Sunday, December 9, 2012

Letters from Alvina Krause: Winter 1977, Summer 1977

A letter mostly about her Bloomsburg students.
I omit that central section.

Wonderful! So you have really found the joy of teaching! You will probably suffer for it! Excellence cannot be tolerated, you know. But for the students' sake keep it up and know that the intolerance is acknowledgement of achievement on your part.
My class starts slowly. They chose to work on Shaw and he has them floundering for the time being.

[...Discussion of individuals -- DD]

These people have written me. Are they people I want if I decide to keep on with this strange, non-academic set-up. Would they work as hard and as intelligently as the present group?
[A list of names -- DD]


During the summer of 1977 I directed a production of Shaw's Arms and the Man in Ft. Lauderdale in a company mostly of fellow Krause Bloomsburg students.

So you have learned! The hard way! By seeing a good drama turn into a bad show! Now engrave it in hard words in your brain, your heart, your director's code: A director must be an autocrat, a tyrant, a strict disciplinarian. He must not compromise! The drama comes first, the public a close second. Keep your tender, compassionate heart in storage for your personal, private life. As a director you have no private life. For the period of rehearsal and production the play is your life! And your players will honor you, respect you, even love you if you are that autocrat. If those players are true theatre people they will make their private lives secondary to their theatre life. Shaw comes first. Serve him and you will be rewarded not only by public approval but by the deep respect of your cast. Stiffen your spine, David. No compromises with personal soft heartedness! I am happy your cast pulled through with a good performance Saturday night, but in future guard against that happening.
Clear your mind, David! You have the capacity to become a great director. Don't settle for less. Keep your vision clear, your sights clear: truth, excellence. Hold them to the highest! There are thousands of [Krause names three NU colleagues -- DD], but only a few greats. Join the latter!

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