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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 8, No. 12. September 19, 1945

[Letter from Dennis Hartley to Salient regarding the Drama Club]

Dear Sir,—Regarding the correspondence which has appeared about the Drama Club, the most important single factor has not yet been touched on, and that is that acting is in a far different category than that of competitive sport or even of debating. To some of us, the stage is literally the most important thing in our lives, and, no matter how loyal our feeling for the college, we cannot allow that to deter us from accepting parts advantageous to us. You will realise that I am writing this because I have lately played a part in a musical show in the city which could not possibly have been produced by the University Drama Club. No one in his right mind would have turned down such a magnificent part, and that is the reason why you will always find Varsity folk in downtown shows. We are not disloyal to the club; we will do our best to help it; but when we are offered something really important we will take it even at the risk of being drummed out of the Stud. Ass. I can assure you that I would not dream of playing hockey for any outside club (in the remote event of my being asked to do so), but a sport like that and an activity like drama cannot be compared.

I myself feel I have done my dash with the Drama Club, and it should be for the up-and-coming freshers to make it lively. A little less centralised control, a little more support from the Executive, a little more intelligent selection of plays, and there will be no difficulty about getting support, at least from the large number who, while they are deeply interested in the theatre, yet do not regard it as the ultimate of existence. For those of us who do well, we will take the chance of being looked on as loathsome by the club.

Dennis Hartley.