Following in their own way the lead of the Theatre Libre in Paris and the Freie Buehne in Germany, and of the Independent and the Repertory theatres in Great Britain, numerous “little theatres” and drama associations in this country are giving impulsion and direction to the movement for finer drama and more excellent presentation. The Harvard dramatic societies, the Morningside Players at Columbia, Mr. Alex Drummond’s Community Theatre at the State Fair in Ithaca, the Little Country Theatre at Fargo, South Dakota, and similar groups at the University of California and elsewhere, illustrate the leadership of the colleges. In many high schools, as at South Bend, Indiana, more or less complete Little Theatres are active. The Chicago Little Theatre, the Wisconsin Dramatic Society, the Provincetown Players, the Neighborhood Playhouse, in New York, and others of that ilk, are well known and influential. They are extending the tradition of the best European theatres in their attempts to cultivate excellent and individual expression in drama. They realize that plays must be tested by actual performance,—though not necessarily by the unnatural demands of success in competition with Broadway revues and farce-melodramas,—and thus developed toward a genuine artistic embodiment of the vast and varied life, the manifold and deep idealism of this country.
For their courteous and generous cooperation the editor is greatly indebted to the authors and publishers of all the plays included. He is equally grateful to other dramatists who were personally as cordial in intention but quite impotent to grant copyright privileges. In addition, he has received most friendly and cordial criticism from friends and friendly strangers to whom he appealed—among others, from Mr. Harold Brighouse; Mr. Theodore Hinckley, editor of “Drama”; Mr. Clarence Stratton, now Director of English at Cleveland, and author of a forthcoming book on the Little Theatre in this country; Mr. Allan Monkhouse, author of “Mary Broome” and “War Plays”; Professor Allan Abbot, of Teachers College, Columbia University; Mr. Frank G. Thompkins, of Central High School, Detroit; Mrs. Mary Austin; Professor Earl B. Pence, of De Pauw University; Professor Brander Matthews; and Mrs. Alice Chapin. Indebtedness to many lists is obvious, particularly to that of the Drama League and the National Council of Teachers of English, and that of Professor Pence in the “Illinois Bulletin.”
“Ile” is reprinted by special arrangement with the author and with Boni and Liveright, publishers, New York. “Ile” is reprinted from the volume “The Moon of The Caribbees” and six other plays of the sea, which volume is one of the series of plays by Mr. O’Neill, the series including “Beyond the Horizon,” a drama in four acts, “The Straw,” a play in three acts and five scenes, “Gold,” a play in four acts and “Chris” a play in four acts.