PRECURSORS OF THE THEATER
uniting the efforts of the world toward a true democracy of art. This convention was to have been preceded by a questionnaire sent to all who took any interest in the question, and asking the directors of all people's theaters for an account of their work and suggestions resulting from their experience. This would have afforded ample material for discussion at the convention. But for reasons independent of the wishes of these writers, the project, which was indeed too ambitious, had to be abandoned. Six months later, however, the plan was revived, only the field was more restricted, and the subject confined to the People's Theater of Paris.
On the 5th of November, 1899, the Revue d'art dramatique published an open letter to the Minister of Public Instruction asking him to lend his aid for the establishment of a People's Theater in Paris. This aid was to have taken the form of sending a delegate to foreign countries,—to Berlin, in particular— to study the organization of the existing people's theaters. At the same time the Revue offered a prize of five hundred francs to the person who contributed the best plan for a people's theater. The jury consisted of Henry Bauer, Lucien Besnard, Maurice Bouchor, Georges Bourdon, Lucien Descaves, Robert de Flers, Anatole France, Gustave Geffroy, Jean Jullien, Louis Lumet, Octave Mirbeau, Maurice Pottecher, Romain Rolland, Camille de Sainte-Croix, Édouard Schuré, Gabriel Trarieux, Jean Vignaud, and Émile Zola. The