffering of a Duke that. loved the Duchess Governess. at first sight. the Governess was sent from the castle. and after several years of longing and onxiety. she were taken to London Saciety, by a wandering Brother of wealth. which the Duke and Governess loved each other a gan at first sight. This book have the title of three difference selections. The mark you have cut in my heart are deeper then any furrow that have ever been plowed. Or the title can be. With all his faults I love him Still. Or She is mine until death Each of these titles are suitable for the book. Yours very truly,"
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The post-office regulations now forbid the sending, at second-class rates, of periodicals
Strange as it may seem, the editor of the Bellman felt constrained to decline the