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Page 54 text:
HRCUGH every age scholars have acknowledged
Rrchard II as an outstandrng example of
Shakespeares lrterary art However not untrl Maurrce
Evans arded by an excellent supportrng cast pre
sented rt to theatre goers was rt recognrzed as a dra
matrc masterprece For many years the play was
neglected by thesprans both rn England and Amerrca
Now rn IICS Amerrcan appearance rt becomes the
outstandrng legrtrmate stage productron of the season
From the cold black and whrte page Mr Evans
emerges a lrvrng vrbrant man a foolrsh yet occas
sronally wrse krng to thrrll hrs audrence with a superb
rnterpretatron of a drfficult role
Grvrng a splendrd performance from the openrng
fanfare Evans nses to unbelrevable herghts as the
plot develops He rs magnricent rn adversrty seem
rng to grasp the very soul of hrs character Then
does he hold the audrence rn hrs power
Frederrck Worlock grves an excellent portrayal of
Bolrngbroke the ursurper A G Andrews as gar
dener although appearrng rn only one scene IS one
of the most outstandrng performers I'I1S brt of com
edy enlrvens the more somber aspects of the play as
does that of the Duke of York Characterrstrc rn
deed rs rt of Shakespeare to grve an apparently rnsrg
nrficant part a certarn undenrable appeal In drrect
parallel rs the Porter the comedy relref rn Macbeth
The transrtron from a thoughtless boy to the man
who let a throne slrp through hrs frngers 15 the grgantrc
task Mr Evans has accomplrshed well How we
desprse the ungrateful boy as he laughs at exrle death
and the mrsfortune of others' We love and sym
By EMMA LEARY as
GENEVIEVE WRIGLEY as
pathrze wrth the krng who on returnrng to hrs natrve
land kneels lrke a subject to hrs monarch to krss hrs
well loved sorl We can apprecrate hrs feelrngs as
he realrzes too late hrs long dormant love for hrs throne
and people Let us srt upon the ground and tell sad
stones of the death of krngs
Not untrl hrs return from a serres of unsuccessful
Irrsh carnpargns do we see the nature of a hero con
querrng frrvolrty As mrsfortune heaps upon mrs
fortune Evans warms to hrs subject and grves a truly
krngly portrayal rn the abdrcatron scene Hrs charac
terrzatron of the older Rrchard Bolrngbrokes v1ct1m
far surpasses that of the younger Rrchard
The departure from hrs farthful though grrlrsh
queen rs another touchrng eprsode In the prrson
cell where Rrchard meets hrs death we agarn catch
a glimpse of hrs proud and haughty nature Here
Mr Evans thrrlls to the core wrth hrs realrstrc
portrayal As the end approaches and the treach
erous assassrns knrfe 1S porsed Richard IS as
rnagmficent rn death as he was rn lrfe Maurrce
Evans completely merges hrs own personalrty wrth that
of hrs hero and rn our rmagrnatron Krng Rrchard II
whose short lrfe overflowed wrth adventure l1ves
agarn as only Shakespeare could have rmmortalrzed
Perhaps never before has Shakespeare drsplayed a
truer understandrng of human nature Hrs heroes
are never qurte heroes hrs vrllarns never qurte vrllarns
So rt rs that rn the same breath we both condemn and
prty hate and love the 111 fated krng
W H T 'N I Q H T 7
Oh Nzght that never falls
'To cast dark shadows
O er hrlls and 'vales
And tells the sleepy mmds
Of Natures farry tales
Where do you lwe7
MILDRED WHALBN 41
St Ehzabcths Annex
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Page 53 text:
DOOR marked Forrest Theater Dressmg
Rooms opened suddenly and men d1st1nguxsh
able by therr subdued Englrsh accents shpped xnto
the darkened narrow alley leadxng to the c1ty and
reahty An appomtrnent to mtervlew MISS Mar
garet Webster youthful d1rector of Rlchard II fol
lowed drrectly upon Mxss Websters rehearsal of
Behind stage the surroundlngs breathed of the
unlque atmosphere of the theater A notlce on the
bulletm board read Rehearsals for Curta1n Calls
The mtervxew was conducted 1n one of the actors
dress1ng rooms Here was a bewxldenng array of
mxrrors dress1ng tables cosmetlc jars and costumes
Mlss Webster ln business l1ke tweeds brown seal
sk1n and oxfords entered the room wlth the uncon
scrous ease and rhythmrcal gart of a successful Eng
hshwoman Immed1ately one IS dommated by her
lndependence and determxnatlon Her deep blue eyes
are frank and her voxce IS a husky contralto tinged
Wlth a moderated Brrtxsh accent Hers IS a sparklmg
and dlfferent personalrty
obstacle to overcome 1n d1rect1ng MISS Webster re
phed The four weeks I spent rn rehearsal were not
so ted1ous as the weeks of preparatron for Richard
I had a dxflicult t1me for Mr Ffolkes who rs
responsible for the scenery was IH New York whxle
I was rn England Of course th1s was troublesome
for I had to confer many tunes w1th Mr Ffolkes about
the mechanzcs of the play Our preparat1on con
srsted mamly 1n securrng a rough ldea of the manlp
ulatlon of characters stage dlrectlons scenery and
costumes Then Mr Dowl1ng Mr Evans and I
had to 1nterv1ew some 200 actors 1n New York I
knew comparatxvely no actors here and contrary
to the general belxef I brought no actors from Eng
Upon bemg asked her favorrte scene 1n R1chard
II Mlss Webster responded I have a particular
l1k1ng for the entlre play You see 1n my hxgh school
days I studxed It rather extensrvely Later I played
m the same productxon when john Gellgud was Rxch
ard II I have directed 1t 1n England for rt is very
popular there But I do have a fondness for the
By BERENICE KOLBE 38
In answer to the query whether Shakespeanan or
modern plays are more dlfhcult to drrect Miss Web
ster replred Shakespeares plays requlre more effort
on the part of the d1rector for h1s plays need an
mterpretatlon of the mechamcs of staging whxle the
drrector of a modern play can work on the scrrpt
wxth the author Then too the techmque of actmg
IS decldedly dxfferent m Shakespeare
Maurxce Evans accordrng to Mrss Websters v1ew
pomt lS a very colorful personahty Wlth whom to
work MISS Webster explamed With a sly twmkle
Mr Evans was m New York when the play produc
t1on was belng planned Smce It was necessary to
confer w1th hmm about the play we used the trans
Atlantlc telephone many tunes We had but three
mmutes to accomplish an mfimte number of plans
Durmg one such conversatxon Mr Evans was speak
mg 1nterm1nably ln h1s chpped syllables d1I'CCt1I1g me
wh1ch people to see about costumes scenery l1ght1ng
where I would find them and when I should see
them Then came a pause Mr Evans breathed
deeply and remarked We ve got half a mlnute left
hows the K1ng7
Inqu1ry about how she had come to select dlrectmg
as her career perplexed Miss Webster She medxtated
a few seconds and then vlgorously she rephed that
durmg a fourteen months run of a play rn which she
was acting she had been asked to dlrect a group of
amateurs 1n a Sunday evenxng product1on The Sun
day evenxng groups are a pecuharly Enghsh custom
She accepted the offer to occupy time It proved to
be a frurtful cholce for shortly after she dnrected her
first major play Richard of Bordeaux Since that
trme she has found an mdlvrdual place in d1l.'6Ctll'lg
one of her later plays bexng Love of Women She
was asked to dlrect that play rn the Umted States
th1s year but lack of trme prevented her acceptance
Asked how she reacted to the enthuslastzc welcome
of American audlences Mxss Webster laughed appre
c1at1vely and then answered frankly My receptron
was the most surprxsmg thmg that ever happened
Thus closed a fnntful xntervrew wlth a smcere
real and colorful personahty m a world of artlficxalxty
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Page 55 text:
U 9 r 3 u 3 By MARIE CAVANAUGH 38
I am sworn brother to gram
Rzchard II Act V Scene I
F YOU have never met Evelyn Evans lntroduc
tlons are rn order Thxs charmrng Enghsh lady
IS small and slender Hers 1S coplous talent a splendid
sense of humor and a pleasmg voxce graced wrth
contxnental mflectxons Recently she has come as
an exchange teacher from England to the Friends
Select School m Morrrstown New jersey There at
present she IS busy teachxng Enghsh hterature and
dlrectrng the senror play
Added to her many d1st1nct1ons IS that of belng slster
to Maur1ce Evans who tnumphantly conquered Phila
delplua as Shakespeares Rlchard II and all too
br1efly hved as the rolhcklng Falstaff 1n an exper1
mental performance of Henry IV
Mention of her brother kmdled a responslve spark
m the eyes of the teacher Upon rnvxtatxon Mrss
Evans hsted the Shakespearean dramas 1n wh1ch he
has appeared countmg off the traglc Hamlet R1ch
ar Romeo and the treacherous Iago
Othello Breakxng off 1D the l1st she remembered
that her father has always sa1d Maurrce w1ll make
h1s mark 1n the world 1n comedy then added bu
I hke hxm best 1n tragedy
At thls junctlon the corners of her dark eyes crmkleel
1n merr1ment as she recalled her v1s1t to the Forrest
Theatre durmg a rehearsal of Henry IV I had
not seen Maurlce for two months she sa1d and
when I arrlved he was on the stage I slxpped 1nto
the last row and watched rehearsal The unl1ghted
theatre and the actors who wore no per1od1c costume
but cloak and sword gave an Ehzabethan flavor to
ll The stage was ast1r wxth act1v1ty all of Maur
xces makmg He was enactlng the battlefield scene
ln whlch Falstaff fearmg he w1ll be kllled rushes
about crymg Oh oh oh' and at last throws h1S
grrth down and shams dead When he was finrshed
and had come down from the stage I t1p toed up the
alsle and sat bes1de h1m We were busrly whrspermg
when suddenly Maurrce realxzed he was due on stage
and ran up so as not to be late for h1s cue The co
operation of the cast IS 111 Miss Evans oplnlon a
trxbute to the remarkable abrlxty of the Cllrectress
Margaret Webster whose every sxgnal 18 obeyed
wxth marked preclsxon and whose every order 15 car
ned out rn detail
Memory work plays a great part ln any produc
tron and here as ID all other branches of hrs art Mr
Evans excels He has sometlmes only to read a
scrlpt twlce and he knows lt he becomes so lmmersed
1n h1s character that the contlnulty of hls speech be
comes merely mechanical Any forelgn H0156 1n the
theatre makes hrs mlnd a blank yet he goes on wrth
the words merely because of tlns mechamcal reactlon
A paxr of kmttmg needles almost drove h1m to
d1stract1on when he was playmg Rxchard at the St
James Theatre London It was durmg that scene
when R1chard returns to England to find that he has
been deserted and srttmg down wearxly near the
stage front dwells on the deaths of kxngs At thls
pO1Ht Mr Evans became aware that hrs every speech
was accompamed by the chck chck of steel kn1t
What was more nerve rackmg the actor was con
scrous of the needles steady flash Once m a whlle
the kn1tter would pause and he thought Ah now
Ive got her but soon agam the offender would m
dustrlously recommence She knrtted and kmtted
untxl 1nterm1ss1on when Mr Evans sent a message
to ask her to please put away her needles untrl after
Mr Evans has played many txmes too at Lon
dons repertory theatre the Old VIC It was here
h1s slster saw hlm act the uncut verslon of Hamlet
whlch requlres five hours to do
Before he left London he went to see john Gerlgud
1n that role Mrss Evans drsclosed to see rf he could
obtaln any pomters on the productlon Gellgud and
he are fast frlends In a prrceless scrapbook of Mlss
Evans there IS a full. length photograph of these two
IH whxch an examlner may find much of contrast and
comparrson Th1s book IS a ver1table treasure trove
of press not1ces programs photographs and memor
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