Until Quinn edited it in 1917, The Broker was known only through Forrest's productions. The various manuscripts show how much care Bird lavished on its composition. Also exhibited is a heavily annotated copy of a late edition of Quinn's printed version. It shows the care with which Quinn's Penn students--Godfrey Frank Singer, who marked this copy, was one of them--had to read it.
The great Penn champion of American drama Professor Arthur Hobson Quinn sought long and hard to establish a genuinely American dramatic tradition and history independent of England's. He found in Bird's plays much "fine achievement"; but his judgment strikes later readers as overstated and Bird's plays have generally disappeared from American theater history. This disappearance is a loss. If they are less wonderful than Quinn believed, they still repay reading.
Last update: Wednesday, 11-Jul-2012 13:19:54 EDT