Technical High School, Springfield MA
The Private Secretary
Last June the Dramatic Club began considering its fall production. Mr. Smith selected several plays and read them to us, point out the best features of each. After much hectic discussion we decided on Charles Hawtrey's "The Private Secretary."
When fall rolled around, we commenced selection of a cast. As usual, Mr. Smith let us experiment in many parts. You should have seen some of the combinations! They would have made you laugh and cry! Competition was hot and heavy. The parts were all good and all popular. Mr. Smith had his hands full. At least he announced his choice and the great struggle was on!
The first rehearsals went by fits and starts. Douglas couldn't be serious enough; Mrs. Stead tearful enough, and so it went. At last we had our characters and things went more smoothly. Mr. Spaulding, alias Ted Kresser, had a terrible time with his "props." The "goods and chattels" which so worried him were represented by books, rags, hats and other miscellaneous and nondescript articles from backstage.
In the second act when the girls, Alice Sullivan, Isma Mayher, and "Joe" Hobbs, entered, the plot thickened. The mischief, nonsense, and noise around the assembly hall thickened, too!
After the latest arrivals were in their parts and we had learned our lines, we sailed into the grand finale, the third act.
There the trouble commenced in earnest. Rod Linton and George Colton couldn't convince Mr. Smith, nor anyone else that they were really in love. They lacked the fire and spirit of the true lover. A silly grin replaced the pleading glance; a snicker, the sigh. George even rewrote his love scene so that he could be more natural. Kind of fussy, eh?
The last week of rehearsals was before us. These always carry with them a different atmosphere. To climax these was dress rehearsal. There was much fitting, refitting, getting in and out of such proceedings before the temperamental stars were satisfied with their attire. Bruce Campbell and Jim Rowley couldn't make thier stomach pads fit. Pins and cushions finally mastered the "propilition."
The first performance went fine. "Stan" Bebler enjoyed himself immensely for about five minutes while he played with the siphon. "Al" and Isma appeared in beautiful gowns of which they were justly proud. "Joe" Hobbs couldn't make her old-fashioned skirt stay where it belonged. She really was quite nervous until she got control of the situation. Jim Rowley slammed the chest cover on Kresser's hand. The language Ted used was "just shameful." The second night passed without mishap.
There you are! Another bright link in the long chain of Smith productions. Once more we congratulate our coach and adviser, Mr. Smith, dramatic coach extraordinary!
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