W.B. Yeats Gripes About the Theater-Going Bourgeoisie
(Theatre Arts Magazine, 1919)
Poet and playwright W.B. Yeats (1865 - 1939) had his say on the matter of "theater-subscriber-book-of-the-month-club" types who are more likely to attend performances because they feel they "should", rather than attending for their own reasons of personal enjoyment:
"And the worst of it is that I could not pay my players, or the seamstresses, or the owner of the building, unless I could draw to my plays those who prefer light amusement, or who have no ear for verse and literature, and fortunately they are all very polite."
The Year of Sound (Theatre Arts Magazine, 1929)
The oddballs who read old Hollywood magazines from the year 1929 seem to all be in agreement that these magazines all shared the same frenzied, enthusiastic energy; something new and wonderful and unpredictable had been introduced and it was going to cause an enormous shake up in every movie capitol under the sun: sound.
"But it was in the past year that the newest art, that of the silent drama, like prehistoric Man, stood up on it's hind legs and began to talk. Like prehistoric man, it talked badly at first. But soon it's words came a shade more fluently, and gradually they began, when arranged, to make a small degree of sense".
Read about the first "talkie movie star": Mickey Mouse...
JOURNEY'S END by R.C. Sheriff (Theatre Arts Magazine, 1929)
Robert Littell reviewed the first New York production of "Journey's End" by former infantry officer, R.C. Sherriff (1896 – 1975: 9th East Surrey Regiment, 1915 - 1918). We have also included a paragraph from a British critic named W.A. Darlington (The Daily Telegraph theatre critic: 1920 to 1968) who had once fought in the trenches and approaches the drama from the angle of a veteran:
"The curtain rose - and instantly I was taken back into the very atmosphere of the trenches..."
Click here if you would like to read another article about the WW I play "Journeys End".
• Watch the Trailer for the 2018 Film Adaptation of JOURNEY'S END •
Harsh Words for Eugene O'Neill (Theatre Arts Magazine, 1920)
In celebration of being awarded a Pulitzer Prize for having written the best American play of 1920 ("Beyond the Horizon"), theater critic Walter Prichard Eaton (1878 – 1957) saw fit to slip playwright Eugene O'Neill his back hand with a double-dose of venomous criticism:
"...O'Neill's work to date remains intellectually and spiritually thin."
If you would like to read a 1935 magazine article about the many successes of Eugene O'Neil, click here.
William Butler Yeats Interviewed (Theatre Arts Magazine, 1924)
When the writer and editor Montrose J. Moses (1878 – 1934) got some quality time with the fifty-four year old poet and playwright William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939) they discussed Irish theater, contemporary poetry, the collective literary merits of their generation and a good deal more. Unlike their visits in earlier days, Yeats was by then a respected icon in the republic of letters (having been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature a year earlier).