SEPTEMBER 7, 1939
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—Johnny and Anne motored back to Boston on Monday so he could go to work on Tuesday. Jimmy left on Monday night, motoring to Newark airport to start back to California, feeling that he must get his work all up to date. I sense in all these young people a feeling of uncertainty about the future. A sense for the first time that whatever they have to do must be done now, quickly, for fear that something will interrupt the even tenor of life's ways. They join with you in feeling that this country should do all within its power to keep out of war, but they have no very clearly defined idea of what is going to happen. They have set themselves to prepare for uncertainties, for anything may happen and they must be ready for it.
We were discussing the 1914 psychology and the psychology of today and I think people are much more aware of what war will mean from the economic standpoint as well as the military. We have had a good many years of preparation watching Spain and China and the radio is a more vivid medium of information than the newspapers were in 1914. I think it has made us more realistic, more reluctant to see war anywhere in the world, but I also think it is making us feel the necessity of knowing what are the facts and thinking out for ourselves what the position of our country should be.
One of my young cousins has just sent me a rather interesting letter about a project which is being tried in New York City. I will tell you about it in the words of her letter: "There has been for years the need of a theatre in the Broadway district where the young player can play a variety of parts. `Theatregate' has taken the `Little Theatre' and has engaged an acting company of eleven. Nine of these are between the ages of twenty and thirty, the other two being older men. A thirty-five week season is planned opening in October, and the schedule calls for four or five plays. After the first year, a paying apprentice group will be added. The apprentices will be chosen from the most likely prospects of the leading schools in the country and contacts are already being made with dramatic schools in key cities with this in view. The apprentices will be allowed to take walk-ons and to assist in the technical work. As it is not the plan of `Theatregate' to keep the original eleven permanently, the best of the apprentices will automatically find places in the group and it is felt that the original eleven will find other jobs in the theatre."
This is a new departure for the theatre and, I feel, along very wise lines, so I shall watch what they do with great interest.
We intended to motor over to Westbrook, Connecticut, yesterday to picnic with our friends, Miss Lape and Miss Read, but we woke to heavy rain and stayed home. A friend dropped in on us instead, which is proof that in these days the unexpected always happens!