MAY 4, 1954
CHAMPAIGN, Ill.—I had the pleasure late last week of a very brief visit with my friend, Mrs. Eliot Cross, in Princeton, N.J. Then I hurried to another party in that beautiful town, which was given for those attending the day-long state meeting of the American Association for the United Nations.
I was delighted to find Mrs. Elvira Fradkin encouraged and happy because of the number of people who had registered and attended the meetings both morning and afternoon. Dr. Charles Mayo had spoken in the morning but I only saw him briefly, as he had to leave after I arrived.
Later, we had a pleasant buffet dinner at the Princeton Inn and then went to Trenton for the evening meeting at which Mr. Clark Eichelberger, Dr. Ralph Bunche and I spoke.
I think these state meetings are becoming a very fine way of stimulating interest in the U.N. and I hope that many new members joined the New Jersey group.
We drove to New York after the meeting and I was glad to be home again even though it was only for the weekend. After this week my travels will be over for a while and I will be able to stay at home and enjoy my little garden in town, which is beginning to look lovely, and I hope to spend more time at Hyde Park where by now the dogwood probably is in bloom.
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I don't believe I ever mentioned an article written by John Golden, which came out in January in the Detroit Athletic Club News. The article is called "Biggest Gambler in the Theatre," and I particularly enjoyed it because it points up a problem which interests many of us and is, I think, the crux of the whole question of the success or failure of the live theatre.
Mr. Golden acknowledges the fact that in the days when they backed and produced their own shows many producers went broke in spite of phenomenal successes. That situation has changed because the cost of producing plays has become so great that now the investment is shared by a great many people who put in small or large sums of money and are able to suffer the loss of those sums without too much pain!
The one person, Mr. Golden says, who risks everything is the playwright. He spends months, maybe years, laboring on a play, and often cannot find backers. Somehow his family lives while he takes all these risks and, when the play is done, perhaps nobody will want to produce it or, if it is produced, it may be unsuccessful. Then he has lost everything.
That is why John Golden undertook to get together a fund from which young playwrights could borrow. I think this enterprise is fundamentally the biggest thing that could be done to encourage the theatre today, for without plays there can be no theatre.