Monday, January 7, 2013

Letters from Alvina Krause: May 24, 1979 and June 2, 1979

I remember urging recently-graduated students to go to Bloomsburg and to show up at Krause's doorstep.

Why did these three people come here? Why! I told you that I was teaching no more. Didn't you believe me? I am teaching no more! I am tired -- I do not want to take on another group. It isn't the time, it isn't the hard work although the hard work is part of it. I can't take the nervous strain, the worry. It's final. I am not teaching!
So why did these three come? I found them interesting, sincere, dedicated. But what could I do? With no study with me, what could they do here? I suspect whomever they talked to were as at-a-loss as I. If we were producing plays during the winter there might have been a valuable place for them. But we are not. Any time I have must go to the "theatre in the classroom" project -- which just may be vital. True: the group needs some strong actors. They recognize that fact. But they need leaders not people like themselves. They need a strong vital actor -- man or woman -- who is a crystallizing force, someone they can admire, respond to with strong return of creative energy. I do not know where to find such a person -- but that is the need.
I am most sorry about this. The visit of your students troubled me no end. I did not want to say "No", but I must.
I think you may be pleased about the summer. Be definite about the set. Do not let it take precedence over the production.



What a mass of misunderstandings!
In the beginning: why did these three students come here? You knew I would take no more students. I was terribly distressed that these three people came expecting me to accept them. I was impressed by their positive qualities. I hoped that by referring them to the BTE group they would learn why I could teach no more! The BTE program for next year is a heavy one: it will tax my strength. That referral was the source of the mistakes that ensued. BTE could only reiterate: the only teaching done next year will be by BTE members ----- and they are not seeking students! Many misinterpretations followed. The apprentice program is the only learning program available now. No pressure is put on anyone to join that program. I regret deeply my referral of your students to BTE. It was a mistake, but an innocent one. ---- But I still ask: why did these three people come, knowing that I would not accept new students. I am tired. I have had enough! True BTE needs talent. They need a truly strong leading actor -- and they know it. But I am not going to give classes to train that actor! He -- she -- will come with training, or he will learn by participation. No more classes for new people! True BTE will meet with me regularly to work on their Theatre in the Schools project: Shakespeare, Ibsen, Shaw. It will be a heavy study program and I will give it my best. I have every reason to believe we will be able to send out a strong program. That will be my -- our -- goal or the coming year. I can do no more --
Everyone is keen about Misalliance. They will play many roles for you and they realize the difficulties of production. No characterizations will be complete and relationships will not be finalized before casting. Will R be prepared to try out for you with the others? (By the way: does R expect to stay at Mrs. Wilson's? If so he should write her immediately!) I know from experience the play is difficult to direct -- much more so than other Shaw. Have you sent in floor plans, furniture and prop requirements? When you come we will be deeply involved in two other productions, you know. Time is at a premium here --
C has been through a horrendous growing up experience. She is responding sanely. I hope the aftereffects will be healthy.

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