Place--the University of Nebraska.
Time-Spring, in the year 1901.
Stage setting--Carpet on the
floor, with the usual holes. Enter H. Alice Howell. Walk
front and center.
Miss Howell (sotto voice)--What
ho! Let there be a Dramatic Club!
And Lo! There was a Dramatic Club! Thus
rose the curtain on this wonderful organization. And the
curtain is still up. In fact, the stage manager has hung her
straight and tied her off with a hard knot, and she's there
to stay. The actors come and go, the grease paint and the
costumes change with the passing seasons, but the Club shows
Each year about a hundred young and
hopeful footlight artists rave and tear their hair before
the committee on try-outs, and each year the stony-hearted
committee grudgingly admits that perhaps about twenty might,
with careful training, learn to carry spears across the
stage. Thus are the neophytes gathered in.
Two great dramas are presented each year,
backed by all-star casts. Twice annually the dust in the
drop loft of the Temple Theatre is disturbed and sent flying
downward by the ambitious work of the energetic and grimy
stage hands, who adjust and readjust the drops, the borders,
and the border lights, and tangle and untangle the maze of
ropes, in a vain endeavor to please the positive and
perspiring stage manager. Twice annually the big night
comes, and the coach for the forty-seventh time demands of
each expectant and nervous Mansfield whether or no all
personal props are on hand, the while assuring each that all
the stage props will be there--undoubtedly there. Then the
curtain rings up--and down again; and once more press and
public vie with one another in commending the "best amateur
performance ever seen in Lincoln."
Last semester the Club presented the
"Amazons" with a full cast of pretty girls and one or two
men. The name and date of this semester's play is still a
dark secret. Patience. Without a playlet by the Club, no Ivy
Day could be a success. Hence the Club stages a miniature
masterpiece on the greensward each spring. And on University
Night is presented to the heathen public real drama! They
Yet what doth it profit a man if he make
the Club, and lose all his own time and his credit thereby?
What is the reward of the weary nights of rehearsal and the
days of agonized study and bluff? Simply this--the wonderful
theatrical ability which promptly descends on his head as a
crown and a halo of glory is much in demand for the coaching
of plays for high schools and organizations throughout the
state. And on the real stage its members make good. The Club
is proud of its outside as well as its inside record. Three
of its graduates, Harry Melick, Homer Hunt, and more
recently and more conspicuously Julia Nagl, are making
notable successes on the professional stage.
The Dramatic Club gives a formal banquet
each year--a real, theatrical banquet, unrivaled by anything
of its kind in the world, world.
Miss H. Alice Howell, head of the
Department of Elocution, is our faculty president--in
perpetuo. Of vice-presidents we have had the customary
number this year--two,--Kathryn Yates, who was followed like
a rhyme by Verne Bates.
1st Semester, Hazel Perrin. 2d Semester, Florence
1st Semester, Earl Sage. 2d Semester-Ralph Northrop.
CUSTODIANS OF PROPERTIES
1st Semester, Harry Coffee. 2d Semester, Clarence Clark.