The Easiest Way eBook

Eugene Walter
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 152 pages of information about The Easiest Way.

Title:  The Easiest Way Representative Plays by American Dramatists:  1856-1911

Author:  Eugene Walter

Release Date:  July 29, 2004 [EBook #13050]

Language:  English

Character set encoding:  ASCII

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[Illustration:  Eugene Walter]


(Born, Cleveland, Ohio, November 27, 1874)

When questioned once regarding “The Easiest Way,” Mr. Eugene Walter said, “Incidentally, I do not think much of it.  To my mind a good play must have a tremendous uplift in thought and purpose.  ’The Easiest Way’ has none of this.  There is not a character in the play really worth while, with the exception of the old agent.  The rest, at best, are not a particular adornment to society, and the strength of the play lies in its true portrayal of the sordid type of life which it expressed.  As it is more or less purely photographic, I do not think it should be given the credit of an inspiration—­it is rather devilishly clever, but a great work it certainly is not.”

Such was not the verdict of the first night audience, at the Stuyvesant Theatre, New York, January 19, 1909.  It was found to be one of the most direct pieces of work the American stage had thus far produced—­disagreeably realistic, but purging—­and that is the test of an effective play—­by the very poignancy of the tragic forces closing in around the heroine.  Though it is not as literary a piece of dramatic expression as Pinero’s “Iris,” it is better in its effect; because its relentlessness is due, not so predominantly to the moral downgrade of the woman, as to the moral downgrade of a certain phase of life which engulfs those nearest the centre of it.  The play roused a storm of comment; there were camps that took just the stand Mr. Walter takes in the opening quotation.  But the play is included in this collection because its power, as a documentary report of a phase of American stage life, is undeniable; because, as a piece of workmanship, shorn of the usual devices called theatrical, it comes down to the raw bone of the theme, and firmly progresses to its great climax,—­great in the sense of overpowering,—­at the very fall of the final curtain.

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The Easiest Way from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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