The Theater: Triple Trouble

Every playwright might do well to inscribe a verse from the English Book of Common Prayer on his wall or his mind: "We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done." A few plays fail through unbelievable incompetence. Many more fail (aesthetically if not commercially) through a casual neglect of the basic elements of theater. Drama needs plot, character and conflict. Drama needs language of resonance, tempo and style—something more than a faithful reproduction of what people...

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