MARCH 13, 1959
ROME—The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Association for the United Nations has undertaken a rather exciting new activity. It is sponsoring a nationwide contest for one-act plays, which are to be judged by Robert Anderson, Paddy Chayefsky, William Inge, Emmet Lavery and Dora Schary.
It is hoped that this project "will inspire the writing of plays which will further the world peace role of the U.N." The one requirement made of contestants is that the dramatic situation be "based on the working out of the ideals and ideas of the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies in terms of human relations and conflicts."
The chapter is working in cooperation with the Los Angeles group of the American National Theatre and Academy, which hopes to feature these plays during United Nations Week in October of this year. Those in authority are even considering the possibility that the other 20 ANTA groups throughout the country might attempt to produce the same plays at the same time.
The prizes will be $500 for the first, $350 for the second, and $100 for the third, and the deadline date for submission of plays is June 5. Winners will be announced in September. Contestants must be at least 19 years of age. For further information you should write to the United Nations Association of Los Angeles, 5110 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles 36, Calif.
While I am writing about the West Coast I should like to remind my readers that I mentioned something about a meeting in Washington, D. C., of the National Farm Labor Advisory Committee on the question of farm labor.
I have just received an excellent report of an investigation carried on by a committee of the Oregon State Legislature on the question of migratory farm labor in Oregon. Growing out of this investigation are six remedial bills, which would indicate that responsible state government can act to solve some of the problems on a question as difficult and as crucial in our economy as migratory farm labor.
If the Oregon legislature passes these bills to eliminate cruel and degrading practices of labor contractors, to improve the housing conditions and transportation for farm labor, and to establish pilot programs for the education of migrant children, it will set an example for other states.
The statement sent to me goes on to say "it will lift from the people of Oregon some of the guilt which all thinking people feel about our society's neglect of this group of labor."
Even organized labor has been very slow to recognize the responsibility for these workers, but this year it has seemed to come closer to the problem. And with former U.S. Senator Frank Graham as head of the National Advisory Committee it looks as though some real advances will be made.