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Aside from the features already named, the current dramatic period is notable for a general disposition toward more exacting standards in plays and playing. The clientele of the important theaters resent any approach to the haphazard methods that once prevailed, and it is now a sine qua non that the play shall be of some recognizable value; that the performance shall be smooth, well balanced and artistic, and that the environment be realistic, appropriate and of such a character as to stimulate the imagination and thus create the necessary illusion.
This ensemble of merit and balance of utility and beauty is a growth of the last decade, and having become a settled and well-determined standard of action, managers would not be permitted, even they wished, to duce their efforts to that unpolished and inartistic level so well remembered by all whose memory
baleful shadow of the scarlet woman. Human sympathy is the keynote of this success, and not, as some imagine, a certain disposition to lewd discussion. Those who believe that the Zazas and Camilles are attractive as a stage exhibit solely for the reason that they belong to the demimonde and typify alluring sin, can have no conception of the genuine philosophy underlying the vogue of such representations. It is a small compliment to the innumerable hosts who have melted under the pathetic intensity of these illustrations of life to say that it is the evil suggestion, and not the art, that compels their interest.
Perhaps it majority will agree to the proposition that the theatrical atmosphere would be more serene if all but the more placid torrents of quite proper feeling could be dammed from the stage. We may readily admit that life itself, with its daily prind of irksome care and harsh reality. must be greatly relieved and brightened beyond degree if the shadow of sin could be removed. But the tragic note permeates the song of life and minor chords are constantly heard as the dull diapason of a symphony whose motive is the intensity of human feeling. It is impossible to depict life upon the mimic stage without both its lights and shadows, and the appeal which the Camille types make is to the heart through the understanding-an appeal illuminated by the one touch of nature that makes the whole world kin; the divine sorrow and sympathy for shipwrecked humanity which ennobles mankind and forces one to hold out a helping hand to the misguided. So long as the stage exists tragic and suffering types will be conspicuous, not only for the reason that they are more moving than the dull commonplaces of life, but owing to the additional fact that they afford genius a much wider range of expression when engaged in the difficult function of holding the mirror up to nature. The Rachels, Bernhardts, Duses, and all the illustrious sisterhood and brotherhood of genius would cut a sorry figure in pitching their art to the keynote of modern society drama.
So fierce an onslaught has lately been made upon plays of the vivid class, some of which have just been named, that any review of the (urrent situation would be incomplete if it did not state the reason for the recurrence of such plays and combat the utterly foolish and untenable notion that they owe their vogue to an instinct for salacious discussion. History has been inade, and the drama as well, by the mighty sweep of passion. The calm, unemotional types sometimes contribute to history, but do not provide the means either for electrifying audiences or inspiring an artist of exceptional depth and intensity. This is the secret explaining the perennial success of lurid and tumultuous characters. That which those wlio are out of sympathy with the theater attribute to a preference for vulgar insinuation and frank discussion of the seamy side of life is in fact inspired by a human and natural desire to experience moving emotions and a sweep of feeling which the ordinary complications of iife will not supply. The nude in art will alWays rest upon debatable ground, but those who concede it to the art gallery cannot deny its corresponding element to the stage.
encompasses a decade or more of art and literary history. The improvement in the personnel and morale of the dramatic profession is probably the most encouraging of all the signs of the times. A majority of those now entering the profession are persons of no little education and refinement. The illiterate individual, destitute of retinement, grace and all knowledge of social usage, can no longer force his way with no other endowment than a small talent for mimicry. Education has become a necessity for those who expect to gain recognition on the stage, and while some tainted wether of the flock may now and then succeed in monopolizing a prominent place in the public view through the sheer force of notoriety, it will be observed that the ladies and gentlemen who stand highest in esteem and respect are the ones who hold themselves above reproach. Any comparison between the legitimate companies of to-day and those of twenty years ago would be greatly to the advantage of the former in moral fitness and what might be called team work, although in the older companies there were more talented persons than can be found in the rank and file of the present organizations. The reason for this is discovered in the current practice of transforming into stars all who are able to make themselves felt in the stock. The multiplication of theaters and the consequent demand for attractions encourages managers to advance to at least a nominal stellar condition many who under the old regime would continue in the stock. But for the introduction of better average material in the ordinary stock company this process of promoting any special talent would be fatal, whereas it is only directly injurious to a limited degree.
Referring specifically to the actual drift of dramatic events and performances during the past season, which comprises all that there is of the present century, a very strong movement
from the purely sensational and irrational melodrama on the one hand and the imbecile and often degrading farce comedy on the other. Dramatizations of older novels, such as “Vanity Fair," whose Becky Sharp Mrs. Fiske embodied; "The Tale of Two Cities," which came to us as The Only Way; "Quo Vadis," "The Little Minister," "The Christian," "David Harum,” and others of less consequence contributed to the recreation of playgoers, and on the whole this disposition to transform novels into plays is rather a notable and not at all an injurious or threatening sign of the times.
The essential element of an entertaining play is a good story, translated into dramatic form, and it is no great matter where the tale comes from. Shakespeare gleaned in every field, and there is no reason why the modern dramatist should be more fastidious than the man whose name may never be eclipsed in all the annals of literature.
Speaking of Shakespeare, whose works may always be regarded as in the nature of il barometer indicating the pressure of a refined literary taste, it is agreeable to recall the fact that there was a strong inclination during the past season to revive his play's. It is still more to the point that all of the artists who brought forward Shakespearean plays in anything like an adequate manner prospered exceedingly well, thus once more retuting the old proverb that Shakespeare spells bankruptcy. Mr. Irving found "Coriolanus" something in the nature of a sheet anchor during a period of mourning in England, and that despite the wellrecognized fact that this drama is not ranked among Shakespeare's best acting plays. But it had not been produced in any adequate form for a generation, and the anxiety to see Mr. Irving's fine revival provided the best evidence that there was an active, constant and growing interest in classic plays of the highest standing. The experience of Mr. Beerbohm Tree with Shakespearean revivals provides additional evidence that the movement toward higher ideals was and is sincere and genuine. In a curtain speech made on the last night of his season, Mr. Tree alluded in a tone of fervent thanksgiving to the good fortune that prompted him to relegate contemporaneous plays to the background and place his reliance upon the Bard of Avon. His speech included the confession that but for this happy choice, war's alarums and the period of mourning for Queen Victoria would have combined in a partnership of evils from which he could not have escaped without loss.
Several other English managers of good standing found profit in Shakespearean productions, and in the United States the inclination in the same direction was more pronounced than it has been for a considerable time. Richard Mansfield, who is never lacking either in enterprise or daring, selected “Henry V.” not merely as his piece de resistance, but as the sole material for his artistic labors during an entire season. This perfervid play of battle and of oratory had not been presented in the United States for a quarter of a century. Considering its acting possibilities limited, no manager had the courage to give it place in an environment which would appropriately set forth its pictorial qualities and fitly illustrate
is discovered in the direction of romantic plays and legitimate revivals of the classic drama. Several years ago a sharp reaction against the deplorable French farces resulted in a hurried search for something else, and the romantic play represented by the “Prisoner of Zenda” and the famous “Three Guardsmen" proved the most available. This movement involved a very active dramatization of current novels, and for a time sentimental romance; with a trimming of heroic deed, attracted general attention. "Richard Carvel," "Janice Meredith,” "When Knighthood Was in Flower," "In the Palace of the King," and other like examples of their kind, all hurriedly and badly dramatized, have whiled away considerable time, doing no harm save to the few who may have accepted them as proper examples of refined dramatic construction. They were in sentiment and raison d'etre distinctly superior to the mawkish and morbid problem play and a relief
THE LITTLE DUKE OF REICHSTADT AND THE TOY SOLDIERS, IN THE SECOND ACT OF “L'AIGLON
REPRESENTED BY SARAH BERNHARDT. The scene exhibits the joy of the Duke at discovering that the toys, formerly painted to represent Austrians, have been
transformed into Frenchmen by some unknown friend.
those dramatic features that have won admira. tion for the play. Perhaps Mr. Mansfield, despite his recognized authority and distinction, might have found it difficult a few years ago to succeed with this example of Shakespearean art. His Richard, although a far more vital and versatile personation, illuminated with exceeding care on the scenic side, was not more than a partial success when produced more than a decade ago. But times change and the world follows new trends of thought unconsciously. The whims of yesterday become the aversion of to-day, and the preferences of the present moment may be quite unlike those entertained a score of months ago. Bluff King Hal, who was no man's idol in this land for a quarter of a century, felt the new impulse of Shakespearean liking, which had been recognized through many symptoms, and with the immense ability and influence of Mr. Mansfield the production was carried to such an extreme of success that there is nothing with which to compare it save one or two of those journeys which Edwin Booth and Lawrence Barrett took in company when somewhere near the utter confines of their professional life.
With a company almost prohibitive, owing to numbers and consequent expense, and also with a scenic equipment seldom surpassed, this fine presentation of a play seldom offered proved to be one of the chief financial and artistic successes of the season. Deducting, as must be done, no small credit for this achieve. ment which belongs to Mr. Mansfield, who leads the American stage just as Mr. Irving
commands in England, there still remains a generous recognition for a classic play on its own account. It is not necessary, however, to rest the conclusion of a revived interest in legitimate and classic plays entirely upon this notable instance. Madame Modjeska revived “King John,” another relatively unfamiliar play, and found in it the chief interest of her entire season, thus warranting the conclusion that it should be retained for another year. Edward H. Sothern, whose laurels were won in a different field, elected to risk his reputation upon the cast of a die with a possible success in Hamlet as the prize, and while there were varying estimates in regard to his conception of the melancholy Dane, the effort attracted so much notice that Mr. Sothern has quite relinquished comedy and romance with a view to renewing his attention to Shakespeare. Louis James, Katharine Kidder, Frederick Warde, Walker Whiteside, and sereral other actors whose fame is considerable, acted Shakespeare during the year, and the tendency in this direction became distinctly marked when Mr. Goodwin, whose only recognized brew had been comedy, assumed the character of Shylock and in-. dulged in a tour that netted him substantial returns in money, even though the artistic honors were somewhat problematical.
All of these undertakings demonstrated that there is a constituency to be depended upon when attempts are made along a high intellectual plane. The prompt and splendid support of Mr. Otis Skinner and Mrs. LeMoyne when they exploited Browning's "In a Bal
cony," one of the most pronounced of literary plays, was added proof for the same conclusion, and unquestionably led Mr. Skinner to select George H. Boker's "Francesca da Rimini" for the fall season of 1901. Observing this encouraging trend of public thought and culture, Mr. Mansfield has elected to place Stephen Phillip's "Herod" on the stage this fall; and it is well known by those who keep in familiar touch with the world of art and letters that this play, aside from its casual spectacular (onsequence, is rather poetry than drama. But Mr. Mansfield is satistied that this appeal to the higher thought of the land, which has been so successful in his dealings with "Cyrano" and "Henry V.," will not be made in vain. "Monsieur Beaucaire" provides him with an exquisite battle piece in colors not unlike those with which "Beau Brummel" is illuminated, and thus, with two plays of an unusual character, the foremost actor of America remains true to those convictions which, after years of effort and many disappointments, have placed him in the front rank.
Probably there could be no dissent from the conclusion that among the novelties of the recent season "L'Aiglon,” by M. Rostand, is entitled to rank first. This view would doubtless be approved even by those who were not ab-solutely impressed by the theme of this play or moved by its rather melodramatic tragedy. Rostand rushed to the front with "Cyrano" and became recognized, before that play left the boundaries of France, as the most dazzling genius among the dramatists of the day. Not that this finely romantic drama was moving to all who saw it. Neither in the library nor on the stage did it impress one with that clarity of thought and splendid sanity of Shakespeare, but it was undoubtedly a masterpiece of French romance, the more electric for the reason that it sprang from a soil which has been chiefly given over to noxious dramatic growths. In place of the usual dissertation on the favorite French topic, there was a glowing imagination and a tender love story set in a splendid frame. It was not for all markets, since it succeeded only in the original tongue, with the aid first of Coquelin and then of Bernhardt. Richard Mansfield alone of all who attempted to act the play in English :achieved a triumph which, circumstances considered, was even greater than that won by Coquelin, who played in a territory which the French dramatist could reasonably call his own.
This conquest of America by Mansfield for Rostand opened the way for “L'Aiglon," and it fell to Maude Adams to reap the harvest. Opinions differ in regard to the exact measure of her success, and also with reference to the value of a male character assumed by a woman who is destitute of all appearance of masculinity. Logically there is no opening for such a difference of view. Sever since the days of Peg Wotlington, not forgetting Yell Gwyn, has any actress created the illusion of manhood, and Maude Adams, petite and girlish, could not succeed where others-Bernhardt among them -have conspicuously failed.
But if the little Duke of Reichstadt did not live again in the person of either representative, the celebrity of Rostand and the exciting fact that Miss Idams would dare conclusions
with greatness by attempting this role in comparison with, if not in opposition to Sarah Bernhardt gave to the play first place among the novelties of the season. Of its intrinsic value there can be no doubt. Like Cyrano, it rises superior to the ordinary level of the French drama, and atso resembles Cyrano in a certain lofty grasp of sentimental romance. In general terms, Napoleon's feeble and happy son did not prove interesting on his own account. Weakness seldom makes an appeal to any other sentiment than a distressful pity, which men and women, too, would rather avoid than cultivate. But in the poor little Duke's impotent struggle against conditions there was an infusion of heroism, and while the dramatist invaded the field of melodrama for his climaxes, the play was perceived to be notable for originality and inspired by a fervid imagination.
Played first in this country by Maude Adams and an American company, and then by Bernhardt-Coquelin and their French associates, no point in the drama escaped illustration, and all these favoring conditions gave it so much distinction that the play attracted the chief attention of the year and demonstrated two facts, one that even to a Frenchman salacious subjects are not necessary, and the other that Women are impossible as representatives of men on the stage.
The minor plays produced during the past six months were strictly ephemeral in character and would not repay the trouble of cataloguing them. Yet even here we find a comfortable assurance that the United States is taking care of itself in the matter of current dramatic literature. Viola Allen, with “The Palace of the King;" Julia Marlowe, who played "Barbara Frietchie" and "When Knightmood Was in Flower;" Mary Mannering, with “Janice Jeredith;" John Drew, with "Richard Carvel;" Henrietta Crossman, with “Mistress Yell;" William Gillette in "Secret Service;' Miss Bingham, with "The Climbers;" Miss Barrymore, with "Captain Jinks;" Mr. Skinner in "Prince Otto;" Mr. Crane with “David Harum;" Mr. Gillette with "Sherlock Holmes;" Mr. Robson with "Oliver Goldsmith;" Jiss Rehan with **Sweet Yell of Old Drury;" Mrs. Fiske in Becky Sharp-all these and others testified by their success to the excellence of the American dramatist's work. It is the commonly accepted belief that a majority of the plays in whiclı American actors succeed are from abroad, but when seventy-five per cent of the American stars and companies are found to be playing dramas originating in America it must
be obvious that this country is learning to take care of itself not alone in products and manlifactures, but also in literature and the arts. Not only the plays which have been named, but Ben Hur, Lovers' Lane, Saplio, Zaza, Under Two Flags, and others owe allegiance to American dramatic talent, which if not so widely recognized abroad as it should be, is rapidly overcoming prejudices that have already been permitted to stand too long. These are cheering omens of the new century, and the fact is also auspicious that in addition to many excellent contemporaneous plays in preparation for the coming season, no less than ten of Shake. speare's plays, including Coriolanus, IIenry VIII. and King John, will be revived. The situation,
therefore, is such as to encourage hope and warrant the belief of a brilliant future for the drama as literature and of the stage as an arena for high art. LYMAN B. GLOVER,
Dramatic Critic, Chicago “Record-Herald.”
EXPORTS OF THE UNITED STATES..-To what countries should our manufacturers, producers and exporters look for an extension of their foreign market?
In a preceding article (see page 184), I discussed the growth of our export trade by great articles, but it is of as great importance to know where to offer goods as what to offer. Hence I propose to indicate, from an examination of our foreign trade during a period of years, the countries in which our products are most in demand, their relative importance as customers for our products, the growth which our exports have made in each, the principal classes of our goods which each has taken from us, and the growth which each class has made in the markets of each country.
The market open to our exporters amounts in round terms to ten billions of dollars annually. In 1899, the latest year for which complete figures are available, the imports of the entire world amounted to nearly eleven billions of dollars, and if we deduct from that sum the imports of the United States, it leaves a total of about ten billions as the imports of the entire world exclusive of the United States. In this market, then, in which ten billion dollars worth of goods are annually purchased, the producers, manufacturers and exporters of the United States may enter as competitors.
To discuss the imports of each of the fifty great political organizations into which the world is divided would occupy more space than is allotted to this study. By selecting the most important of them, however, we find in twenty great countries an annual market for over eight billions, out of the total ten billions which the entire world affords.
I propose, therefore, to discuss the markets of these twenty great countries to see what share we furnish of their annual purchases, whether that share is increasing or decreasing, whether our exports to them are growing, what are the principal articles which they buy from us, and in what articles the growth is the inost strongly marked. The twenty countries in question are the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Denmark and Sweden and Norway, in Europe; Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina and Brazil, in America; China and Japan, in Asia; and British Africa. They rank in the value of their imports as follows: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Australasia, Austria-Hungary, Russia, China, Italy, Canada, Spain, Brazil. Sweden and Norway, Argentina, Japan, Denmark, Mexico, British Africa and Cuba. With China has been included Hongkong, from which nearly all the imports pass into China; and in the Australian colonies, the custom of including the traffic between the various colonies in the statement of the total imports has been foliowed.
Of these twenty countries it may be said, (1) that they took over $1,400,000,000 out of a grand total of $1,487,755,557 exported from the
United States last year; (2) that our exports to them have trebled in the past thirty years and nearly doubled in the past decade; (3) that in five of them—the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Mexico and Cuba-the United States ranks first in the list of countries supplying their imports, and in five others-France, Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil and British Africa-we rank second in the list of countries from which they draw their imports, and (4) that in most of these countries we are steadily increasing the share which we supply of their foreign purchases. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the imports from the United States formed in 1888, 26 per cent. of the total importations from foreign countries, and in 1898, 34 per cent. of the total from foreign countries (other than her colonies). In Germany, the imports froin the United States in 1889 formed 8 per cent. of the total, and in 1898, 16 per cent. In France the imports from the United States were in 1888, 6 per cent. of the total, and in 1898, 11 per cent. In Russia the increase of percentage was about the same. In the Netherlands our percentage increased from 5 per cent. in 1888 to 13 per cent. in 1898; in Belgium, from 8 per cent. to 11 per cent; in China, from 2.5 per cent. to 8 per cent., and in Japan, from 8.5 per cent. to 14.5 per cent.
"Nothing succeeds like success," and while it is interesting to consider these countries in the order of their general consuming power, it is even more important to consider them in relation to the markets we have been able to make in them in the past. Wherever we find that a country has been buying liberally of our products and increasing its purchases from year to year, a detailed study of that field and of the articles which have made their way in that market seems especially interesting. I have, therefore, in taking up these countries one by one, arranged them rather in the order of the magnitude of their purchases from us than of their total purchases, though it may be said that in most cases those having the largest total importations are also our largest customers.
The table which follows shows the total imports of each of these countries in the latest available year and the total exports from the United States to each of them in 1870, 1880, 1890 and 1901, arranged in the order of magnitude in 1901. It will be observed that in every case there has been an enormous increase, and that the growth is especially marked in the last decade. Our total exports to these twenty countries were in 1870, but a little over four hundred millions; in 1880 and 1890, a little less than eight hundred millions, and in 1901, more than one billion four hundred million dollars. To thirteen of the twenty countries, our exports much more than doubled from 1890 to 1901, and in several (asés--notably Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, British Africa and Japan -they have more than trebled. The table is as shown at top of following page.
Now to take up these twenty countries whose purchases from us last year aggregated more than fourteen-fifteenths of our products sold abroad. If We can show in concise form the principal articles purchased from us by each of these countries, and compare the value