ON THE PLAYING PO
ARIA DA CAPO ORIGINAL CAST AS PLAYED BY THE PROVINCETOWN PLAYERS, NEW YORK CITY PIERROT HARRISON DOWD COLUMBINE NORMA MILLAY COTHURNUS HUGH FERRISS CORYDON CHARLES ELLIS THYRSIS JAMES LIGHT
So great is my vexation always, when reading a play, to find its progress constantly being halted and its structure loosened by elaborate explanatory parentheses, that I resolved when I should publish Aria da Capo to incorporate into its text only those explanations the omission of which might confuse the reader or lend a wrong interpretation to the lines. Since, however, Aria da Capo was written not only to be read but also to be acted, and being conscious that the exclusion of the usual directions, while clarifying the play to the reader, may make it bare of suggestions and somewhat baffling to the producer, I am adding here some remarks which have been found of value in preparing it for presentation on the stage.
Since the production of Aria da Capo by the Provincetown Players, I have received a great many letters from the directors of little theatres, asking for copies of it with a view to producing it. Very often, after I send the play, I receive a letter in reply asking for some suggestions for its presentation, and enclosing direct questions on points that have been difficult. It occurred to me finally that it would be reasonable to make up a sort of informal prompt-book to send about with the play; and it is that which is printed below. It will be found incomplete and uneven, in some instances unnecessarily detailed, in others not sufficiently so; all of which is due to the fact that it was put together loosely, from answers to chance questions, rather than logically, as an entity in itself.