In response to:

The Disaster at Lincoln Center from the April 2, 1964 issue

To the Editors:

…The vehemence of Miss Hardwick’s disappointment astounds me. Is it possible that she does not know what repertory theater is like? Has she never seen the Old Vic not when they are here with an all-star cast or a jazzy new production by Zeffirelli, but with their regular company in their own house ranting and waving tin swords through a production of Julius Caesar that would shame any decent high school drama department? Has she never seen the Comédie Française walk through Phèdre as if it were La Giaconda with scenery and costumes that make our poor City Center look rich and fat? Does Miss Hardwick not know that the constant complaint about repertory where it is well established is that it is dull, unimaginative, pedestrian and inept?

There is a great deal to complain about in the Lincoln Center company, and Miss Hardwick’s diatribe against professionalism was not entirely irrelevant. But surely in a repertory theater professional competence is preferable to amateurishness, however inspired, and surely the basic fault of the Lincoln Center Repertory is not its professionalism but precisely its amateurishness in trying too hard to live up to the dreams of anti-Broadway anti-professionals who don’t want to see anything that Broadway would touch.

Gene Thornton

New York City

This Issue

April 30, 1964