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The Plays of the Past Offer No More than a Series of Popular Readings. No Material for a People's Theater. Readings are Not Enough: We Must Have a Theater

We have now come to the end of our rapid survey of the past. What remains of all the wealth that has been? A very few plays, not one of which we can use in its entirety: a repertory of popular readings, but no plays for a People's Theater.

Then why not resign ourselves, with Maurice Bouchor and many others, to the reading of plays in cut versions, accompanied by explanatory remarks, summing up the whole with a neat moral? In the first place, because—I say it frankly—we must consider not only the good of the people, we must respect art and the products of great minds. Among all man's creations, which alone give meaning to his existence, I have an unbounded admiration for the theater: it is man's statue, shaped by himself out of his own imagination, a flaming image of the universe, itself a greater universe. The equivocal dramatic reading is only a pale reflex of the actual theatrical performance, which stands in much the same relation to it as the photograph to the original, the pianoforte transcription to the