Dramatic club at Harvard

Alternative Title

[Harvard Monthly  4.3 (May, 1887), 122]


The formation of a dramatic club at Harvard is only a question of time. The interest in acting among the students is shown by the success of the “Pudding” and “Pi Eta” theatricals, and by the presentation two years ago of “Julius Cæsar.” The quality of the acting in the plays given by the college societies proves that there is dramatic ability among the students. We have now, too, an instructor in elocution who has had valuable experience in the presentation of plays. All things, then, would seem favorable for the new club, did not the old question arise: “What plays can the students hope to give except the time-worn farces and comedies?” The new course in the British Drama which is to be given next year suggests an answer to this troublesome question. Could not a club be formed which should bring out once a year, at least, one of the comedies which won fame for Ben Jonson and the Elizabethans? Let the club amuse and train itself by giving during the year the well-known comedies and farces, but with the purpose to make a success of its production of the seventeenth century play. If the presentation of “Julius Cæsar” could draw good houses, certainly a fitting revival of some rarely-given play would arouse great interest and curiosity. Some of these old comedies could be given with less trouble that “Julius Cæsar.” “Every Man in his Humour,” for instance, would interest both performer and auditor, would offer admirable training, and would present a valuable and instructive picture of the manners of its time. Can not such a club be formed next year? Harvard is the first American university to give a course in the British drama. Shall not her students be the first to reproduce fittingly the work of the great Elizabethan dramatists?