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Playing It Straight

In response to:

Monkey Business from the April 24, 1969 issue

To the Editors:

Bob Brustein is in error when he says I “returned to the hall” at the Becks’ psychodrama at the Theater for Ideas. In fact I left about five minutes after the interruption started, caught a cab, and went home.

I had asked Julian what his actors were up to and he said, “They’re breaking up an intellectual discussion.” But I wasn’t engaging in an intellectual discussion. Usually, at such meetings, I just think aloud, for the audience, out of my perplexed and unhappy life. So clearly my role in the psychodrama was to leave. I did. I always dutifully play it straight.

Julian pursued me outside, asking me please not to go. But I told him that it was a lousy play because the actors (we) were treated too anonymously.

A few days later, Julian and Judith came around for a cup of coffee, and they, George Dennison, Sally, and I had a pleasant talk just like human beings, with nobody manipulating anybody.

Paul Goodman

New York City

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