One hundred and seventy-nine manuscripts were received. The judges were Prof. Geo. P. Baker, Walter Hampden, and Francis Powell. Ten plays, five comedies and five serious plays, were reserved from the contest for production at the Bijou. As far as settings are concerned, the plays are well produced. Unfortunately, the acting is not all that one could desire, but with the limited resources at command the results are remarkably satisfactory. Such authors as Upton Sinclair, Hermann Hagedorn, Percy McKaye, Hermann Suderman, Pauline C. Bouve, Gerald Villiers-Stuart have permitted their plays to be given at the Bijou, which speaks for the quality of the work.
The LITTLE THEATER, in New York City, under the management of Winthrop Ames, is the first theater in America designed for intimacy. It was carefully planned, and has been well executed. Such theaters are known abroad, but this playhouse is a decided novelty, and an advance in America. The distance from the front of the stage to the rear of the last row of seats is a trifle over forty feet. There are no balconies and no boxes. The lighting is by an indirect system, which suffuses the auditorium with a soft, restful glow. The lobby, the retiring room, and the smoking room are all done in quiet, pleasant fashion. The auditorium decoration again is novel. There is paneling in dark-brown birch, with inserted tapestries above and a curtain in gobelin blues and carpet of gray.
The lighting system for the stage is most complete, as are all the arrangements behind the scenes, dressing rooms, flies, and bridges. The chief novelty on this side of the playhouse is the use of the Japanese idea of a revolving platform for the stage. The revolving stage has been used largely in Germany, but this is one of the few instances where it has been used in America. Its value is shown for sets that require no great depth, and it permits quick changes of scenery. The circular stage is thirty feet in diameter.