Seminars in theatre; Episode 7 of 31
Will pour the little boxes were example that you got a stunning Guinness which includes unbanned grumpy old in Chaplin Richard Di side is an excellent actor. Yes Chaplin isn't in that at this point there was no that was also she didn't have an American model nation going to going to ultimately be in NYC she said yes she is all that all of the others with the exception of Kaplan are in it and it is an invitational production being supervised by St Suber it was one of the top producers in the American theater and I think you have there perhaps one of the finest groups of actors in the American theater. At perhaps the finest facility in the American theater in the Vivian Belmont theater and there was there is a sort of open door policy we are interested in having the very finest people say in the theatre work with us whether
say a George C. Scott decides that yes he would like to come back and do something else with us or not I don't know. It would be wonderful if he did and if he could look upon the Repertory Theatre as yes his home base. You know you have to say yes this would be excellent. This is an excellent combination of factors and resources and talent. I just wanted to go mention a little bit about each one of the little foxes opens it was also a very good American play and you know it opens late October October 26. How long will each of these run by would you have the schedule. Little Foxes excuse me because there are two non subscription performances in the round. I think has an eight and a half week run the other productions. Have five and a half week six and six weeks nearly And then St. John follows the little foxes in January. Young Diane ascends is going to play Saint John.
Yes this is interesting because there was a timely article about Negro actors and this is one of the Sunday Times. Yes and they mentioned Diana's hands as being acceptable in well as she was in connection with many figures in the article but as being acceptable in a role like Saint Joan because it's Saint Joan is not accepted as as the group. She's not part of the society she's out and outsiders so to speak. Yes not so it's really very very good casting but I don't think it was entirely because she's a negro actress that we said oh that's a great thing let's get a negro actress to do it. Nor was it because I thought John was an exotic that make the day and put the two together you know I think I think yes I think it's marvelous given who Joan is the Diana science should play her at this particular time.
Given the whole revolution that we are going through I think also that Diana sounds and I don't think anyone would question it happens to be one of the more interesting talents we have in the American theater. He's very gifted I interest the tiger at the gate as you mentioned earlier that Anthony Quayle with reverence and Diana's sons will in all likelihood appear in Tiger at the gates as well. I was going to ask you about who else is at this point do you know whose cast it was planned for Tiger at the gates. When is the casting then well there will be Eileen McMahon who is a member of the company is back with us again and Phil Bosco. That's about all I know and I really haven't talked to Quayle who is presently. We're rehearsing for a Broadway show and as soon as that's finished soon as his rehearsals are over he'll be back with us to firm up the cast. Now I want to move back in time just a bit and ask you
about the criticism that has been leveled at the Repertory Theatre. A great deal was expected of Lincoln Center from its inception. Apparently ostensibly here and this expectation grew in intensity right up to the time of Blau and Irving's arrival because I think the general feeling and I I'm going to generalize because this was the atmosphere IC idea at the time was that blur and Irving were not commercial puppets so to speak. They were not caught up in the commercialism of the theatre and that their legend was artistic integrity and the desire to do the best in theatre that they could do and that they would not be. Flotsam and jetsam in an ocean of activity. But something happened apparently at Lincoln Center. To the extent that blouse is no longer
there I don't correlate these things owe you nothing but and the first season was a dismal one from the point of view of critics and the public at large. I think there's too much disagreement about that but why. Well there's some disagreement Alright I thought disagreeables What would you disagree with though it's not even a question of you know of say well here I am now I must defend you know that for a minute and. I think yes there was a lot that we didn't know when we arrived I think we are learning you know a tremendous amount. You don't have a repertory theatre happening you know overnight. Certainly there was you know great expectations. Those people who were disappointed I you know for any number of reasons one of the things you mentioned was that we were you know never involved in say the commercial aspect of theatre which in a sense isn't true.
You know as I say I never never thought of say Galileo as a commercial success it turned out to be a commercial sometimes during the first season there was an enormous success with coke Asian Chalk Circle news. I'm not sure you know finally what it was that people were looking for. You know some I think they were looking for something that was different than what they were getting on Broadway. And they found that Lincoln Center Well they certainly got that up to a degree. Yeah and I think Galileo was reached a point where it was the best received plays. And then one lifts an eyebrow at that because it had a Canadian active part in me and some British heritage I don't know I think you said it there. Galileo was finally a full blown success. And that's a thing that is difficult to understand. People expected when we arrived an instant repertory company and this doesn't happen.
You build a repertory company with something that you know you know just didn't just happen. I mean that was it was a better result of an evolution of a. Two years work on discovering the theater in which you were working discovering the community in which you were working you know and I recall saying one of the water to the critics from the intellectual community who had been out to San Francisco each having seen one or two different productions who were you know expected everything to be you know the same as that particular production they had seen. They hadn't seen say some of the work in San Francisco that again had evolved over a 13 year period. It even then I you know we weren't entirely satisfied with everything we had done in San Francisco in 13 years we didn't have the company there that we felt you know we were
working for and had we stayed that would have continued to evolve. But there were you know a number of very commercial successes things like the potting shed back at me while waiting for Godot which was you know great commercial excess. But they were you know it wasn't just a question of doing you know intellectually stimulating place only I mean it was a wide variety of everything in a whole panorama where there were also such direct criticism and fundamental criticism directed at the company in such minor fundamental things as actors not being heard not knowing how to move a number of things that I think they thought certainly the San Francisco company had overcome a long time ago in 13 years or are you talking about 10 actors I recall in the first production of those 10
actors I think only two had speaking roles. You know this is the one that that apparently was the big disappointment. I think this is not known you see this was you know not known to the public at all. There were no as I say. But yes there were you know. The actors say that we had some were good some were not good and that's happened not only in the first season and the second season. I'm sure it will happen again this season there will be some who will be very good and those who will stay with us others who you know simply will not work out that well who won't stay with us. I think you know even of some of the people I remember an actor who was criticised when he was with us is Stacy Keach. I think Stacy Keach I just read the other day it was now regarded as one of America's finest young actors you know the great versatility. I haven't seen his before MS but I wonder if they're mixing philosophy political philosophy with acting. I just want to because of his isn't the claim in Mack bird. Well his acclaim and Mack bird and now in the nigger lovers and you know where he's
he's come off extremely well and he is today's He's a very gifted young actor Ed Winter is another talented young actor who is severely attacked when he was with us. We urge him you know on that basis to try something else in the meantime Repertory Theatre is still as he went into cabaret where he had quite a success is now very successful in the birth rate an already very good in the Birth of Venus. And I think that and I think you know some of the young people like Elizabeth Hoddle you know who is another very talented gifted young girl you know who will do other things and I think finally come back to this. I mean you know I don't know what the whole atmosphere was it was a very strange atmosphere very difficult. Some of the criticism was apt some was not you but I can't let you you know you can't have a situation where you know sense the critics determine for you what your theater is going to be. You do what it is you feel you must do period. You know if it
works fine if it doesn't or then you'll find some other way of doing what you want to do. We're very glad to be able to talk to you because so often one doesn't get the opportunity to talk to people at Lincoln Center publicly. While I don't know I don't know they don't seem to come out but you have an eye and connection with that. And Robert you was there as well. I talk to people all day long. You know we're writing a pail of oh well you're very busy. But the thing I mean I said that appreciatively positively. What don't know must be some negative aspects about the company that you yourself I mean and you Robert you also feel that you want to improve that you would like to see happen some of the the future goals of the company that you are affiliated with you think is it or isn't there. What would you like to see improved.
Well. It's just that I think you know for myself I'm always working you know to improve. I'd be happy one day to have the strongest company anywhere you know in the country in the world for that matter. I'd like I'd like to finally reach a point where we have. Our own playwrights writing for that company. We need to that is a serious problem in theater today. Well yes we you know we have an enormous number of place that the missions they come in all the time they're really thousands of them. And quite honestly you know you read a great deal I read some we do have a play reading group. Dick Levy who is the head of that moment and has been for the past year and a half. But I know that when you read his many places you do know you would think he would find you know dozens
that were worth producing but you just don't. I'm afraid it's disappointing. It's very discouraging. Does Jules Irving direct any of the plays coming up this season. I doubt that he'll do anything this season I think he's got his hands full and I think he needs an enormous job really heading that company you know because we have not only the program as you know in the Belmont stage the four plays which would be enough to keep anyone busy but we are getting ready to open the smaller forum downstairs with original American planes. You think it has received a grant in connection with that and I should mention here that we will have another program on the forums on the go and I'm glad someone can talk about I want to talk about it here about the first play at the forum is by a young American playwright Maio Simon and I are to want to act one called Happiness and the other walking to Waldheim.
And I think he's a very gifted young writer. I think these are good plays and I think he's the he's the kind of writer who I think has found in a sense his forum and the forum and I think will will produce other work as well he's a young man with great potential. When when do these open by the way about November 10th. There are a couple of questions areas that we haven't spoken too much about that I would go as I meant to say although we do have a high school touring program and I gather you're going to be asking as I went about that. There are a lot of things taking place in Laos like Iran deal of activity and I think act. I think it's important you know for a major company to hand off a great deal of activity but a great deal of worthwhile activity which I think we're engaged in. What type of injection do you think American theatre needs to know what I mean by that you mean money. No I don't give dollars to everybody talks about the fact that we don't have time and
money. But it's true you know I I'm afraid so many of what have become the cliche to really apply. Well what will money actually do. Well it would it would take the pressure off if you didn't have to constantly worry about you know make your marks off. You know we it's a deficit operation. Sometimes where you even have a little hit play financially. Yes the caliber of the production is terribly bad. What I'm getting at is what do you feel lost in you for your viewpoint. Is there anything lacking generally specifically that in American actors and the. Oh yes you're talking about the whole it's the whole problem of training going on there. There are what would money help this. Yes yes I'm sure if you could find say even going back to the colleges you know and I have throughout the
country finding the very best young talent there is and subsidizing those people that they could go to the very best. Drama School was you know the thing is I don't think it's the job of the Repertory Theater Lincoln Center to train these people I don't think that's what our job is. I think it's our job to to get the very best trained actors there are to put it into our into our company in our play. Is that how do you get the best trained actors when there are no best trained actors. Well there are there are some there. It's like finding you know the good news Elaine is it's that difficult. We auditioned people constantly. When you were in San Francisco the company achieved a notable reputation and the caliber of its actors and what it was doing did most and I assume you knew most of the people. Yeah that's company. Where did they all get their training from Derek. Vera was everywhere from everywhere. A good many of them
in the college drama department but they came from all over the country to work with the company. Out of all of the what would you say is the it's a big problem let me tell you because I'm always asked by young actors you know who say well if they've auditioned and I've said well you don't have enough training here or there and they have to run to a voice teacher in New York or a fencing teacher on the West Coast or a movement teacher someplace else perhaps Juilliard with its training school at Lincoln Center which is getting ready to open soon perhaps that will be one of the ends. There are some very fine drama schools you know in New York and this is where most of the people throughout the country have been coming to the drama schools here or they go to the drama schools in England. You know many young Americans do that. I don't know it's very difficult to tell young people where to go to get the training I hope I'll be able to say go to the school Eduljee are fine.
I do think it's the motivation and purpose rather than time and money because we have a lot of talented persons in the theater because Ann is extremely talented. Yes but his interest is not in is not a total interest in theatre. I mean at least it wasn't he was interested in primarily naturalistic plays and realistic plays when he involve himself in classic so-called classic plays. There he admitted publicly that he had no interest in it and they are here. I don't think it was that he had no interest and we talk about him involving himself in the classic plays in what classic plays one that I recall I don't know of anyone was enough for us. But there was one and that's the kind of thing that really angers me. You know he tried it once and he didn't make it. So he's worthless I mean that to me you know to dismiss his own own admission his own confession that he because that's what the whole sort of mill You're here is you know it's you do it
if you don't do it perfectly the first time then get out you know and I think this is wrong. How the hell are you supposed to build a theater if this is the attitude. Quite frankly and honestly I feel it it's a disgrace that we don't have someone like him available to the theater he ought to be able you know to try not one and fail or two and fail. You know if a man is that gifted you know I'm convinced that had he had perhaps the opportunity to do five or six or seven or eight or 20 classics. Yes he finally would be you know as important in the classic theater as he was in the modern and. Yes but if you want to everyone is not aiming for a certain mark no matter how many times he did he say that he wasn't aiming for a certain mark. I don't think so. Well it's a very talented man. Yes and I think you know I hope to hell he'll come back you know even to the repertory theater of Lincoln Center he's welcome to come back and and do another classic if he fails with that find we'd love to have him come back and do still another
movie start writing books. I just feel that if you're that if you're that talented Well this is the point I was making to you because not only do we have kids and who is that there are no more so there are but they're not moving in the direction that we we want them to move into and I say yeah I want them to move into right rather than the direction that they they may very well want to move into that direction also but if the attitude is well you've done one and failed Buster get out you know why should can do very well doing other things. And so he's he's no longer available because those are the conditions we have made. Well from the conversation that we have had Al and I are looking forward to exciting things and I'm sure the public is I hope some Lincoln. Well certainly by all means I don't say that with tongue in cheek. I mean the one thing I would say of the time I guess it's it's never dull never dull. I don't see how it could be. But there are a few more things.
ROBERT LAWSON connection with the subscription I think some interesting things we should mention in the few remaining moments the conveniences and the availability of that Lincoln Center is making for various groups. You have a preview subscription. What is that actually Robert. Well for each production you know we have a number of previews before the opening. And we decided this year that I sense we had cut down on the number of regular performances that we could offer on subscription. Why not offer a subscription for the previews. That was it. Result in a Innes very small way from a number of we request that we had last year. People did not want to subscribe but they wanted to see the previews they like to go to the productions before they're influenced by you know what people are saying about them and we had requests actually for subscriptions so we threw it open and were
amazed really at the response to the previews of option of six preview previews that we offer on subscription I believe it's filled up to an 85 percent capacity. Yes I think also the wonderful thing with that is that I'm delighted at the response to the preview subscriptions before the regular press opening. I think finally it would just simply marvelous given a seven week run to have almost seven weeks of preview subscriptions and open it on the closing ha ha ha ha ha. That would be also I was only going to see you're making assignment with friends. I notice in the brochures that if you wish locations with friends of subscribing to the same two you can also arrange that to Iraq as a mechanical thing really just put the two orders in there's a man below. If they don't manage to do that we can we can get them to get our house and the student subscription. Now you're offering you say a limited number of performances to college students.
That is also developed I think in an interesting way. Last year we decided that of the inexpensive seats for opening night and the second press night the orchestra is usually completely filled with press and and people that come to the openings that we would offer these inexpensive seats to students on a subscription a reduced rate a considerable reduction. And we got a goodly number of requests from students they were really excited by coming on opening night. So we expanded that program this year to offer not only those first two performances on the regular schedule but preview performances on subscription to students you know at a good rate they can for example subscribe to two three plays a following the little foxes for as little as a dollar and a half a degree and that's quite good. That's encouraging all these student subscriptions is this a student individual or must he must to use the college apply
for more. No we we have representatives on all the campuses in the metropolitan area and we have solicit through them in addition to requests that come in by the telephone. It's done in both ways they don't come in groups they come individually. College students and their wives or knowledge students and their college dates and. Are there any plans to invite drama schools and students so he suspects specialized interests. Well in addition to the students corruption we have a student program inviting groups that group breaks into the performances there usually preview performances because we have more tickets available. Ordinarily for the previews. Well we better run away. We are tired as up but I want to sincerely thank you. Alan Mandel general manager of the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center and Robert Schlosser the subscription supervisor at Lincoln Center for
- Seminars in theatre
- Episode Number
- Episode 7 of 31
- Producing Organization
- WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
Producing Organization: WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-11-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Seminars in theatre; Episode 7 of 31,” 1968-03-04, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 3, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-zp3vzn13.
- MLA: “Seminars in theatre; Episode 7 of 31.” 1968-03-04. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 3, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-zp3vzn13>.
- APA: Seminars in theatre; Episode 7 of 31. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-zp3vzn13