Abbey Theatre Minute Book 1932 - 1936

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Page 1

MINUTE BOOK
14th JANUARY 1932
TO
27th JANUARY 1936



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Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the
National Theatre Society Ltd held at the
Abbey Theatre on Thursday 14th January 1932 at 3 p.m.


Present: W. B. Yeats, Walter Starkie.
In Attendance: J. H. Perrin, G. H. Tulloch


Mr. Yeats stated that he had received a
letter from the manager of the Munster and
Leinster Bank, O'Connell Street pointing out
that he had written to the Secretary on three
occasions with reference to the Bank overdraft,
and had failed to get any reply. It was
pointed out to the Secretary that this constituted
a very serious breach of his duties, he having
been definitely instructed that all letters must be
replied to on the day of receipt. Mr. Perrin was
further told that the Directors could not understand
why he had not brought these important
communications to the notice of one of the Directors
or of Mr. Tulloch. Mr. Perrin explained to the
meeting that he did not think it necessary to
reply to the letters, as the Bank were secured
by a Mortgage up to £2,000; and that he was


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waiting for a meeting of the Board to bring the
letters before the Directors. While regarding this
explanation as anything but satisfactory, the
Directors agreed to overlook the matter, at the
same time warning Mr. Perrin of the consequences
of any further neglect on his part to attend to
correspondence.


Mr. Tulloch reported that the Bank Account
was now overdrawn to the extent of £2,168 and
stated that he was in negotiations with the Bank
for a temporary increase of the overdraft up to £2,500.


It was resolved that the Bank should be
requested to give the Society liberty to overdraw their
account up to the sum of £2,500 pending the
receipt of the Government subsidy for the year
ending 5th April 1932, and pending receipt of
remittances from the United States of America of
money advanced by the Society in respect of the
American Tour.


Mr. Tulloch stated that he had written to the
Minister for Finance with a view to obtaining
payment of the subsidy for the year ending 5th
April 1932, in order to relieve the overdraft.


Mr. Tulloch was asked to send a cable
to Mr. Lennox Robinson pointing out the urgent
necessity of a remittance from America to cover at


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least the monies advanced by the Society for
the Tour.


It was decided owing to the difficulty in letting
the theatre to reduce the rent for a week of seven
performances from £86 to £75.


Dr. Larchet is to receive £10-10-0 per week for
payment of Orchestra during the weeks the theatre
is not let.


The Secretary is to write to Miss de Valois
and draw her attention to the large amount
due by Miss Byrne for School of Ballet
fees. If she makes no effort to pay the
amount due she is to be expelled from
the School.


W. B. Yeats
3rd June 1932



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Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the
National Theatre Society Ltd held at
42 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, on Thursday
2nd June 1932.


Present: W. B. Yeats, Walter Starkie, Lennox Robinson.
In Attendance: J. H. Perrin, G. H. Tulloch


The minutes of the previous meeting were
read and signed.


It was decided that the Company should
broadcast from the Belfast Station of the B.B.C.
twice each month.


The question of the renewal of author's contracts
was left to Mr. Robinson to deal with.


The following reduction in salaries was agreed:
"Lennox Robinson from £400 to £350 P.A.
"J. H. Perrin from £300 to £275 P.A.
"M. J. Dolan's School of Acting salary from £4 to £2 per week.
"U. Wright from £7 to £5-10-0 per week.



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Denis O'Dea's acting salary is to be
increased from £2 to £2-10 per week.


The date of the Annual General Meeting
was arranged for Thursday 30th June.


It was decided that the work of the office should
in future be divided between Mr. T. J. Robinson and
Mr. J. H. Perrin as joint Secretaries.


W. B. Yeats
June 14th 1932.



Page 7

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the
National Theatre Society Ltd held at 42
Fitzwilliam Square on Tuesday
14th June, 1932.


Present: W. B. Yeats (in the chair), Walter Starkie
Lennox Robinson.


The minutes of the previous meeting were read
and signed.


The letter from the Secretary of the Minister for
Finance was considered and Mr. Robinson's letter,
already circulated among the Directors, was approved.


In addition Dr. Starkie agreed to write a letter
to the Secretary of the Minister for Finance pointing out
the great importance of the coming tour in the
States and stressing the financial embarrassment of the
Theatre and the fact that already certain considerable
reduction in salaries had to be made.


(?)
W. B. Yeats



Page 8

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National
Theatre Society Ltd held at the Abbey Theatre on
Tuesday 5th July, 1932.


Present: W. B. Yeats (in the chair) Lennox Robinson.
In Attendance: G. H. Tulloch, T. J. Robinson and members
of the Company. J. H. Perrin


The minutes of the previous meeting were read
and signed.


Mr. Tulloch presented the accounts for the last
American Tour and approved of a payment of £18-13-4
to those members who were entitled to same under
Agreement. It was pointed out to the Company that
the Contract with our American Agents for the tour of the
States and Canada commencing October next was
so favourable as anticipated when the Directors
offered double salaries for this tour. The Company
agreed to accept two-thirds extra of the salaries paid
during the last tour, Travelling Expenses of £1 per day
while in America or Canada to be paid as previously.


The Agreement between the Directors and American
Agents was signed, and a letter from Mr. Wicks was
read to the Company.


It was agreed that one-third of the profits in excess of £1000 on the


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the next tour in America should be divided between
the members of the permanent Company.


The Directors pointed out that everything possible
was being done to bring down the expenses of
working the theatre. Mr. Wright's travelling with the
Company would be a saving and the Directors are
closing the School of Ballet at the end of November.
Many other economies had been effected.


W. B. Yeats



Page 10

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre
Society Ltd held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin
on Friday 30th September, 1932 at 3 p.m.


Present: W. B. Yeats (in the chair) Lennox Robinson,
Walter Starkie.
In Attendance: J. H. Perrin


The minutes of the previous meeting were read
and signed.


Dr. Walter Starkie having resigned his position
as Director of the Society appointed by the Government,
It was proposed by W. B. Yeats, and seconded by
Lennox Robinson that Dr. Starkie be appointed
Director of the National Theatre Society Ltd. The
necessary transfer of shares to Dr. Starkie will
be made on the return of Mr. G. H. Tulloch.


Mr. Robinson read letters from pupils of the School
of Ballet offering to run the school and pay the
Theatre for rent etc. Mr. Robinson is to get
Miss Brooking's opinion.


A proposal from Madame Kirkwood Hackett
to run a School of Acting was rejected.


A letter from the Minister of Finance was
read regretting that he could not be present this


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afternoon when Miss Purser is presenting
her portrait of Miss Sara Allgood to the
theatre.


Dr. Starkie approved of the program of plays
arranged from the 17th October to 25th November 1932.


Walter Starkie



Page 12

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National
Theatre Society Ltd held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin
on Saturday 26th November, 1932.


Present: Lennox Robinson, Walter Starkie (in the chair)
In Attendance: J. H. Perrin


The minutes of the previous meeting were read
and signed.


It was decided to produce "The Big Sweep" and
a one act play for the week commencing 26th
December, and that other plays should be produced
from time to time.


It was decided to advertise a School of Acting under
the Direction of Mr. Robinson and if there was sufficient
response a School of Acting would be held in the
Theatre during the spring.


It was agreed that Miss de Valois should produce a
week of Ballet at the Abbey as soon after Christmas
as it could be arranged.


W. B. Yeats
March 7th 1933



Page 13

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National
Theatre Society Ltd held at the Abbey Theatre,
Dublin on Wednesday, March 1st 1933.


Present: W. B. Yeats (in the chair), Walter Starkie, Lennox Robinson


A letter from the Secretary, Department of
Finance was considered and Mr. Yeats' reply to
it was unanimously approved.


Mr. Robinson was directed to send a copy of the
correspondence to President de Valera and a covering
letter to him and to the Secretary, Department of Finance
stating the Directors proposed to publish the
correspondence on Monday 6th inst.


A letter from Mr. Wickes asking that the weekly payment
in U.S.A should be reduced by $250.00 was
considered. Mr. Robinson was directed to reply
that a decision could be arrived at pending
a settlement of monies due from the previous
tour.


W. B. Yeats
March 7th 1933



Page 14

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National
Theatre Soc. Ltd held at the Abbey Theatre,
Dublin on Tuesday, March 7th 1933.


Present: W. B. Yeats (in the chair), Walter Starkie,
Lennox Robinson


The minutes of the previous meeting were read
and signed.


A letter written by Mr. Yeats was read and
approved and it was decided to send it
to the press on Tuesd Wednesday evening,
March 8th.


W. B. Yeats
19/5/33



Page 15

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the
National Theatre Society Ltd held at
the Abbey Theatre on 19th May 1933


Present: W. B. Yeats & Lennox Robinson
In Attendance: J. H. Perrin


The minutes of the previous meeting were
read and signed.


Estimates were considered for painting and
repairs to the Abbey Theatre and Mr. H. C.
Landon's estimate amounting to £56 was
accepted.


Messrs. Millar & Beattys estimate for carpeting
for Abbey and Peacock Theatres was accepted.


The loan of a portrait of Mr. Lennox
Robinson was accepted.


It was decided that a copy of a portrait
of Lady Gregory should be obtained for
the theatre.


New Agreements are to be obtained for
"Look at the Heffernans", "The Glorious Uncertainty",
"Professor Tim", "The New Gossoon" and "Paul


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Tywning", "Autumn Fire" and "Michaelmas Eve"
"The Plough and the Stars", "Juno and the
Peacock" and "The Shadow of a Gunman"


The following plays were selected for
production during the first five weeks
of the season:
June 26th "Juno and the Peacock" July 10th "The New Gossoon" 103rd "Autumn Fire" 17th "Margaret Gillan" 24th "Professor Tim"


W. B. Yeats



Page 17

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National
Theatre Society, Ltd held at the Abbey Theatre
Dublin, on 3rd July 1933


Present: W. B. Yeats, Lennox Robinson


The minutes of the previous meeting were read
and signed.


"Professor Tim" and "Drama at Inish" was
arranged as the programme for Horse Show Week and
"Michaelmas Eve" for the week of the Teachers
Congress.


It was decided to place Miss May Craig
under contract at a salary £7-10-0 per
week


The Directors decided that it would not
be advisable for our players to visit the United
States of America this autumn but if possible
a tour might be arranged for the 1934/35 season


The Annual General Meeting will be held
in August or whatever date is convenient to Mr. Lennox
Robinson.



Page 18

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the
National Theatre Society Ltd, held at the Abbey
Theatre, Dublin, on Monday 25th September 1933
at 12.15 p.m.


Present: W. B. Yeats, Walter Starkie, Lennox Robinson
In Attendance: T. J. Robinson, J. H. Perrin


It was decided that a meeting should be held
as soon as possible when Mr. Tulloch returns to
Dublin for the purpose of explaining to the Company
the results of the American Tours and figures
are to be placed in the hands of the Company
explaining that the profit in these tours did little
more than wipe out previous losses.


The meeting passed a resolution of thanks to
Mr. Charlie Manners for his gift of music to the society.


A tour is to be arranged for the Company
next February covering Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester
and Liverpool.


The question of obtaining a copy of a portrait
of Lady Gregory was left to Mr. Yeats to deal with.


Estimates of John Dolan & Sons for repairs to the roof
and the installation of a wash-hand basin were accepted,
the estimate total of £26-13-10.



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The sum of £50 was voted to Mr. U. Wright
in recognition of his loyal services to the theatre.


The salary of Mr. Denis O'Dea was increased from
£2-10-0 per week to £3-0-0 per week.


A School of Acting session under the direction of
Mr. M. J. Dolan is to be started as soon as
possible. Mr. Dolan to receive an extra £2-0-0 per
week during this session.


The following plays were selected for production


October 2nd "Look at the Heffernans" " 9th "Paul Twyning" " 16th "Drama at Inish" " 23rd "Words upon the Windowpane" and "The Courting of Mary Doyle" " 30th "Rising of the Moon" and "The Whiteheaded Boy" November 6th First production of "Grogan and the Ferret"

Monday 9th October at 3 p.m.-
Walter Starkie and W. B. Yeats with Mr. G. H. Tulloch
in attendance interviewed the seven members of
the Company who are entitled to a share in
the profits of the American Tour. Mr. Tulloch
pointed out to the players that the profits on
the American Tour covered the losses incurred at
the Abbey Theatre since 1929 and the
Society despite the large profit on the Tour of
1932/33 is now only approximately £300 better off
than at February 1930. The Directors decided


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not to deduct the £70-0-1 excess payment
made to the players in respect of the 1st Tour
which leaves the amount now to be divided
£1,249:15:7 or £178-10-9 to each of the following
players: Maureen Delaney, Eileen Crowe, Arthur
Shields, Michael Dolan, P. J. Carolan, F. J. McCormick
Barry Fitzgerald.


W. B. Yeats
10/1/1933

? 34



Page 21

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the
National Theatre Society, Ltd, held at the
Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Wednesday 10th January 1934


Present: W. B. Yeats, Walter Starkie, Lennox Robinson
In Attendance: J. H. Perrin


The minutes of the previous meeting were
read and signed.


The Directors considered the question of a tour of
the United States this autumn. It was decided that
it would not be a financial success to visit the
States if the dollar should depreciate in value. If
a contract was signed it should have a clause
inserted allowing the Directors to break the contract
if the rate of exchange was unfavourable.


The question of a tour of Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester
and Liverpool was discussed and it was decided to
suggest to Mr. Selby the following plays from which
a selection could be made: "The New Gossoon", "Juno
and the Paycock", "The Far-off Hills", "The Playboy of
the Western World", "Grogan and the Ferret" for Belfast.


The following plays were selected for production
during the next few weeks. "Peter", "The Moon
in the Yellow River", "The Marriage Packet", "Fanny's
First Play"


W. B. Yeats
1/2/34



Page 22

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the
National Theatre Society, Ltd, held at the
Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Thursday
1st February 1934 at 5 p.m.


Present: W. B. Yeats, Walter Starkie, Lennox Robinson
In Attendance: Miss Bodkin, J. H. Perrin


The minutes of the previous meeting were
read and signed.


It was decided to visit the Opera House, Belfast,
for the week commencing 25th February. The
plays suggested being "Grogan and the Ferret"
and "The Playboy of the Western World" with
"The Words Upon the Window Pane"


The profits made on the two American Tours
were compared with the losses incurred at the
Abbey Theatre for the corresponding months and
it was decided that it would be to the
advantage of the Society to tour the United
States this autumn. It was considered that
the Government should be considered consulted
and Mr. Robinson undertook to write to the
Minister of Finance asking for an interview,
as he (Mr. Robinson) will be out of Dublin
for the next two weeks the interview is not


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to be arranged before his return.


The question of paying Mrs. Robinson for her
designs for costumes and scenery was considered
and the Secretary instructed to write to her offering
£5 for each scene designed and £2 for each
costume.


It was suggested that G. Bernard Shaw's
"Candida" should be produced at the theatre the
week following Belfast and "Misalliance"
should be considered for production.


W. B. Yeats
20th April 1934



Page 24

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Soc. Ltd.
held at Riversdale Rathfarnham on Friday, March 30th 1934


Present: W. B. Yeats, Dr. Richard Hayes, Lennox Robinson


The minutes of the previous meeting were read and signed.


After discussion, the following list of plays for the proposed
American tour 1934-5 was agreed to and it was agreed
that it should be sent to the Government for their consideration.


Lady Gregory
Spreading the News
The Workhouse Ward
Hyacinth Halvey
The Rising of the Moon
The Gaol Gate


W. B. Yeats
Kathleen ni Houlihan
The Words Upon the Window Pane
Oedipus the King


J. M. Synge
Riders to the Sea
The Shadow of the Glen
The Well of the Saints
The Playboy of the Western World


George Shiels
The New Gossoon
Grogan and the Ferret


Sean O'Casey
The Shadow of a Gunman
The Plough and the Stars
Juno and the Paycock


Brinsley Macnamara
Margaret Gillan


T. C. Murray
The Pipe in the Fields
Autumn Fire
Sovereign Love
Birthright
Maurice Harte


Lennox Robinson
The Whiteheaded Boy
The Far-off Hills
Is Life Worth Living?


W. B. Yeats
26/4/1934



Page 25

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre
Society, Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on
Thursday 27th April 1934 at 5 p.m.


Present: W. B. Yeats, Dr. Richard Hayes, Lennox Robinson
Walter Starkie.


The minutes of the previous meeting were read
and signed.


A letter from the President of the Executive
Council was read and considered and Mr.
Lennox Robinson was requested to draft a reply.


A letter from Mr. Elbert Wickes dealing with the
forthcoming American Tour was read and noted.


The following plays were selected for production:-
May 7th "Look at the Heffernans" 14 "An Imaginary Conversation" "Church Street" 1st Production "The Coiner" 21st "Mountain Dew" 28th "The Plough and the Stars"


It was agreed to send a donation of £25 to the
funds of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.


W. B. Yeats
25th April May



Page 26

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National
Theatre Society Ltd held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin
on Thurs Friday May 25th 1934


Present: W. B. Yeats, Dr. Richard Hayes, Dr. Walter
Starkie, Lennox Robinson. Mr. G. Hill
Tulloch was in attendance.


The minutes of the previous meeting were read
and signed.


The unsatisfactory conduction of the business
of the office was considered and it was decided
to dispense with the services of the Secretary Mr.
J. M. Perrin. In view of his long service
with the company it was agreed to give him
one month's notice and a bonus of six
month's salary Such notice to be given on June
1st and that if he agreed preferred to leave
immediately his request should be granted.
Mr. Tulloch agreed to write to him and
interview him and also to interview Mr. Eric
Gorman who might succeed Mr. Perrin as
Secretary.


Mr. Robinson reported that he had approached
Mr. Tyrone Guthrie and Mr. Gurney with a


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view to their becoming producers at the Abbey
Theatre next season in case the Company
went to America. Mr. Rob Both
had refused. Mr. Robinson was instructed to
approach Miss Esme Church.


Walter Starkie
June 21st 1934.



Page 28

A Meeting of the Directors of the National
Theatre Society was held in the Abbey Theatre
on June 21st 1934


Present: Walter Starkie (in the chair) Lennox
Robinson and Mr. G. H. Tulloch
in attendance.


The minutes of the preceeding meeting
were read and signed.


Mr. Robinson reported that Miss Esme
Church had declined to act as
producer next autumn and he was
requested to ask Mr. William Armstrong
of the Liverpool Repertory Theatre
if he could suggest a producer.
Failing that, it was suggested that Miss Sara Allgood might be approached.



Page 29

1. The following Share Transfers were submitted, examined and
passed:-
No. 7. 69 shares of £1 each numbered from 71 to 139 inclusive
from the representatives of the Late Lady Gregory to Lennox
Robinson.


No. 8. 70 shares of £1 each numbered from 1 to 70 inclusive
from the Representatives of the Late Lady Gregory to William
Butler Yeats.


No. 9. 50 shares of £1 each numbered from 1 to 50 inclusive
from William Butler Yeats to Walter Fitzwilliam Starkie.


No. 10. 50 shares of £1 each numbered from 71 to 120 in-
clusive from Lennox Robinson to Walter Fitzwilliam Starkie, and
the relative new Share Cetificates No.s 10 to 12 and Balance
Certificates No.s 13 and 14 were sealed, signed and agreed to
be issued.


2. Appointment of Mr. Gorman as Joint Secretary.
Mr. Eric Gorman was appointed Joint Secretary in place
of Mr. J. H. Perrin, at a salary at the rate of £200 per annum
payable monthly. Mr. Gorman is to be on duty daily from 9.30 a.m.
to 3 p.m. (with one hour for lunch) and to attend in front of the
house at all evening performances, except when he is acting, at
which time a deduction will be made from his salary of 10/- a
week to provide for a payment to his substitute in front of the
house. The following is an outline of Mr. Gorman's duties:


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To write up Wages and Salaries Book, pay wages and salaries and
keep insurance cards stamped up to date.
To draw cheques for payment of monthly accounts in accordance
with list prepared by Mr. T. Robinson, issue the cheques and
file the receipts.
To arrange for theatre lettings and keep all records, contracts,
ledger etc. in connection with same.
To write up School of Acting Cash Book and post ledger in con-
nection with same.
To collect rents, advertising receipts, and other outstandings and
see that same are paid up to date.
To post up ledger at the end of each month and extract a quarterly
Trial Balance.
To reconcile the Bank Account each month.
To attend meetings and write up the minutes.
To attend the front of the house as arranged.


3. A letter from the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada re
Scheme for Pension Insurance was considered and it was decided
that the scheme proposed is not suitable to the circumstances of
the Theatre.


It was agreed that when Mr. Gorman was
acting and unable to attend to the


Page 31

front of the house a deduction of 10/-
a week should be made from his
salary such money to be paid to Mr.
T. J. Robinson for his attendance on
five nights of the week, it being understood
that Mr. Lennox Robinson would be
in attendance on Monday night and a
Saturday afternoon.


The following plays were agreed to
July 2nd The New Gossoon
- 9th The Shadow of the Glen - Mary Doyle
- 16th On the Rocks
- 24th " " "
- 31st Kathleen ni Houlihan, The Resurrection,
The King of the Big Clock Tower.


W. B. Yeats
31.7.34.



Page 32

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society
Ltd., held at the Abbey Theatre Dublin on Wednesday 11th July 1934
at 5 p.m.


Present: W. B. Yeats, Lennox Robinson
In Attendance: Eric Gorman


Mr. Walter Starkie and Dr. Richard Hayes were unable to attend as both of them were away.
It was proposed by Mr. W. B. Yeats and seconded by Mr. Lennox
Robinson and passed
"That in future cheques should be signed by one of the following
Directors - Mr. W. B. Yeats, Mr. Walter Starkie, Mr. Lennox
Robinson, Dr. Richard Hayes and countersigned by
Mr. Eric Gorman, Secretary.


A letter from Mr. Elbert Wickes outlining plans of the forthcoming
American Tour was read by Mr. Robinson but no decision was
come to, pending Mr. Wickes' visit to Dublin at the end of
July.


The question of advertising in "United Ireland" was
considered and it was decided not to do so.


It was agreed to contribute the sum of £3-3-0 to
the funds of the Celtic Congress at present being held in
Dublin, the Congress having paid £3-3-0 rent for use of
the Peacock Theatre.


It was decided to put Mr. Denis O'Dea in the
permanent


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permanent list of actors and that he be paid an
increment of £1 per week as from 1st July 1935.


The following plays were provisionally selected for the dates
as set out below:-
July 16th "The Shadow of the Glen" + "Mary Doyle"
July 23rd "Alls Over Then"
July 30th "Resurrection", "The King of the Clock Tower" and
"Church Street"
August 6th (Horse Show Week) Juno and the Paycock for half
the week and Dances by Miss de Valois, Birth-
right & "Hyacinth Halvey" for the other half of the
week the bills to be alternated.
If Miss de Valois is unable to remain for this week
"Grogan and the Ferret" to replace the bill of
which she formed part.
August 13th "Days Without End"


It was agreed to pay Mr. T. J. Robinson the sum of
£4 amount due to him for attending at the Theatre
two nights per week for twenty weeks up to the 30th June
1934 the payment being at the rate of two shillings
night.


W. B. Yeats
31st July 1934



Page 34

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society
Limited, held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Tuesday
31st July 1934 at 4 p.m.


Present:- W. B. Yeats (in the chair), Dr. Richard Hayes,
Dr. Walter Starkie, Lennox Robinson
In Attendance:- Eric Gorman


The Minutes of the Meetings held on June 21st 1934 and on July 11th
1934 were read and signed.


Correspondence with the Revenue Commissioners regarding arrears of
Income Tax due by Mr. P. J. Carolan was considered.
Mr. Carolan was interviewed and told that he must at once furnish the
Income Tax Authorities with the Return of Income required by them,
and it was decided to pay the claim of the Revenue Commissioners,
deducting £3 (three pounds) per week from Mr. Carolan's salary
until the amount of the claim had been repaid by him.
Mr. Carolan, during the interview, made a claim for full salary
when not acting, on the plea that his duties as Assistant Stage
Manager necessitated his attendance at the theatre whether he
was playing or not.


This claim was considered and it was decided that to grant it
would create a bad precedent and that when Mr. Carolan is not
playing he should only receive half his acting salary in accordance
with the terms of his contract.


Mr. Robert Wickes was then interviewed. He outlined his
proposals


Page 35

proposals for the coming American Tour and after some
discussion it was decided that the following major plays
should be listed for production during the Touring:-
The Playboy of the Western World, The Whiteheaded Boy, The
New Gossoon, The Far-off Hills, Juno and the Paycock,
The Plough and the Stars, The Well of the Saints, Look at the
Heffernans, Church Street, Drama at Inish.


The decision regarding other long plays was deferred until
Mr. Wickes had seen performances of some that were sug-
gested as suitable


It was also decided that the following One Act Plays should
be included in the listing:- The Resurrection, The King of the Great
Clock Tower, Kathleen ni Houlihan, Riders
to the Sea, In the Shadow of the Glen.


Further one act plays to be added to this list at a later date.
Owing to the inclusion of The Plough and the Stars it would be
necessary to raise the strength of the company to fourteen, one
extra actor being needed, and after some consideration
Mr. Wickes agreed that he would be responsible for payment
of this extra fare to and from America and also for the payment
of the actor whilst with the Company on the Tour.


W. B. Yeats
23rd August 1934



Page 36

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society
Limited, held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin on Thursday the
23rd August 1934 at 5 p.m.


Present:- W. B. Yeats (in the chair), Dr. Richard Hayes, Dr. Walter
Starkie, Lennox Robinson.


The minutes of the preceeding meeting were read and signed.


An application by Mr. Denis O'Dea for an increase of salary was con-
sidered and it was decided to raise his salary from £3 to
£3-10-0 per week, the increase to take effect as from Monday
27th August.


It was agreed that Mr. Frederick Ashton should be engaged as
Producer, at a salary of £10 per week, from early in September
until the middle of December, and be paid from the date of
his arrival.


The following plays were suggested as his repertory:-
Cariolanus, Parnell of Avondale, Wrack, The King
of Spain's Daughter, The Player Queen, a new play
by F. R. Higgins.


The productions to be from 1st October to 15th December.


W. B. Yeats
29th August 1934



Page 37

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre
Society Limited, held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin on
Wednesday the
29th August 1934 at 2.30 p.m.


Present:- W. B. Yeats (in the chair)
Lennox Robinson.
In Attendance: J. H. Tulloch and Eric Gorman


It was proposed by W. B. Yeats and seconded by Lennox Robinson
That the Directors' Report and Statement of Accounts for the year ending
28th February be approved.


A letter was read from Mr. Frederick Ashton declining the appointment
as producer, and it was decided to make enquiries as to the possibility
of obtaining the services of Mr. Oliver Reynolds or Mr. Robert Milton.


W. B. Yeats
27th September 1934



Page 38

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Ltd.,
held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Thursday, the 27th OctoberSeptember 1934
at 3.30 p.m.


Present:- Mr. W. B. Yeats in the chair,
Dr. Walter Starkie, Lennox Robinson.
Dr. Hayes regretted he was unable to attend.


It was proposed by W. B. Yeats and seconded by Dr. Walter Starkie
"That in accordance with rule 32 of our Articles of Association
we, the Directors of the National Theatre Society Limited, consent
to an application being made to the Munster & Leinster Bank Limited,
O'Connell Street, Dublin, for an increase of the overdraft on
the Society's account, from one thousand pounds (£1,000) to
two thousand two hundred pounds (£2,200)."
This resolution was passed unanimously.


It was agreed to engage Mr. Bladon Peake as producer at a
salary of Twelve pounds (£12), and Mr. F. J.
Bould as designer at Seven pounds per week (7) the
period of their engagement to be from 15th October 1934 to
26th December 1934.


The Secretary was instructed to write to Mr. Peake accordingly
and also to write to him stating that in the event of the season
being continued after Christmas, the services of Mr. Bould
wouldmight not be required. Mr. Peake was also to be informed that
the


Page 39

the amounts of the salaries being paid to himself and to
Mr. Bould were to be treated as strictly confidential and were
not to be mentioned to anyone.


Mr. Robinson spoke of the possibility of the Abbey Theatre Company
being invited to go to Hollywood for the production of film
versions of some of the plays. He referred to conversations
which he had had with Mr. Walter McNally and it was decided
that when necessary, Mr. Robinson should go to New York to carry
on the negotiations.


The question of abolishing Saturday Matinee performances was
considered and it was decided to reconsider the matter after
Christmas.


A proposal to charge twopence for the programme in all parts of the
house was considered and it was decided that the Secretary should
ask the printers if it would be possible to obtain from
the advertisements, sufficient income to cover the actual cost
of the programmes to the Theatre and so allow offor the free
distribution of the programme, without incurring any loss.


Mr. Yeats expressed the opinion that when Mr. Robinson
resumes duty as a producer his salary should be £10 per
week.


W. B. Yeats
4/12/1934



Page 40

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Ltd.
held at Botanic House, Lansdowne Road, Dublin, on October 1st 1934


Present:- Mr. W. B. Yeats in the chair,
Dr. Walter Starkie, Dr. Richard Hayes, Mr. Lennox Robinson.


Mr. Yeats' letter to the Irish Press, in connection with a
Statement made by the "Sunday Times" was considered and
approved.


It was agreed that Mr. Robinson should see Messrs. Whitney,
Moore & Keller at once, as to whether legal action should
be taken in the matter.


Mr. Robinson reported the latest news from Mr. Casey of
America, as to the possibility of the Company making
pictures in Hollywood.


The meeting then adjourned.


W. B. Yeats
4/12/1934



Page 41

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre
Society Ltd., held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Tuesday, the
4th of December, 1934 at 4 p.m.


Present:- Mr. W. B. Yeats, in the chair,
Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr. Richard Hayes.
Mr. G. H. Tulloch was in attendance.


The following resolution proposed by Dr. Richard Hayes and seconded
by Mr. Lennox Robinson was passed unanimously:-
"That the Directors of the National Theatre Society Limited tender
to the Selection Committee of the Thomas Haverty Trust their
best thanks for the generous gift of Mr. Sean O'Sullivan's
portrait of Mr. W. B. Yeats, and that they agree to the terms
upon which the gift is made, these terms being set out in
a letter dated 5th October, 1934, addressed to Mr. Lennox
Robinson by the Secretary of the Thomas Haverty Trust"


It was decided to continue Mr. Bladon Peake's season from the 31st
December 1934 to the 9th February, 1935 and the Secretary was
instructed to let the theatre if possible for two weeks during this
period, one week early in January and one week at the end of January
so as to have the theatre occupied in the intervals between Mr.
Peake's productions. The question of the plays to be produced was
left over for the consideration of Mr. Yeats and Mr. Robinson in
consultation with Mr. Peake.


A letter from the Secretary to the Gaelic Players was read in which


Page 42

he stated that his Committee were of the opinion that the rent of £25
per month which they were being charged for the Peacock Theatre was
much and asking that the rent be reduced to £3 per week. He
also stated that flood lights formerly part of the equipment of the
stage had been removed and that his Committee had been put to
the expense of purchasing new ones.


The Directors having considered this letter instructed the Secretary
to reply that they could not consider the reduction of the rent to
£3 per week but that they were prepared to meet them on the
question of the expense incurred in purchasing new flood lights.


The meeting then adjourned.


Walter Starkie
21/12/34



Page 43

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society
Limited, held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Friday, 21st December, 1934
at 4.15 p.m.


Present:- Dr. Walter Starkie, in the chair,
Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr. Richard Hayes.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


A letter from Mr. W. B. Yeats to Mr. Robinson was read, in
which Mr. Yeats suggested that as the losses incurred during
Mr. Peake's season had continued to be very great it would
be better to finish the season at once or after the production
of "At Mrs. Beam's", and then let the theatre or put on some
Irish plays to be produced by Mr. Robinson.


Mr. Yeats also suggested that if Mr. Peake was to be retained he would like Mr. Peake to see
Mr. Peake should produce Mr. Robinson's play "The Dreamers".


The Directors having considered the losses incurred, decided
that it would be better to finish the season at the end of the
run of "At Mrs. Beam's" and having interviewed Mr. Peake
informed him that his engagement would terminate on the
5th January 1935.


The Secretary was instructed to notify Mr. Bould that
his services would not be required after the 29th December
1934.


W. B. Yeats
2/3/35.



Page 44

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Limited
held at Riversdale, Willbrook, Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin, on Thursday,
24th January, 1935 at 5.30 p.m.


Present:- Mr. W. B. Yeats, Dr. Walter Starkie, Dr. Richard Hayes.


Mr. Yeats read the following anonymous memorandum which had been
reviewed by him.


PROPOSALS TO THE BOARD OF THE NATIONAL THEATRE CO. LTD.


It is evident that the Abbey Theatre - once the headquarters of Irish
literary affairs - has largely ceased during recent years to quicken
imaginative literature in this country. Drama enticing to the intellect
and delighting the eye is now found upon another stage; and while resource-
ful and experimental, that stage deflects main attention from the National
Theatre. Indeed the more lively minds among dominant playgoers are not
frequenting the Abbey; for them the Abbey Theatre is not sufficiently
refreshing; and even the audience that remains is now declining from lack
of novelty. A consistent attempt should be made to stem that drift and
to revive the aims of a National Theatre.


Advisory Committee.
The Board of Directors is therefore requested to establish an Advisory
Committee; and to empower that Committee with the right of advising the Board
and of conferring with it on all matters appertaining to the policy and
efficiency of the Irish National Theatre.


Constitution and Functions of the Committee.
The Advisory Committee should consist of four persons appointed by the
Directors. Three members to form a . Each member must be competent
to value one of the four special aspects of the Theatre: i.e.(1) General
Artistic Aims, (2) Plays, (3) Acting and Producing, (4) Management and
Audience.


Persons to fill vacancies on the Committee should be nominated by the
remaining members of the Committee and such persons should represent the
particular aspects of the Theatre's work as represented by their
predecessors. Such nominations must be approved by the Board of Directors;
and the election must be decided by the votes of the Board and of the
Committee voting as one body.



Page 45

One member of the Committee shall be entitled to attend - in a liaison
position - all meetings of the Board. Each member of the committee to
hold this position for not more than six months at a time. Should a
member of the Committee be appointed to the Board of Directors he shall
resign his membership of the Committee. When necessary, the Advisory
Committee shall obtain, for its confidential use, full details regarding
(a) The General Policy of the Board regarding organization and tours,
(b) forthcoming plays, (c) finance, (d) management and staff; the Committee
shall be empowered to advise the Board on such forementioned matters and
also on matters of (3) Production (f) Players and (g) Premises.
Unanimous recommendations from the Advisory Committee to the Board of
Directors can only be rejected by an unanimous vote of the Board. The
Committee shall have the right of attending the final rehearsals of any
Plays and if necessary to advise the Board or its officers before the first
performances.


The Advisory Committee shall be dissolved only by a three fourth majority
of the Board and Committee voting together as one body.


The following resolution proposed by Dr. Starkie and seconded
by Dr. Hayes was passed:- "That an advisory body be
appointed to act in conjunction with the Directors."


The Secretary submitted a proposal received from Mr. Daniel
Gibbons, that a play of Mr. Gibbons's be produced by the
Abbey Theatre on a fifty-fifty basis. He was instructed to
inform Mr. Gibbons that the Directors could not agree to such an
arrangement.


W. B. Yeats
2/3/35.



Page 46

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Limited
held at Riversdale, Willbrook, Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin, on Saturday, 2nd March, 1935
at 5.30 p.m.


Present: Mr. W. B. Yeats in the chair
Dr. Walter Starkie, Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr. Richard Hayes.


The Minutes of the meetings held on 21st December 1934 and 24th
January 1935 were read and signed.


As Mr. Yeats felt that he might not be able to remain for the entire meeting
he vacated the chair which was taken by Dr. Hayes.


The following resolution proposed by Mr. W. B. Yeats and seconded
by Dr. Walter Starkie was passed unanimously:- "That Mr. F. R.
Higgins and Mr. Brinsley Macnamara be appointed as the first
members of the proposed Advisory BoardCommittee for a period of one
year to 1st March 1936.


Mr. Higgins and Mr. Macnamara were then invited to meet the
Directors, which they did, and after some discussion the following
resolutions embodying the Constitution of the Advisory
Committee were passed unanimously:-
It was proposed by Dr. Starkie and seconded by Mr. Lennox
Robinson Clause 1. "That the Advisory Committee is to consist of four
persons nominated by the proposed Mr. Brinsley Macnamara and Mr. F. R. Higgins and appointed by the
Directors, three members to form a quoram and the Chairman
to have a casting vote. Each member must be competent to
valuejudge of the Theatre's artistic and business requirements. Persons
to fill vacancies on the Committee shall be nominated by the


Page 47

remaining members of the Committee. Such nominations must be approved
by the Board of Directors and the election must be decided by the votes
of the board and of the committee voting as one body."


It was proposed by Mr. Lennox Robinson and seconded by Dr. Starkie:-
Clause 2. "One member of the Committee shall be entitled to attend - in a
liaison position - periodic meetings of the Board as arranged,
and at not less than four meetings per year. Each member of
the Committee to hold this position for not more than six months
at a time. Should a member of the Committee be appointed to the
Board of Directors he shall resign his membership of the Committee.
When necessary, the Advisory Committee shall obtain, for its
confidential use, full details regarding (a) the general policy
of the Board regarding organization and tours (b) forthcoming
plays (c) finance (d) management and staff. The Committee
shall be empowered to advise the Board on such forementioned
matters and also on matters of (e) selection of plays (f) productions (g) players and (h) Premises."


It was proposed by Mr. W. B. Yeats and seconded by Dr. Starkie:-
Clause 3. "Unanimous recommendations from the Advisory Committee to
the Board of Directors can only be rejected by an unanimous
vote of a Board meeting at which the majority of Directors
are in attendance.


The Committee shall have the right of attending rehearsals of any
final rehearsals of any
plays and if necessary to advise the Board or its officers before
the first performances"


It was proposed by Dr. Starkie and seconded by Mr. Lennox Robinson:-


Page 48

Clause 4.
"That the Advisory Committee is to be appointed annually and can
be dissolved by a full meeting of the Board, voting unanimously."


The meeting then adjourned until Wednesday, 6th March 1935.


W. B. Yeats
6/3/35.



Page 49

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Limited, held
at Riversdale, Willbrook, Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin, on Wednesday, the
6th March, 1935 at 5.30 p.m.


Present: Mr. W. B. Yeats (in the chair)
Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr. Richard Hayes.
Dr. Walter Starkie regretted that he was unable to attend.


Mr. F. R. Higgins and Mr. Brinsley Macnamara were also present, having been
invited by the Directors to attend.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


The Chairman ruled that Clauses Three and Four of the Constitution of
the Advisory Committee as passed at the last meeting were out of
order.


After some discussion it was proposed by Dr. Hayes and
seconded by Mr. Lennox Robinson "That, instead of forming
an Advisory Committee power be sought to increase the number of
Directors". This resolution was carried unanimously.
It was proposed by Mr. Yeats and seconded by Dr. Hayes
"That in the meantime Mr. F. R. Higgins and Mr. Brinsley Macnamara
be invited to attend the meetings of the Directors in order to give
the Directors the benefit of their advice".
The meeting then adjourned until Monday, 11th March 1935.


W. B. Yeats
11/3/35.



Page 50

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Limited
held at Riversdale, Willbrook, Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin, on
Monday, 11th March 1935 at 5.45 p.m.


Present: Mr. W. B. Yeats (in the chair)
Mr. Lennox Robinson.


Mr. F. R. Higgins and Mr. Brinsley Macnamara were also present, having
been invited by the Directors to attend.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


It was agreed that an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society be
held as soon as can be arranged, to make it possible for the
Directors to add to the Board, Mr. Keller to be asked to make
all the necessary arrangements.


Mr. Robinson read a report in M. Peake's scheme for an Irish Provincial
Tour. This report had been drawn up, at Mr. Yeat's request, by Mr. Fred
Johnson, Mr. Joseph Linnane and the Secretary, who was requested by
the Directors to thank Messrs. Linnane and Johnson for their work
in connection with it.


It was decided that the Secretary should make enquiries as to
the possibility of booking the Town Hall Theatre, Galway, for the
week commencing 29th July. It was also decided that the
Secretary should write to Mr. P. M. Selby regarding the possibility
of arranging for the autumn a tour to Liverpool, Manchester,
Glasgow and Belfast.


It was decided that the Company should resume playing at
Easter with "Parnell of Avondale", Mr. Robinson to be the producer.
Other plays to be considered for production were "The First Legion"


Page 51

["Don Abel Broke a Tragedy"] and a One Act play by Sean O'Casey.
"Fanny's first Play" for which Mr. Robinson had undertaken to
re-write the Prologue and Epilogue was also mentioned.
It was agreed that when new scenes were required, Dublin artists
should be asked to design them.


Mr. Yeats suggested Mr. T. J. Robinson as publicity writer for
the Theatre and Mr. Lennox Robinson promised to interview him
on the matter.


It was agreed that "The Arrow" be revived and Mr. F. R. Higgins
consented to act as Editor.


It was agreed that Senator Ernest Blythe be invited to join the
enlarged Board of Directors.


Lennox Robinson
3/4/35.



Page 52

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Limited
held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Wednesday, 3rd April, 1935 at 5.30 p.m.


Present: Mr. Lennox Robinson (in the chair)
Dr. Richard Hayes


Senator Ernest Blythe, Mr. F. R. Higgins and Mr. Brinsley Macnamara
were also present, having been invited by the Directors to attend.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


Mr. Brinsley Macnamara reported to the Directors that he had endeavored
to get into touch with Mr. George Fitzmaurice in order to obtain
from him permission for the Abbey Theatre to produce "The
Country Dressmaker", but had not, as yet, been successful.
Mr. Macnamara however, hoped that he would soon hear from
Mr. Fitzmaurice.


After some discussion it was decided that the bills for the
Easter Season should be:-
First Week:- "Drama at Inish" or "The Country Dressmaker"
Second Week:- "Wrack" and "The King of Spain's Daughter"
Third Week:- "The Country Dressmaker" or "The Dreamers" or "Maurice
Harte"
Forth Week:- possibly "Mary Baker Eddy"


A letter was read from Mr. F. Hardiman, lessee of the Town Hall Theatre,
Galway asking for particulars of the repetoire in connection with the proposed
visit of the Abbey Theatre Company to Galway for Race Week, commencing 29th
July next.


The Secretary was instructed to inform Mr. Hardiman that the bills


Page 53

proposed were:- "The New Gossoon" and "The Rising of the Moon" to
be played for three nights and "Kathleen ni
Houlihan" and "The Glorious Uncertainty" for
three nights.


Correspondence with Percival M. Selby was read regarding the
proposed tour of the Abbey Theatre Company to Belfast, Liverpool,
Manchester and Glasgow. The Secretary was instructed to send to
Mr. Selby a list of the principal plays in the repertoire including the
plays of Sean O'Casey, T. C. Murray, Brinsley Macnamara, Lennox Robinson
J. M. Synge, W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory and to suggest to Mr. Selby that
the choice of plays to be done in each city might be left to
the local management.


A statement on the change of policy of the Abbey Theatre was presented
to Messrs. Blythe, Higgins and Macnamara and a discussion
followed as to the contents of the agreed Statement to be issued to
the press on Monday, 8th April, after the Board of Directors had
been enlarged.


Richard Hayes
8 April 1935



Page 54

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Ltd.
held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Monday, 8th April 1935 at
5.30 p.m.


Present:- Dr. Richard Hayes (in the chair)
Mr. Lennox Robinson.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


It was proposed by Dr. Richard Hayes seconded by Mr. Lennox
Robinson and passed "That in accordance with the
powers conferred by Clause 5b. of the Articles of Association
the following additional Directors are hereby appointed,
namely Senator Ernest Blythe, Mr. Brinsley Macnamara
and Mr. F. R. Higgins.


Lennox Robinson
April 8th, 1935.



Page 55

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society
Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre Dublin at 5.30 p.m. on
Monday, 8th April 1935.


Present:- Lennox Robinson (in the chair)
Dr. Richard Hayes, Senator Ernest Blythe, Brinsley Macnamara
F. R. Higgins.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


A letter from Mr. George Fitzmaurice was read regarding the permission
being sought by the Directors to perform "The Country Dressmaker".
After some discussion it was decided that Mr. Brinsley Macnamara
should endeavor to see Mr. Fitzmaurice and if possible, obtain from
him, the necessary permission.


A deputation from An Comhar Dramaidheachta interviewed
the Directors with reference to the rent to be charged for the Peacock
Theatre for the period 1st October 1934 to 31st March 1935. After some
discussion the Directors agreed to accept £110 instead of the
sum of £150 due in accordance with the terms of the Agreement
signed on the 25th September 1934.


The question of the plays for the third and fourth weeks of the
coming season was discussed and it was decided to leave the
matter open in the hope that Mr. Fitzmaurice would consent to the
production of "The Country Dressmaker". The play "Mary Baker Eddy"
having been considered it was decided that the play was not


Page 56

suitable for production.


Mr. Higgins raised the question of the procedure to be adopted by
the Directors when reading plays and suggested that each
Director should give a written opinion, these opinions to
be filed for future reference. The Directors agreed to
this suggestion.


The Directors agreed that statements from the press should
be made through the Secretary after approval by the Board
and that no statement of policy should be made to the press by
individual Directors.


Ernest Blythe 18/4/35



Page 57

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Ltd.
held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, at 5.30 p.m. on Thursday,
18th April 1935.


Present:- Senator Blythe in the chair
Lennox Robinson, Brinsley Macnamara, F. R. Higgins.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


It was decided that for all future meetings of the Board a copy of the Agenda
should be sent by the Secretary on the day before the meeting to each
Director and that the Agenda should consist of (a) Minutes of the last
meeting, (b) Financial Statement, (c) important correspondence
(d) any other business that might arise.


Mr. Higgins referred to a letter he had received from Mr. Mervyn Wall thanking him
for the acceptance of Mr. Wall's play "The Phoenix and the Cockatoos", a play
which Mr. Higgins had not read.


Mr. Robinson explained that this play and another by the same author had
been sent into the Theatre about eighteen months ago but that no decision had
been come to by the Directors until January last when it was decided to accept
"The Phoenix and the Cockatoos" and to return the second play "Glenmalure".


The sending of notification to the author had been inadvertently delayed
until early in April but the decision as to the acceptance of the play
had been arrived at in January and consequently prior to the appointment of
the new Directors. Mr. Robinson added that the Agreement for "The Phoenix &
the Cockatoos" and "The King of Spain's Daughter" were the only Agreements


Page 58

recently signed.


A letter from Mr. George Fitzmaurice was read declining to enter into an Agreement for
the performance of "The Country Dressmaker" and returning a cheque for £3-3-0
advance royalty which had been sent to him.


It was decide that it was useless to persue the matter further at the present
time.


"The Parnellite" by Seamus O'Kelly and "Deirdre of the Sorrows" by J. M.
Synge were selected as the plays for the third and fourth weeks
respectively of the present season.


Mr. Michael Scott, Architect, was then interviewed by the Board to whom
he explained his plans for the re-modelling of the Vestibule. After some
discussion it was proposed by Mr. Robinson and seconded by Mr. Higgins
"That the alterations to the Vestibule in accordance with Mr. Scott's plans be
carried out and that Messrs. John J. Dolan & Sons be employed to carry out the
work." This resolution was passed unanimously.


The question of painting and decorating the auditorium and outside
of the Theatre was considered and it was decided that estimates should
be obtained from Messrs. Dolan and two other firms for work that
would be specifically shown to them by Mr. Robinson; the question
of the painting of the Peacock to be considered at a later date.


A letter from An Comhar Dramaidheachta was read asking that certain dates in
the autumn of 1935 and spring of 1936 be reserved for their productions in the
Peacock Theatre and also enquiring if the Directors would consider the purchase
of a radio Gramophone used by An Comhar during their last season.


Out of this letter a discussion took place as to the rent to be charged
in future for the Peacock Theatre and it was decided that for odd nights


Page 59

the charge be three pounds per night with the service of an electrician, for
a week the charge to be eight pounds without staff.


The Secretary was instructed to inform An Comhar Dramaidheachta that they could
have the weeks they asked for at eight pounds without staff.


A letter was read from P. M. Selby stating that he was unable to arrange bookings
in Liverpool, Glasgow and Manchester but that he could book Belfast and
Cork for certain stated dates. The Directors decided to accept Belfast for
November 11th and Cork for November 25th.


A letter was read from Mr. F. Hardiman, Town Hall Theatre, Galway stating usual
prices charged for admission and giving his terms of 331/3%. It was
decided that the Secretary should go to Galway and report on suitability of
the hall for a visit by the Company.


On the question of finance it was proposed by Mr. Robinson seconded by
Senator Blythe and passed "That Mr. Macnamara and Mr. Higgins be asked to
consider and examine the salaries and wages being paid in the Theatre
and to present to the Board their recommendations as to any alterations
which they might consider necessary."


Mr. Higgins suggested the advisibility of holding a meeting of the Directors to
consider the question of production. This suggestion was agreed to.


Mr. Robinson referred to the advisibility of allowing smoking in the Auditorium
and it was decided that before proceeding further the Secretary should find
out how the Fire Insurance Policy would be effected by the change.


Mr. Higgins enquired as to the possibility of having a bar in the Pit Cafe.
Senator Blythe stated that it would be a matter for the Executive Council who would have
to grant a new Patent to the Theatre and that he was strongly of the opinion that such


Page 60

a Patent would not be granted by the Executive Council.


Ernest Blythe
25/5/35



Page 61

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Ltd.
held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, at 5.30 p.m. on Thursday,
25th April 1935.


Present:- Senator Blythe in the chair
Mr. Lennox Robinson, Mr. Brinsley Macnamara
Mr. F. R. Higgins.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


Arriving out of the Minutes, the Secretary was instructed to ask Messrs.
Whitney, Moore & Keller (as agents for the Commercial Union Assurance
Co.) if the Fire Policy at present held by the Society would in
anyway be effected if smoking were permitted in the Auditorium
of the Theatre.


Mr. Brinsley Macnamara referred to the shabby appearance of the outside wall
of the Theatre on the Abbey Street side and also raised a question as to the
possibility a neon sign or other electric sign on that wall which could
be seen from the corner of Abbey Street & O'Connell Street. He also
mentioned the possibility of erecting a sign on the building at the corner of
Eden Quay & Marlborough Street, which could be seen from
O'Connell Bridge. The Secretary was instructed to enquire as to the
probable cost of erection & upkeep of such signs.


Mr. Macnamara then read the following Report on Salaries as drawn
up by himself and Mr. Higgins in accordance with the terms of the
resolution passed at the meeting of the Directors held on the 18th April
1935.



Page 62

REPORT OF SUB-COMMITTEE ON SALARIES ETC.,


To the Directors, National Theatre Soc., Ltd.,
Abbey Theatre,
DUBLIN


Gentlemen,
At a meeting of your Board held on April 18th 1935
we the undersigned Directors were appointed as a sub-committee of the
Board, to examine the financial affairs of the Abbey Theatre, particularly
in relation to salaries, and we were instructed to present you with our
opinions and recommendations on these affairs.


During the past week we have made our examination
and as a result we now offer you this Report especially recommending
economies, by way of salary reductions approximating to £1,340-0-0 per
annum, from those employed by the National Theatre Society Ltd.,


These reductions are imperative; they are gravely
urgent for the progress of the Theatre and we are convinced that every
Director, eager to maintain the "Abbey" prestige, will see the necessity
of immediately operating our proposals.


The total sum of our suggested economies directly
provides us with funds, without the need of calling on external sources
for support. Such funds are particularly now and always required, for the
very necessary and immediate improvements demanded in our present methods
of production and for the stimulation of Irish Drama in the National
Theatre. Our aims towards improved productions and stimulated drama
are, we believe, in keeping with Government policy which provides this
National Theatre with a subsidy. The expenditure of that subsidy in
directions other than those of such improvements is, in our opinion,


Page 63

unjustifiable; and while it subjects the work of this Theatre to public
criticism it also endangers the prestige of our state support. It is
possible in the near future that the Department of Finance may demand
details or the Auditor-General question the expenditure of this Grant
in Aid towards the expenses of the Society; in that event this Report
might conceivably go before the Minister for Finance - should justification
of our present stewardship be considered necessary.


For the purpose of this Report we required details
from the office and as far as possible various figures and facts
were efficiently placed at our disposal by your secretary. We carefully
examined the attainable details regarding individual salaries, with due
consideration to the personal interests of our entire staff; and therefore
we must now ask you to adopt the following recommendations.


(1) Management.
It is proposed by us that for the future no individual
shall hold the position of Manager of this Theatre; this office must be
vested in the present Board of Directors and the Board will issue its
instructions directly to the staff, through the Secretary. All items of
expenditure must be sanctioned by the Board at its weekly meeting; and
on the same occasion the proposed outlay on forthcoming productions must
receive its approval, through the Producer who shall be in personal attendance.
This supervision by the Board over weekly expenditure is essential,
in view of our opinion, after a hurried scrutiny of the Books, that undue
extravagence has been permitted through a lack of steadiness in controlling
the Society affairs and an apparent casualness in passing essential details
involving expenditure.



Page 64

Players.
We propose that no contracts be made nor renewed with
players in this Theatre after the expiration of contracts presently existing
between the Society and nine of its players. Before these contracts
expire the Board must consider the new conditions of employment for these
players; and also make adequate preparations to maintain the Theatres work
for a period of not less than 46 weeks per year.


We strongly recommend that for the future an actor's
salary must not exceed £7.10.0 for a full working week; and that the salary
of an actress must not exceed £6.0.0 per full working week. Players on the
present non contract list must not be paid more than £3.10.0 unless by the
approval of the Board.


On the basis of the foregoing recommendation we therefore
propose that the weekly salaries of Miss. Delaney, Miss. Crowe, and
Miss. Craig be reduced by 30/= each per week. The maximum salary of each
of these actress to be £6.0.0 per full working week as from the termination
of their present agreements with the Society.


The salary of Mr. Arthur Shields as a player should be
also reduced, from the same time, by 30/= per week; a further reduction of
£1.0.0 per week in his salary as Stage Manager and Assistant Producer, is also
demanded. As a result of these reductions Mr. Shield's future salary will be
£7.10.0 for a full working week.


On some occasions it appears as if Mr. Shields has
received his full weekly salary as an actor although his
name does not appear as an actor 4 speaking parts on the
programme for those occasions.


Mr. M. J. Dolan should receive £7.10.0 per work week;- but
we propose that any extra payments received by him for work in connection
with the Abbey School of Acting etc., should cease. We are convinced that
the Abbey School of Acting has proved a too costly experiment and its results
does not justify its existance. We strongly recommend that this School
should be abolished.



Page 65

A reduction of 30/= per week is proposed in the salary of Mr. P. J.
Carolan as an actor and a further reduction of 10/= in his salary as Assistant
Stage Manager. His future salary from the Society should therefore be
£6.15.0 per full working week.


We are of the opinion that the 10/- per week paid to Mr. F. J. McCormick

for photographic work

is not in any sense justified and that it must cease.


Orchestra.
In consideration of the services rendered to the Theatre we
strongly recommend that the sum of £3.0.0 per performance paid to Dr.
Larchet for the Orchestra be reduced to £2.5.0 and to £3.0.0 for Sunday
performances. No payment shall be made to the musicians when the Theatre
is closed; but under the new policy of the Directors it is hoped to keep
the Theatre working for not less than 46 weeks per year.


Staff. Stage.
Your Sub-Committee sees no reason why Mr. U. Wright should be paid
£5.10.0 for his work as Electrician and for his other incidental services.
He also works as an actor at £2.10.0; and on some occasions it appears as
if Mr. Wright has received his full weekly salary as an actor although his
name does not appear as an actor on the programmes for those occasions.
We propose that in future his weekly wage as an Electrician and for his
other incidental work be £2.10.0


House Staff.
We regret to propose the necessity of dispensing with the
services of Mr. M. J. McGuinness, Pit attendant (at 3/11 per show) with one
staff Stall's Attendant, (at 3/7d per show) with one Balcony Attendant (at 3/7d per
show) and with Mrs. Martin, cleaner £1.17.6d per week.


The position of Pit Attendant should be filled by Mr. P. Harty
from the Pit Cafe. Mrs. Harty should be removed from the Stalls Box Office


Page 66

and take up work in the stalls as an attendant. Miss M. Bennett should be
removed from the Stalls cafe and be offered Mrs. Martin's position at the
same wage.


We recommend that two young women be employed to manage the
business of the two Cafes; and one of these is expected to assist in the
Stalls box office, if necessary, during the rushed 3/4 hour after the Theatre
opens at 7.30 p.m. each evening.


Owing to this rearrangement of the House Staff the only position
we suggest should cease is that of one Balcony attendant.


Office Staff.
Your Sub-Committee sees no reason for the retention of the services
of a Financial advisor; it therefore strongly recommends the abolition
of that office, already costing £50 per year. The Sub-Committee also
suggests a reduction of £50 per year in the salary of Mr. T. J. Robinson, as
the present condition of the office work does not warrant a position of
£150 per year to assist Mr. E. Gorman.


It is very much regretted that the Sub-Committee is unable to
accept the recommendation made by Mr. W. B. Yeats at the Board meeting of
27th September 1934 regarding an increase of salary to the present producer;
such a recommendation is not justified, in our opinion, under present
circumstances.


The suggestion for an increase in the salary of Mr. E. Gorman
received our favourable consideration; we however do not think it opportune
to offer you our report on this suggestion until 1st July 1935.


The Sub-Committee wish to express its regret that certain records
of salaries for years prior to 1926 were not available; we are therefore
unable to offer you any official comparison as between the salaries paid to


Page 67

players before the Society received the Government subsidy and these
salaries paid at the present time.


F. R. Higgins and Brinsley Macnamara April 25th 1935


After some discussion it was proposed by Mr. Macnamara "That the sum
of £3 per performance paid to Dr. Larchet for the Orchestra be
reduced to £2-5-0 and to £3 for Sunday performances; no
payment to be made to the musicians when the Theatre is closed."
This resolution was seconded by Mr. F. R. Higgins and passed.


The question of Mr. U. Wright's salary as Electrician was discussed and
it was decided that the sum of £3 be substituted for the sum
of £2-10-0 mentioned in the Report. It was then proposed by
Mr. Macnamara, seconded by Mr. F. R. Higgins and passed "That in
future the weekly wage paid to Mr. U. Wright for his work as
an Electrician and for his other incidental work be £3."
After consideration of the Report on the Office Staff it was
proposed by Mr. Macnamara "That the office of Financial Advisor


Page 68

be abolished and that the salary paid to Mr. T. J. Robinson be reduced
by £50 per annum." This resolution was seconded by Mr. Higgins
and passed.


It was decided that consideration of the following matters be post-
poned until the next meeting of the Directors:-
Players Contracts and Salaries
Salary of present Producer
House Staff


The Secretary was instructed to get into touch with the
Secretary to the Theatrical Branch of the Irish Transport and
General Workers Union and to inform him of the changes
in the House Staff suggested in the Sub-Committee's
Report, and to obtain the Union's views on the proposed
changes.


The meeting then adjourned until Thursday, 2nd May,
1935 at 5.30 p.m.


Walter Starkie



Page 69

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society
Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, at 5.30 p.m. on Thursday,
2nd May 1935.


Present:- Dr. Walter Starkie in the chair
Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr. Richard Hayes, Senator E.
Blythe, Mr. Brinsley Macnamara.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


Arising out of the Minutes the Secretary stated that he had
written to Messrs. Whitney, Moore & Keller regarding the Fire Policy
but had not as yet received the required information from
them.


He also stated that Messrs. [Brady] of Eden Quay had promised
to supply information as to the probable cost of erection
and up-keep of electric signs outside the Theatre.


With reference to the proposed changes in the House Staff, the
Secretary stated that he had informed Mr. Robbins, Union
Secretary of these changes and that Mr. Robbins had expressed
a wish to interview the Directors on the subject.
It was agreed that Mr. Robinson and Mr. Higgins should
at a later date meet Mr. Robbins.


It was decided that "The Rising of the Moon" should go on with
"Deirdre of the Sorrows" and it was agreed that Synge's play
be billed as "Deirdre".



Page 70

It was proposed by Mr. Lennox Robinson, seconded by Dr. Richard Hayes and
passed unanimously:- "That in future, cheques be signed by one of
the following Directors:- Mr. W. B. Yeats, Dr. Walter Starkie, Mr. Lennox
Robinson, Dr. Richard Hayes, Senator Ernest Blythe, Mr. Brinsley
Macnamara, Mr. F. R. Higgins and countersigned by Mr. Eric
Gorman, Secretary."


It was agreed that Contracts to be signed for the appearance of the
Company in Belfast on Nov. 11th 1935 and in Cork on Oct. 21st
1935, the original date agreed upon for Cork viz. Nov. 25th not
being now available.


Estimates for the painting of the Theatre were submitted by
Albert Roberts & Co., 133 Lr. Baggot Street, J. F. Keating & Sons
42 Grafton St., John J. Dolan & Sons, 10 Belvedere Court.
The estimates were respectively £67-15-10, £61-8-6, £64-2-6.
It was decided to give the contract to J. Dolan & Sons
who will be carrying out the alterations to the Vestibule.

And it was proposed by Mr. Macnamara, seconded by Dr. Starkie and passed
"That the contract be given to John J. Dolan & Sons."


A letter from the Secretary to the Theatrical Branch of the Irish
Transport and General Workers Union was read with reference
to M. J. McGuinness, Pit Ticket Checker and it was
decided that his services be dispensed with at the end of
the present season, as this proposal was already embodied
in the recommendations made by the Sub-Committee on
Salaries etc.


A letter from the St. John Ambulance Brigade requesting a
subscription was read and the Secretary was instructed
to say that the matter would be considered by the Board at a


Page 71

later date.


It was decided that the motion standing in the names of Mr. Macnamara
and Mr. Higgins which was on the Agenda should be postponed
until the next meeting and that Mr. Macnamara be asked
in the meantime to redraft the motion.


A consideration of the Sub-Committee's Report on the
Players Salaries it was decided, after some discussion
that Senator Blythe should revise the form of Actor's
Contract at present in use and that the as revised, it be
considered at the next meeting.


Mr. Robinson and Mr. Macnamara were requested to go
into the question of the Author's Agreements with
the Society and to submit their suggestions as to
the alterations they considered desirable.
Senator Blythe expressed the opinion that an author
should be paid £5 for a one act play when accepted
and £15 for a three act play when accepted, these
amounts to be paid over and above the royalties payable
when the plays were performed.


The meeting then adjourned until Thursday 9th May 1935.


Walter Starkie



Page 72

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Ltd.
held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, at 5.30 p.m. on Thursday,
9th May 1935.


Present:- Dr. Walter Starkie in the chair
Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr. Richard Hayes,
Senator Ernest Blythe, Mr. Brinsley Macnamara.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


Arising out of the Minutes the Secretary read a letter from Messrs. Whitney, Moore
and Keller as agents for the Commercial Union Assurance Co. stating that
the Fire Policies held would not be affected by the permission of
smoking in the Auditorium of the Theatre.


It was proposed by Mr. Robinson, seconded by Mr. Macnamara and passed
"That in future smoking be permitted in the Auditorium of the Theatre
and that the necessary arrangements be made for the fixing of ashtrays
to the backs of the seats."


A cable from Arthur Shields was read asking ratification of the
proposal that the Company should finish the American Tour with
the Matinee in Boston on June 8th, thus enabling them to
immediately embark on the Scythia instead of waiting until the
following week for a later boat. Mr. Robinson's cable in reply
agreeing to the Proposal was approved of.


The question of the royalties payable to Miss Deevy and Mr. Peadar
O'Donnell for the week ending May 4th and it was


Page 73

decided to pay Miss Deevy 16/9 s.d. royalty in addition to the sum of
£1-1-0 already paid to her and that no additional payment be
made to Mr. O'Donnell who had already received £3-3-0 advance
royalties.


It was decided that the Theatre should reopen on Monday 1st July
the programme for July to be:- July 1st "Juno and the Paycock" " 8th "The Playboy of the Western World" and "The King of Spain's Daughter" " 15th "Look at the Heffernans" " 22nd "Maurice Harte" and "Meadowsweet" " 29th "Parnell of Avondale"


It was decided that the Players should be given two weeks holidays
on their arrival from America and that they should each get a
further two weeks before the middle of September.


On the question of Producer, Senator Blythe expressed the opinion that
if possible, it would be good to have different Producers for certain
periods and after some discussion it was suggested that Mr. Robinson
take charge of the productions until after Horse Show week, when
the matter could be further considered. Mr. Robinson agreed to this
proposal.


Mr. Macnamara suggested that the revised motion regarding management of
the Theatre to be postponed until the next meeting, and this was agreed to.
Some suggestions made by Senator Blythe for the revision of Players' Contracts
were discussed and it was agreed that the matter be again considered
at a later date.



Page 74

A revised Agreement with Authors was submitted by Mr. Robinson and Mr.
Macnamara. After some discussion some amendments were agreed to and
Mr. Robinson was asked to submit the Agreement to the Incorporated
Society of Authors, Playwrights and Composers for their opinion.
With reference to the reading new plays it was suggested by Mr. Robinson
that all the plays received during any one month should in the
first instance be read by one Director, each Director to undertake
this duty in turn. The suggestion was agreed to and it was arranged
that Mr. Robinson should deal with the plays of April, Senator
Blythe with May and Mr. Macnamara with June.


The following memorandum by Senator Blythe, embodying proposals for
a new Play Competition was then discussed, a copy of the Memorandum
having been already sent to each Director.


4th May, 1935


Eric Gorman, Esq.,
Abbey Theatre,
Dublin.


Dear Mr. Gorman,


I should like to have the following considered by the Directors
at an early meeting of the Board.


It is clear that one of the reasons why the Abbey has encountered
financial difficulties in recent years is that a sufficient number
of good, or fairly good, new plays have not been forthcoming. The
Abbey Theatre cannot live, or fulfil its functions satisfactorily,
unless there is a reasonably steady output of new Irish plays of at
least moderately good quality. I know that money can have only a limited
effect in stimulating the production of plays. At the same time,
I think that in present circumstances the money factor ought to be
brought into play as far as possible. English publishers who hold
prize Competitions for novels, seem to find new talent and incidentally
to get very effective publicity for the books for which the prizes
are awarded.



Page 75

It is true that some years ago the Abbey offered a prize for new
plays, and that the competition did not produce very important
results. I think the reasons why that particular competition was rather
unsuccessful were the following amongst others:
a. The prize offered was too small
b. Adjudication was made difficult and delayed by the fact that
a large number of worthless plays were submitted, and no
arrangement had been made for a preliminary weeding-out.
c. The public was not enabled to participate in the making of the
final decision.


I suggest that a new Competition should be instituted along the
lines set out below:
A prize of at least £100. should be offered for the best play
received; and there should be a second prize of, say, £25. or
£30 MSS. submitted for the competition should be accompanied by an
entrance fee of 10s. 6d. The object of this condition would be to
reduced somewhat the quantity of rubbish submitted and to pay part of
the costs of a preliminary weeding-out process. Before the MSS. were considered with a view to determining which
was the best play submitted, all should be sent out for criticism
by independent readers. The outside readers, who might include the dramatic critics of the
Dublin papers, and other people with some interest in the drama
should be asked (for a fee of, say, 10s. 6d. each) to read the plays
sent to them, and to write a short note on each, distinguishing
clearly between the plays which they thought merited further
consideration, and those which they thought should be promptly returned.
Every play should be seen by two readers, to ensure against any
possibility of mistake. The competitors' entry fees would thus pay
half of the cost of outside reading. When the 10, 15, or 20 plays meriting further consideration had been
separated from the chaff, the Directors, or adjudicators appointed
by the Directors, would select the 2, 3, 4, or 5 plays which they
regarded as worthy of, and suitable for, production in the Abbey. The plays thus collected for the final round of the contest should be
staged in the Abbey as ordinary new plays would be staged at a rate
of, say, one a month. Before production of the competing plays began, a jury of, say, 60
regular Abbey patrons should be formed to make the final selection.
Each person undertaking to act as a Juryman, or Jurywoman, should
get a free ticket, or two free tickets, for the part of the house


Page 76

in which he, or she, regularly sits for one performance of each
of the plays. Slips should be inserted in the programmes for the first Week's
performance of each of the competing plays, on which there would
appear an order of merit, such as "Excellent", "Good", "Fair",
"Poor", "Disappointing", and on which there would be printed
an invitation to each member of the audience to strike out the
terms which he did not think were applicable to the play in question
and to drop his slip in the box at the door as he left the
Theatre. After all the plays had been produced, a meeting of the jury should
be held in, say, the Peacock theatre. The opinions of the
audiences generally as indicated by the slips above referred to
should then be submitted to the members of the Jury. A discussion
should take place, the Press being present, and each Juryman
being free to advance arguments in favour of the play which he
thought best. After the discussion a vote should be taken and
the plays placed first and second by the Jury should be awarded
first and second prizes.


In order to prevent plays which are now ready, or nearly ready,
in the hands of authors from being withheld from submission till
the closing date of the competition, it should be stated that
any play submitted to the Directors in the ordinary way between
the announcement of the competition and the closing date and
accepted by them for production in the Abbey Theatre might be
included in the competition at the author's request on payment of
the fee.


I believe that a scheme of this sort would probably bring
out one or two plays which might become items of the Theatre's
repertoire.


I believe also that it would rouse sufficient interest
to ensure that each competing play regarded as fit for production
would draw fairly good houses and make some profit for the
theatre. Taking the business as a whole, it ought to give the
theatre much valuable publicity, and it ought to increase
audiences sufficiently to pay for all outgoings, including the
prizes, losses on jurors' seats etc.


Yours sincerely,
E. Blythe


Mr. Robinson declared that he was entirely opposed to the scheme as
outlined in the Memorandum. He stated that the adjudication of the


Page 77

plays in the last competition was delayed owing to the failure of the two
judges Mr. W. Armstrong and Mr. Nugent Monck to cope with the work
but that the competing plays were ultimately dealt with effectively
and expeditiously by Mr. P. O'Hegarty and Mr. Brinsley Macnamara.
He stated that no new playwrights were discovered and that one
of the winning plays had already been accepted by the Directors.
He was utterly opposed to the proposed method of judging the plays
and would never agree to it. He would agree to the selection of two
outside judges but they must be persons whom the Directors
considered thoroughly competent to carry out their duties and he
would insist that the final decision would remain in the hands
of the Board whom he considered quite competent to judge the
merits of any play submitted.


Mr. Macnamara agreed in the main with Mr. Robinson and stated
that he too, was entirely opposed to the proposed adjudication
by outsiders.


After some further discussion it was agreed that the matter be taken
up again at the next meeting of the Board.


Senator Blythe referred to the poor receipts from the matinees during
the last year. He stated that it was obvious that the Theatre lost
money by giving matinees regularly every Saturday and after
some discussion it was decided that in future no matinees be given
save on such special occasions as would be decided by the Board, such
as on Horse Show Week etc.


It was decided that as the Theatre would be closed from the 18th
May until the 1st July, the Front of the House Staff, the cleaners


Page 78

and temporary Stage Staff be paid for an extra fortnight in lieu of holidays
and that the Box Office Clerks, Mrs. Wilton, Miss Ryan & Mrs. Harty be
paid full pay for two weeks in lieu of holidays and half pay
for the remainder of the closed period.


It was also agreed that Mr. Eric Gorman should be given a months
holidays in August.


The meeting then adjourned until Thursday, 16th May 1935.


Richard Hayes
16 May 1935



Page 79

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Ltd. held
at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, at 5.30 p.m. on Thursday,
16th May 1935.


Present:- Dr. Richard Hayes in the chair
Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr. Walter Starkie, Senator
Ernest Blythe, Mr. Brinsley Macnamara.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


A letter from Arthur Shields was read asking for instructions as to
the disposal of furniture and scenery purchased in the United
States. The Directors decided that as none of the stuff would be of
any use in the Abbey, Mr. Shields be directed to dispose of it
for whatever it would fetch.


A letter from The Mac Egan was read suggesting the purchase by
the Society of a drawing of Mr. Macnamara by the Mac Egan.
It was decide not to purchase the drawing.


A request was made by Mr. Mike [Nors] for the return of a balance of £2
deposit paid on hirings of the Theatre which were cancelled by
Mr. Nors, was considered. The Directors decided that as a refund of £4
had already been made to Mr. Nors who had been very fairly treated in
the matter, the request for a refund of the balance of £2 be refused.


The Secretary read the following letters addressed to him by
Mr. W. B. Yeats



Page 80

Would you please read this letter to the next meeting of the
Directors - I am dictating it to my wife. I am recovering from
my second attack of congestion of the lungs, and will return
to Ireland as soon as the doctor tells me my lung is clear.
I hope the Directors understand how sorry I am not to be able
to give my vote on the matters now being discussed, and share
responsibility for the decision, whatever it is. I am told that
Mr. Robinson will not be in Dublin during the months of June
and July. I wonder if the Directors would care to empower
me to make enquiries here as to a possible producer who
could take his place for these two months. If they wish
this, they should let me know at once. The kind of man I
have in mind is some man who understands the latest methods
and could assist Arthur Shields to modernise our work. I
am not at all confident of finding such a man at such
short notice, especially as he should be, if possible, of
Irish extraction or birth. All I can do is enquire through
various friends.


Would you please also let me have some general account of
what has been decided or proposed at recent meetings.


Yours sincerely
W. B. Yeats



Page 81

17 Lancaster Gate Terrace
Hyde Park, London W. 2.
May 14, 1935.


Dear Mr. Gorman


I want to make a correction. In a letter which
I have asked you to read to the Directors, delete the sentence
"to help Arthur Shields and modernise production" and
substitute the following "to help Arthur Shields and to produce
certain plays which require very modern methods of production."
The last thing I wanted to suggest was that the Abbey Theatre
production as a whole required modernisation. Lennox
Robinson's best work is above criticism.


Yours
W. B. Yeats


The Secretary was instructed to say to Mr. Yeats in reply, that the Directors
did not consider it advisable to put on a production by a new producer until
the end of September, allowing three weeks beforehand for rehearsal. Then
after this first production, a further interval of three weeks for the rehearsal
of a second new play, the weeks intervening between these productions to
be filled by plays not needing very much rehearsal and the producer to be
engaged for the production of two specified plays.


The names of two producers were mentioned, namely Tyrone Guthrie and
Miss Esme Church, both of whom are Irish, and the Directors suggested that if
Mr. Yeats could get into touch with these people he might enquire if they would
accept an offer to come to the Abbey for six weeks, if the Directors decided to
invite them.



Page 82

A letter was read from the Secretary to the League of British Dramatists, (a
subsidiary branch of the Society of Authors) returning the draft Author's
Agreement sent by Mr. Robinson and stating that altho' Dr. Yeats, Dr.
Starkie and Mr. Robinson were members of the Society of Authors,
none of them appeared to have joined the league and suggesting that
they should do do in order to make use of its services.


It was decided that Mr. Robinson send the draft agreement to Mr. Keller
and obtain his advice on the matter.


A letter was read from Mr. G. H. Tulloch stating that the Fire Insurance
Policies held by the Society were as follows:- Theatre Premises £10,000
and £1,000, Peacock Theatre £2,000, 27 Lr. Abbey St. £1600, Furniture re
£3000, Scenery stored at Whytes £400.


The Secretary reported on his visit to Galway and stated that Mr.
Hardiman suggested as an alternative date to Race Week, the week
commencing 19th August. The Directors decided to accept Race Week and
selected the following bills:- Kathleen ni Houlihan and The Shadow
of a Gunman: The Rising of the Moon and The Glorious Uncertainty;
Paul Twyning.


The bills for the first three weeks in August at the Abbey were
fixed as follows:- Week commencing Aug 5. (Horse Show Week) The
Plough and the Stars and John Bull's Other Island. August 12th
Bridgehead: August 19 The Phoenix and the Cockatoos.


The following estimate furnished by A. G. [Brady] was read:-
Neon Sign with Arrow and 30" Letters Abbey Theatre £140
Neon Sign vertical one-sided, 18" letters £95
do double sided £180
Neon Signs guaranteed for 3000 hours.


Page 83

Acetate Letters 30" with Arrow £110
18" vertical singlesided £85
18" do double sided £160
The Directors decided not to proceed further in the matter.


Senator Blythe suggested that the Peacock Theatre should be opened in the second or
third week of July with a new play or with the revival of an
old one. After some discussion it was decided that success
was more likely late in the season and September was suggested
as a suitable time.


Mr. Macnamara's motion re management of Theatre etc. was
postponed until the next meeting.


The following alteration in the Players' Contract suggested by
Senator Blythe was agreed to. The sentence in paragraph one
commencing "In consideration of which" and ending "for
that week or weeks" be deleted and the following sentence
substituted:- "In consideration of which the Manager agrees
to pay the Artist during the continuance of this Agreement
except when the Artist as hereinafter provided is specially required
to play in the Peacock Theatre, a weekly salary, while playing, of
£...... for seven performances and one-seventh for every
additional performance. The Manager may specially require
the Artist to play in the Peacock Theatre for not more than five
weeks at a salary of £...... When the Artist is not
playing he shall receive £...... as salary for that week or
weeks."


It was decided that a prize of £50 be offered in the Play Competition


Page 84

the conditions being that plays submitted had never been produced by a
professional company, that they play for not less than two and one
quarter hours and that the author be Irish or the subject of the
play be Irish.


Mr. Macnamara raised the question of the Theatre making
arrangements with the Broadcasting authorities for the
relaying of Acts of Plays from the Stage and it was decided
that Senator Blythe should interview the new Director of
Broadcasting and report the result to the Directors.


It was agreed that in future the meetings of the Directors
be held on Fridays instead of Thursday, an arrangement
more suitable for Dr. Starkie.


The question of paying the cleaners during the period
that the Theatre would be closed was considered, and it
was decided that Mrs. Howlett and Mrs. Dunne be paid
£1 per week each.


The meeting then adjourned until Friday 24th May 1935.


Ernest Blythe
24/5/35



Page 85

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society
Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, at 5.30 p.m. on Friday,
24th May, 1935.


Present:- Senator E. Blythe in the chair
Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr. Walter Starkie, Mr. Brinsley
Macnamara.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


A letter from the Secretary to the League of British Dramatists
was read asking the Directors to reconsider their decision
not to join the League. It was decided that further
consideration of the matter was not necessary and that the
League's letter be suitably acknowledged by the Secretary.
Correspondence with the Manager of the "Irish Times" was
read regarding the extra charge of half-a-crown a day
made for inserting the new block in the Theatre's
advertisement. It was decided that the Secretary should
again write to the Manager and that the question of
future advertisements in the paper be considered at
a later date.


A letter from the Secretary to the Gaelic Players was read
requesting an interview with the Directors in order that his
Committee might discuss the question of the rent being charged
for lettings of the Peacock Theatre. It was decided that as the


Page 86

rent of £8 per week exclusive of staff had been fixed after
careful consideration, no useful purpose would be served
by granting the interview as requested.


A letter from Miss Deevy was read thanking the Directors for
allowing the extra royalty on her play "The King of Spain's
Daughter."


A letter from Dr. Larchet was read asking the Directors to
grant him an interview in order to discuss the question
of the Orchestra and the reduction of the payment which
had been decided upon. It was decided that Dr. Larchet
be asked to meet the Directors at their meeting on Thursday
30th inst.


Mr. Michael Scott, Architect was interviewed by the Directors
to whom he explained his plans for the proposed double
door entrance and the widening of the Stalls exit.
He stated that Messrs. Dolan estimated the cost of
widening the exit at roughly £89 but that he
doubted if it would cost so much.


After some discussion it was decided that, for the
present, the idea of the double door entrance should
be dropped and Mr. Scott was instructed to find out
if the Corporation authorities would allow the
present Stalls exit to remain without widening,
the work to be carried out in accordance with their
requirements.



Page 87

Mr. Brinsley Macnamara reported to the Board the result of
an interview which he and Mr. Robinson had with the
Secretary to the Theatrical Branch of the Irish Transport Union
regarding the front of house Staff. The agreement reached
was as follows:-
Ticket Checkers - Stalls - Manweiler
Balcony - Sloan
Pit - Harty
Box Office Clerks - Miss Ryan, Mrs. Wilton, Mrs. Harty
Mrs. Mannix.
Attendants - Stalls -Miss Bushill, Miss [Sporrel]
Balcony - Miss Bennett, Miss Barlow.
Pit - Miss Martin.
Stalls Cafe - A new girl
Pit Cafe - Miss M. Bennett
Cleaners - Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Dunne, Mrs. Howlett.


It was decided that in the case of the old plays down for
production during the coming season Agreements up to 31st
December 1936 be sent to the Authors for signature.
The Directors decided to hold on Friday, 7th June at 5 p.m.
an audition of people who had applied for parts in future
productions.


It was agreed that as Mr. Robinson was leaving town on
Thursday night the 30th inst. the meeting of the Directors should
be held on that evening at 5.30 p.m. instead of Friday 31st.



Page 88

The following motion proposed by Mr. Macnamara and seconded by
Dr. Starkie was passed:- "That the management of the Theatre
shall be controlled by the Board of Directors who will issue
their instructions through the Secretary, and that all
proposals involving extraordinary expenditure as well
as proposed outlay on forthcoming productions shall
be submitted to the Board for sanction."


The Report of the Sub-Committee on Salaries etc was then
further considered and the following Salaries were fixed:-
Arthur Shields - Acting Salary £7-10-0 plus £2 for work as
assistant-producer and Stage Manager.
P. J. Carolan - Acting Salary at £6-15-0 plus 15/= as Assistant
Stage Manager.
F. J. McCormick - Acting Salary £7-10-0
M. J. Dolan do. £7-10-0
Barry Fitzgerald do. £7-10-0
Eileen Crowe do. £7-10-0
Maureen Delaney do. £7-10-0
May Craig do. £7-10-0


It was agreed that if Arthur Shields was employed to
produce a new play special payment should be made
to him for this work.


It was suggested that if the School of Acting was
re-opened, Miss Ria Mooney might be engaged to take the
classes. It was also suggested that in the event of the


Page 89

School being re-opened, class should be held at night and
the Secretary was instructed to enquire if an arrangement
could be come to with Miss Kelly for the use of the Ballet
room as a rehearsal room.


On the question of Production, Mr. Macnamara stated that
he was not in favour of engaging an outside producer
but would like Mr. Robinson to continue in his capacity
of producer. After some discussion the Directors decided
that if a suitable outside producer could be engaged for
a limited period it would be advantageous to the
Theatre and that when Mr. Robinson was producing he
should be paid his present salary.


The draft of the new Agreement with Authors as revised by
Mr. R. N. Keller was approved of and accepted.


The considerations for the new Play Competition as revised by
Mr. R. N. Keller were considered and it was decided that no
author should be eligible to compete who had had a
full-length play produced in any professional Theatre. The
conditions were amended accordingly and passed.


Mr. Macnamara read a letter he had received from the Director
of Broadcasting suggesting that a discussion between Mr.
Macnamara and Mr. Sean O'Faolain in the Abbey Theatre
should be broadcast in June. The Directors, having heard
the suggested outline of the discussion, decided that they
could not approve of it. They asked Mr. Macnamara to interview
the Director of Broadcasting with a view to arranging a


Page 90

a more suitable scheme for a broadcast on the activities of the Theatre.


Mr. Macnamara mentioned that Miss Ria Mooney had informed him
that she had been engaged to play in a film version of "Riders to the Sea"
to be produced in Ireland in July and had asked if the Directors would
relieve her of the part of Mrs. O'Shea in "Parnell of Avondale" as the film
might not be completed by the date on which the Parnell play was
due for production. The Directors decided to grant Miss Mooney's
request as refusal might mean considerable financial loss to her.


At the request of Mr. F. R. Higgins who is ill, Mr. Macnamara raised
the question of the necessity of the new Directors holding shares
in the Company in order to legalise their position and the
Secretary was instructed to write to Mr. Keller and obtain
his opinion.


The meeting then adjourned until Thursday, 30th May at
5.30 p.m.


Ernest Blythe
30/5/35



Page 91

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society
Limited, held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, at 5.30 p.m. on
Thursday, 30th May, 1935.


Present:- Senator E. Blythe in the chair
Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr. Walter Starkie, Mr.
Brinsley Macnamara.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


The following letter from Messrs. Whitney, Moore and Keller,
Solicitors, was read:-


46 Kildare Street
Dublin, C.17
28th May 1935.


Dear Sir


I reply to your letter of today, it is not necessary
for the additional Directors appointed under the New
Article 5B. to hold shares in the Company for the reason
that this new Article expressly exempts the additional
Directors to be appointed under it from the operation of
Article 10 under which the qualification for a Director
is the holding in his own right of 100 shares of the
Company. The position as we understand it is that
there are 3 Directors appointed under Article 5 each


Page 92

holding a 100 or more shares, a Director appointed under Article
5a. (to represent the Government) who requires no qualification,
and newly appointed Directors not exceeding four in
number who have been appointed under the new Article
5b., and who require no qualification. All the necessary
legal requirements in connection with the new Article
have been fulfilled.


Yours faithfully
Whitney, Moore and Keller.


Eric Gorman Esq
Secretary
Abbey Theatre
Dublin C.8


Dr. Larchet interviewed the Directors to whom he explained that
if the payment he received for the Orchestra was reduced from
£3 to £2-5-0 per performance he would have to reduce the
size of the Orchestra by dispensing with the double-bass
player. He stated that the players were paid 10/= per
performance each which was the standard rate of pay for
theatre orchestras.


Mr. Robinson said he was against the reduction of the size of
the Orchestra. He would like Dr. Larchet to get different
music, something brighter and more variety. He would also
like him to do new music.


Dr. Larchet in reply stated that he had bought a lot of


Page 93

new music but that owing to his illness he had not been
able to play any of it during the last season. He hoped
however to do so during the coming season. He thanked the
Directors for granting him an interview and then withdrew.
After some discussion the Directors decided that the
original proposal of a payment of £2-5-0 per performance
be amended as follows:-
£3 per performance when Dr. Larchet was in personal
attendance.
£2-10-0 per performance when Dr. Larchet was not
in personal attendance.


A letter from Mr. F. Hardiman, Town Hall Theatre, Galway, was
read suggesting that "Cathleen ni Houlihan" and "The Shadow
of a Gunman" be played on the Monday and Saturday of
Race Week and that on the Race Nights, Wednesday and
Thursday there be a change of bill. He also stated that
Irish Theatre Orchestra consisting of a pianist, cellist, and
violinist would be available at a fee of £3 each for the
week. The Directors agreed to these terms and decided
that the Orchestra should be engaged.


The Secretary was instructed to submit to the Director of
Broadcasting, a proposal that on the return of the Company from
America, Mr. F. J. McCormick might broadcast a talk on
the Tour.


Mr. Macnamara reported that he had interviewed Dr. Kiernan


Page 94

regarding Abbey Theatre broadcasts and that Dr. Kiernan will at
a later date, put his proposals before the Board.


It was agreed that the electric lights needed by the Stage
Carpenter in Whyte's store be supplied.


On further consideration of the date of re-opening of the
Theatre and the casts of plays down for production, it
was decided that owing to the difficulty of re-arranging
casts if some of the Players were on holidays, the date
of re-opening should be the 15th July instead of the
1st July as originally fixed. The bill for 15th July
was selected viz. "Vigil" and "The Playboy of the Western
World" to be followed on 22nd July by "Maurice Harte"
and "Meadowsweet" and "Parnell of Avondale" to be
done on 29th July as originally arranged.


The Secretary was instructed to cable to Barry Fitzgerald
and ask him to say what his plans were.


The question of inviting the Ministers the Diplomatic
Corps etc to the re-opening of the Theatre was considered
and it was decided that the matter be brought up again
at a later date.


Messrs. Elliman's quotation for Ashtrays for the Auditorium
was considered. Having examined the two samples
submitted it was decided to select the large size at
8/9 per dozen plus about 1/3 for fixing.


Mr. Robinson referred to a portrait of J. M. Synge by
Nicholson which had been for sale and suggested that


Page 95

if it were still available, the Directors might consider
the question of buying it. Mr. Macnamara promised to
enquire into the matter and report to the board.


It was decided that as Miss Ria Mooney was not now available
for the part of Mrs. O'Shea in the Parnell play, the Directors
should, at the Audition on the 7th inst consider the
possibility of filling the part by one of the ladies
to be heard on that day.


It was decided that the Directors should meet the
Players as soon as possible after their return from
America.


The meeting then adjourned until Friday, 7th
June.


Richard Hayes
7 June 1935



Page 96

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society
Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin on Friday, 7th June, 1935 at
5.30 p.m.


Present:- Dr. Richard Hayes in the chair,
Senator Ernest Blythe, Mr. Brinsley Macnamara.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


The Directors considered the merits of the people who had been
heard at the Audition earlier in the evening and suggested
Miss Mona Lilian and Miss Doris Killeen as possible ladies
to play the part of Mrs. O'Shea in the Parnell play. It was decided
that the final choice be left to the Producer. A list was made
by the Secretary of those whom it was considered would be
useful in various types of parts.


A cable from Arthur Shields was read stating that Mr. Barry
Fitzgerald would interview the Managers of the Film Company on
June 10th and that he would not be able to state definitely the
date of his return to Dublin until after this interview.


A letter from Mr. G. H. Tulloch was read regarding the notification he
had received that the Directors were no longer able to avail themselves
of his services as Financial Advisor. He stated that the Society's
investments were registered in his name, jointly with Mr. Lennox
Robinson, and said he would be glad to know the wishes of the
Board in regard to this matter. He also stated that he had the


Page 97

custody of the Society's Insurance Policies (other than those held by
the Bank) and also the Company's Share Register and Share
Certificate Book and would be glad to know the wishes of the
Board regarding these matters. He also enquired if he was to
continue to look after the Annual and other Returns that have
to be filed with the Register of Companies.


It was decided that Messrs. Whitney, Moore and Keller be asked to
take charge of the Company's Share Register and Share Certificate
Book.


A letter from Messrs. Hilton Bros., Townsend St. was read asking for
permission to reseat a section of the Pit seating free and also
one of the Stalls seats in order that the Directors might be able
to test and examine their work. It was decided to grant the
permission called for.


A letter from the Broadcasting Station was read stating that
the time from 8.30 p.m. to 8.45 p.m. on the 18th June would be
allocated for a talk by Mr. F. J. McCormick on the tour of the
Abbey Company in U.S.A.


A letter from the Secretary to the Gaelic Players was read stating
that they could not possibly pay the rent fixed by the Directors
for the Peacock Theatre and asking them to give the matter
further consideration. The Directors decided they had nothing
to add to the letter sent by the Secretary to the Secretary to the Gaelic
Players on the 27th May and that they would not consider the
matter further.


It was decided that in a week when no matinee was given, no


Page 98

deduction be made from the salaries of Players who sign new
Contracts altho the clause in the Contract specifies a certain
weekly payment for seven performances.


It was decided that the royalties payable to Authors who
sign renewal Agreements for old plays should be at the new
rate viz. 5% of the gross takings when these do not exceed £40,
71/2% when they exceed £40 but not £60; 10% when they exceed
£60.


It was decided that the new agreement with Authors which
was approved of by the Directors at their meeting on the
24th May 1935 be printed.


The question of shelving old plays or, alternatively, of
re-casting them was then considered.
Mr. Macnamara stated that he was in favour of re-casting these
plays and of having them completely rehearsed as new
productions.
Senator Blythe was also in favour of re-casting with
enough changes in the major parts to ensure a new
production.


Mr. Macnamara also referred to the inadvisability
of opening the Theatre with a whole series of old
plays which he considered was not in accordance with
the policy adopted by the enlarged Board.


Consideration of questions in regard to Mr. T. J. Robinson's
salary was postponed until the next meeting.


It was decided that estimates should be obtained for the


Page 99

supplying of new Electric Fittings in the Auditorium.


The Secretary then read the following letter which he had
received from Mr. F. R. Higgins on the morning of the 7th inst.
the date on which the meeting was held.


Durlas
Lr. Dodder Road
Rathfarnham, Dublin
6:6:1935


Mr. Gorman, will you be
so kind as to read this
rough letter to the Board. May
I ask your pardon for the
extra labour entailed, mainly
by bad script & rugged ideas.
Very good wishes


PS you can now send
me any documents
you consider necessary, i.e.
notes of meetings, [returns]


Dear Mr. Gorman
Thanks exceedingly for your letter of
the 1st inst. attaching the copy of the Solicitor's statement
regarding the legal position of the new Directors. It is
quite evident, that notwithstanding anything to the contrary
in the original Articles of Association, our own positions are
held without the necessity of obtaining qualifying shares and
that our individual appointments are not controlled by
shareholders' meetings. If these appointments are subject to
the goodwill of the shareholders, then I am strongly of
opinion that the new directors should be the holders of
shares entitling them to attend all meetings of the company
- a privilege which is not theirs at the moment. That
is the point which I consider most important. Please let
me have a copy of the amended Articles, at your convenience.


I deeply regret my inability to attend
Directors meetings at the present time when matters of


Page 100

grave importance are under discussion. Mr. Lennox
Robinson has been to see me & I have received
news from him as to the new arrangements in
connection with the reopening of the Theatre in July.
May I therfore ask my fellow Directors to carefully
(?)consider the real necessity of obtaining
improved productions of plays from the first reopening.


(2)
I am told that Mr. Arthur Shields is to produce the first
plays in Mr. Robinson's absence. This arrangement is surely
of a temporary nature only. I feel that if the productions of these men
are to follow old lines then the intentions of the
new Directors are not being fulfilled; and personally I
could not support the continuity of the old methods.
May I therefore ask that new sets or designs be
obtained for the first forthcoming of plays under Mr.
Shields directions. It is essential that some noticeable
(?) improvements be made; and if the Directors wanted
suggestions or designs for productions from some of our
younger artists then Mr. Shields work may be
enhanced. If you are unable to improve the
staging of an old play such as the "Playboy"
- then I think the reopening of the Theatre


Page 101

should be postponed until a production is
forthcoming of such a quality to justify the
Theatre's statement of aims on the appointment of the
new directors.


In my opinion the most important aspect of
the Theatre's future work rests with improved productions-
that aspect cannot be casually considered and it
is therefore excellent that the whole position of productions
(3)
and producer is still left undecided. In view of
these circumstances I think that the question of
authors' Agreements should be deferred.


I am strongly of the opinion that
an overwhelming comedy element in the Theatre's
repertoire should be greatly reduced; and
particularly in view of an intention to encourage
plays of a more distinguished literary quality from
younger dramatists. It may therefore be advisable
to withhold new agreements until a steadier
programme has been outlined for the forthcoming


Page 102

season - a season from which I wish to
eliminate the comedies, let me say, of George Shiels.


(?) The new Board must very carefully prepare
its forthcoming programme inwith particular consideration
to improved productions, sets, plays & casting - otherwise
the old time shoddiness will leave the new
Directors open to a form of criticism which I
could not refute.


Please excuse these hasty remarks - my
(?) main grievance at the moment is that I am
compelled to stay away from meetings in which I am
very keenly interested - this however will be only for another
week or so. Yours with all good wishes. F. R. Higgins.


It was decided that the Secretary should obtain from
Mr. Keller his opinion on the point raised by Mr.
Higgins as to the necessity of the new Directors holding
Shares in the Company.


On the question of production, it was decided after
some discussion, that the matter be considered again
at the next meeting of the Board.


The Directors decided to accept "Summer's Day" by Maura
Molloy and also to produce "Village Wooing" by George
Bernard Shaw.


The Board then adjourned until Friday, 14th June.


W. B. Yeats
14/6/35



Page 103

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Ltd.
held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Friday, 14th June, 1935, at 5.30 p.m.


Present: Mr. W. B. Yeats in the chair,
Dr. Starkie, Dr. Hayes, Senator Blythe, Mr. Brinsley Macnamara,
Mr. F. R. Higgins.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


It was decided to hold a further audition be held on Friday
28th June at 5 p.m.


The question of sealing the new Agreements with Authors was
considered. As it would be necessary to impress a sealed
Agreement with a ten shilling stamp, it was decided that
these Agreements should be signed across a sixpenny stamp
and not be sealed.


Mr. Ml. Scott, Architect, interviewed the Directors and explained
that the retiling of the Vestibule would cost an extra sum over the
amount which had been quoted in the tender for the work of
re-modelling. The Directors agreed to this extra expenditure as the
work must be done. After some discussion it was decided
to alter the decision come to by the Directors at their meeting
on 24th May and to authorise the construction of the double
door entrance to the Vestibule as originally suggested by
Mr. Scott. It was also decided that the woodwork at present
painted black, be painted some light colours as selected


Page 104

by Mr. Scott who was asked to obtain estimates for new electric
fittings for the Auditorium.


It was decided that the reduction in salary payable to
Mr. T. J. Robinson £150 to £100 come into force as from
21st June and that a salary of £4 per week be paid to him
for doing the work of the office during the absence on leave
of Mr. Eric Gorman. It was further decided that the question
of Mr. Robinson's position should be further considered
in September.


Mr. Yeats informed the Board that when in London, he had seen
Mr. Sean O'Casey who stated that he was willing to permit the
Theatre to produce any of his plays the directors might select.
A discussion followed as to the selection of "Within the Gates"
or "The Silver Tassie" as a first production and it was
decided that instead of opening the season on the 15th July
with old plays the Theatre should open on Monday, 5th
August with "The Silver Tassie" to be produced by Arthur
Shields.


Mr. Yeats said he was of the opinion that the Board should
endeavour to get new plays, plays that were in the news and
suggested that two or three of the Directors should be appointed
to read current American & continental plays with a view
to submitting to the Board, any they considered suitable
for production in the Theatre.


Mr. Higgins referred to the small economies which the Board
had so far been able to effect and asked that the Report of


Page 105

the Sub-Committee on salaries etc. should be reconsidered.
Mr. Yeats suggested that as regards the Players' salaries, two
or three of the Players be called into consultation with
the Directors in order that this matter be discussed with
them. This was agreed to.


A letter from Mr. Edward Synge was read objecting to the Agreement
sent to him for "The Playboy of the Western World" as this Agreement
would, among other things, debar him from making arrangements
for any performance of the play in England.
The Secretary was instructed to ask Mr. Synge to amend the
Agreement as he wished and return it for consideration.


A cable from Miss Maureen Delaney was read asking for permission
to remain in the States until 20th July in order to enable her to
accept a four week engagement in Hollywood.
As four of the Directors had individually given their sanction
to the requested extension the cable notifying Miss Delaney
that the Directors granted the permission asked for, was
approved by the Board.


The Board adjourned until Friday, 21st June.


W. B. Yeats
21/6/35



Page 106

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society
Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Friday, 21st June, 1935, at
5.30 p.m.


Present: Mr. W. B. Yeats in the chair,
Senator E. Blythe, Mr. Brinsley Macnamara, Mr. F. R.
Higgins.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


A letter from Dr. Starkie was read regretting his inability to be
present and stating that Bryan Hurst who is producing a film
version of Synge's "Riders to the Sea" had asked him if the
Directors could see their way to loan some costumes for the
production, as there was not time to have them made. Dr.
Starkie added that he personally thought that Mr. Hurst's request
might be acceded to.


The Directors decided to hire the costumes to Mr. Hurst at a
charge of five shillings per costume per week and on condition
that the costumes were insured by Mr. Hurst.


The Directors interviewed Mr. Arthur Shields who gave them a
short report on the recent American Tour. He said the plays had
been as successful as on former tours and that the press notices
were generally very good. The rate of exchange had been
against them and he did not think that Mr. Wickes was a very
good business man. Mr. Shields was of the opinion that if the


Page 107

Directors contemplated another tour at a later date it would be
necessary to bring some new plays and that all plays would
need better . He added that the most successful
bill had been "Riders to the Sea" and "The Playboy of the Western
World"


The Directors interviewed Mr. Michael Scott, Architect, who submitted
designs for the new electric fittings in the Vestibule. These were
approved of. It was decided not to alter the fittings in
the Auditorium.


Mr. Brinsley Macnamara informed the Board that Mr. Dermot
O'Brien was making enquiries about the portrait of Synge
by Nicholson and hoped to have some information at a
later date.


A leter from Mrs. Harty, Box Office Clerk, and wife of P. Harty,
now Pit Jacket Checker was read asking if the Directors would
advance them £50 to enable them to complete the purchase of
a house. Mrs. Harty proposing that the amount be repaid
by the amount due to and paid to her weekly as Box Office
Clerk. The Secretary was instructed to obtain full particulars
of the financial position of Mrs. Harty and her husband, and
report to the board at their next meeting.


A letter was read from Messrs. Whitney, Moore & Keller suggesting
that as the position of financial advisor was not being filled
the Company's investments standing in the names of Mr. G. H.
Tulloch and Mr. Lennox Robinson should be transferred to the
Company, and also suggesting that the Company's Share


Page 108

Register and Share Certificate Book be placed in the custody of
the Company's auditor.
The Secretary was instructed to ask Whitney, Moore and Keller
to prepare the necessary resolution for the transfer of the
investments to the Company.


The following letter from Messrs. Whitney, Moore and Keller was
read.


46 Kildare Street,
Dublin, C.17.
18th June 1935


Dear Mr. Gorman,
The National Theatre Society Ltd.
In reply to your letter of the 13th inst. it is very
natural that Mr. Higgins should raise the question as to the
legal position of the new Directors which is not really
apparent without a very careful examination of the Articles
of Association of the Company which are of a somewhat
unusual character.


The total issued capital of the Company is only 390
shares. I give you overleaf particulars showing how the
shares are held. You will see that out of a total of 390,
159 stand in the name of Dr. Yeats and 123 in the name of
Mr. Lennox Robinson, a total for these two holdings of 282,
but I may say that actually 382 shares out of the total of
390 are in the beneficial ownership of Dr. Yeats and Mr. Lennox
Robinson, Dr. Yeats being the beneficial owner of 209 shares
and Mr. Lennox Robinson 173 shares, Dr. Yeats and Mr. Lennox
Robinson having each loaned 50 shares to Dr. Starkie which he
will re-transfer to them when he ceases to be a director.



Page 109

This arrangement was made when the office of Director
could only be held by a person holding at least 100 shares
in the Company. The necessity for the share qualification
was removed in the first instance to enable the Government
Director to be appointed, and subsequently in connection
with the appointment of additional Directors.


The first Directors were Lady Gregory and Dr. Yeats.
So long as Dr. Yeats remains qualified under Clause 10 of the
Articles his Directorship is not in any way controlled by
the shareholders. One of the other directors must retire at
every Ordinary meeting, but may be re-elected by the share-
holders at such meeting. You will see therefore that in
this way the Directorship of every Director except Dr. Yeats
is in effect in the control of the shareholders. We should
also point out that the new Directors hold their position
by virtue of Article 5b which it is in the power of the
shareholders to change.


As Dr. Yeats, Mr. Lennox Robinson and Dr. Starkie are
the only Directors holding shares it follows that they are
the only Directors who are qualified to vote at General
Meetings. No shareholder however could reasonably object
to a Director of the Company, not being a shareholder,
being present and taking part in the proceedings at a meeting
of shareholders, so long as he did not vote.


The Directors other than those we have mentioned,
not being shareholders, would not be entitled as a matter
of right to receive notice of meetings of shareholders, but
we can see no objection to instructions being given by the
Board that all Directors, whether shareholders or not,
should be given notice of all meetings of shareholders, as
if they were shareholders. The Articles provide that any
Director may in certain circumstances be entitled to take
the Chair at a General Meeting.


Yours faithfully
R. N. Keller


Eric Gorman Esq.,
Secretary,
Abbey Theatre,
Dublin C.8.

Page 110

Dr. Yeats 159 E. Blythe 100 Mr. Lennox Robinson 123 F. R. Higgins 100 Dr. Starkie 100 F. O'Connor 100 Miss Sara Allgood 4 Dr. Hayes 100 U. Wright 2 Sir Philip Hanson 2 390


After some discussion the Board decided that it was necessary
that the new Directors should attend all meetings of the
Company and the following resolution proposed by Mr. F. R.
Higgins and seconded by Mr. Brinsley Macnamara was passed:-
"That while postponing the question of the allocation of
shares to the new Directors, these Directors be invited to
attend all meetings of the Company."


A letter from the Director of the Dublin Broadcasting Station
was read asking for particulars of plays suitable for
relaying from the Theatre and stating that the fee would be
at the rate of £10 per hour with, in addition, the authors'
royalty of one guinea.


It was decided that Arthur Shields and the Secretary should
report to the board on plays suitable and also on the
financial aspect of the broadcast from the Belfast Station
of the B. B. C.


Arising out of this question of broadcasts from the Theatre
the Secretary was instructed to draw up a Clause for insertion
in the new Agreement with Authors giving the Society the


Page 111

necessary permission to broadcast.


A letter was read from Mr. Edward Synge stating that he did
not wish to be placed under any sort of restrictions as regards the
rights of the Synge plays and that he did not know of any circumstances
that made a change from the old arrangements necessary.
The Secretary was instructed to inform Mr. Synge that the
old arrangement would be continued as he wished to have
it so.


It was decided that as the rehearsals of The Silver Tassie
would commence on 15th July it would be necessary to
cancel the arrangement for sending the Company to Galway
for the week commencing 29th July.


It was decided that the Secretary should write to the
Players who have been on contract asking them to nominate
three of their number, one actress and two actors, to interview
the Directors and discuss the terms of the future engagement
of the Players. The date fixed for the interview was Friday, 19th
July. It was decided that in the meantime the Players
should continue on their present terms subject to a fortnight's
notice, and that Mr. U. Wright should continue on similar
terms, his position to be also considered on the 19th July.


The decision come to by the Directors on the 14th June was
altered and it was decided that the bills for Horse Show
Week be "Bridgehead" on the 5th 6th and 7th August, "The
Plough and the Stars" on the 8th, 9th and 10th August.


It was decided that "The Silver Tassie" be produced on 12th


Page 112

of August and that Mr. McGonigle be invited to design the sets,
the play to be produced by Arthur Shields and rehearsals to begin
on 15th July.


Leave of absence was granted to Mr. Eric Gorman for Saturday
29th June and Monday 1st July.


Mr. T. J. Robinson raised the question of the legality of the action
of the board in reducing his salary without giving him a month's
notice, and it was decided that Mr. Robinson should write
a letter to the Board and raise the matter by that means.


The Board then adjourned until Friday 28th June.


W. B. Yeats
28/6/35



Page 113

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society
Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Friday, 28th June 1935,
at 5.30 p.m.


Present: Mr. W. B. Yeats in the chair,
Dr. Starkie, Senator Blythe, Mr. Brinsley Macnamara,
Mr. F. R. Higgins.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


The Directors considered the merits of the people who had
been heard at the audition earlier in the evening and a
list was made by the Secretary of those whom it was
thought would be useful and would be worth a trial.


Arising out of the Minutes the Secretary reported to the
Board on the financial position of Mrs. Harty and her
husband who had asked for a loan of £50 to assist them in
the purchase of a house. After some discussion it was
proposed by Senator Blythe and seconded by Mr. F. R. Higgins
that Mrs. Harty's request be refused. This resolution was passed.


A letter from Mr. T. J. Robinson was read with reference to the
notification he had received of the reduction of his salary
as from 21st June, 1935, and claiming that under the terms of his
appointment he should be given one month's notice of the


Page 114

reduction. Mr. Robinson also asked that if such notice were
given to him, the Directors would give him an opportunity
of being heard in connection with the matter.
The Directors having heard the terms of Mr. Robinson's
appointment decided that he was clearly entitled to one
month's notice of the proposed reduction and the
Secretary was instructed to send it to him so that
the reduction would take effect as from 31st July 1935.
The Directors also agreed to hear Mr. Robinson at their
next meeting.


A letter from Miss Maureen Delaney was read thanking the
Directors for allowing her to remain in the States until
20th July 1935.


An estimate by Mr. A. H. Scott, Electrical Engineer, for the
necessary electrical work in the vestibule was read.
This estimate had been examined by Mr. U. Wright who
considered it very reasonable, the total amount being
£12=10=0. The Board accepted the estimate and
approved of the expenditure.


A letter from Messrs. Whitney, Moore & Keller was read regarding
the investments at present standing in the names of Mr. G. H.
Tulloch and Mr. Lennox Robinson and the following resolution
proposed by Mr. W. B. Yeats and seconded by Dr. Starkie


Page 115

was passed:- "That the following investments of the National
Theatre Society Ltd. at present standing in the joint names
of G. H. Tulloch and Lennox Robinson Esquires, be
transferred into the name of the National Theatre Society Limited:-
£500 5% First National Loan, £500 5% Second National
Loan, £500 41/2% Third National Loan, £3000 41/2%
Land Bonds, and that Messrs. Whitney, Moore & Keller be
instructed to carry out the transfer."


It was decided that Mr. Macnamara should see Mr. Kernoff with
a view to getting from him designs for new scenes for Acts
2 and 3 of "The Plough and the Stars".


The plays to follow "The Silver Tassie" were selected as follows:-
"Days Without End", "The Doctor's Dilemma" or "John Bull's
Other Island", "Parnell of Avondale". The dates were not
definitely fixed in view of the possibility of "The Silver
Tassie" playing for a fortnight.


The Secretary reported that the Corporation authorities
had informed him that they considered it necessary that
a proper emergency exit be provided from the
dressing rooms and that one iron ladder be fixed on
the wall down in to old Abbey Street.
The Board instructed the Secretary to ask Mr. Ml. Scott
to report on the matter.



Page 116

The Secretary reported on an interview he had had with Mr.
Robert Macleod, Editor of the Library Review, Glasgow. Mr.
Macleod had suggested that the Company might play in
the Alhambra Theatre, Glasgow and expressed the opinion
that good business could be done there for two weeks as
it was twenty years since the last visit of the Abbey Co.
He also suggested that Edinburgh might be included
and that a visit to that city would also be profitable.
The Secretary was instructed to communicate with the
Manager of the Glasgow theatre and report the results.


Three schemes of decoration for the Vestibule were
submitted by Mr. Ml. Scott and Scheme No. 1 was
selected by the Board as the most suitable.


The Board then adjourned until Friday, 5th July.


W. B. Yeats
5 July 1935.



Page 117

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre
Society Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Friday,
5th July 1935, at 5.30 p.m.


Present: Mr. W. B. Yeats in the chair,
Dr. Walter Starkie, Senator E. Blythe, Mr.
Brinsley Macnamara, Mr. F. R. Higgins.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


A cable from Mr. Barry Fitzgerald was read asking if the Directors
would agree to his postponing his departure from the States until
20th July.


As Mr. Macnamara had already authorised the Secretary to
reply in the affirmative, this reply was approved of by the
Board.


A letter from Mr. Sean O'Casey was read expressing his pleasure
at hearing that "The Silver Tassie" was to be produced in the
Abbey and wishing the Theatre a very successful season.


It was decided that the sum of £3 be paid to Miss Jill Noone
Thomond, Sligo for two gentleman's suits sent by her to the Theatre.


Mr. Arthur Shields was interviewed and a design for Act II of
"The Silver Tassie" submitted by Mr. McGonigle was considered.



Page 118

per week fair remuneration for the work.
The Board considered Mr. Robinson's statement and decided
to increase the amount from £4 to £4-10-0 per week for
the period involved. Mr. Robinson was informed of this
decision and thanked the Directors.


It was decided that Messrs. Craig Gardners be requested to
audit the accounts of the American Tour just concluded


Arising out of the statement made by Mr. Arthur Shields
that he was not anxious to continue as Producer for any
considerable time, Mr. Yeats mentioned a Mr. Hugh
Hunt who had written to him offering himself for
consideration as a Producer. After some discussion
it was decided to hold a special meeting of the Board
on Monday, 8th July and to then discuss the question
of future Production.


The Board then examined specimen seats which had
been re-upholstered by Messrs. Hilton who quoted
the following prices:- Tip-up seats @ 13/6 each,
Bench seats @ 10/= each.
It was decided that the Directors would consider the matter
at their meeting on Monday 8th July.


The Board then adjourned until 8th July 1935.


W. B. Yeats
12-7-35



Page 119

Minutes of a Special Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre
Society Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Monday,
8th July 1935, at 5.30 p.m.


Present: W. B. Yeats in the chair,
Dr. Walter Starkie, Senator E. Blythe, Mr. Brinsley
Macnamara, Mr. F. R. Higgins.


This special meeting had been called to consider the
question of Production.


Mr. Higgins in opening the discussion said that in view
of Mr. Arthur Shields' unwillingness to continue after
the production of The Silver Tassie it would be necessary to
procure some other Producer. Mr. Higgins stated that in his
opinion the Players were not properly disciplined and that
they should be under the control of the Producer.


Mr. Macnamara agreed with this opinion and emphasised
the fact that what was needed was a Producer who would
control the Players. He considered that this need could
only be supplied by engaging an outside Producer,
and he said that Mr. Arthur Shields had also definitely
expressed this opinion.


Mr. Yeats then asked the Board to consider the engagement
of a Mr. Hugh Hunt who had written to him from London.
Mr. Hunt stated that he was a past president of the Oxford
University Dramatic Society, that he had produced for


Page 120

six months at Nugent Monck's theatre at Norwich. Since then he
had been the permanent producer to the Croydon Repertory Theatre
and had produced "King Lear" "Children in Uniform" and "Othello" at
the Westminster Theatre. He had produced several Irish plays at
Croydon, including "The Playboy of the Western World".


It was decided that Mr. Hunt be invited to interview the
Board on Friday, 12th July at 5.30 p.m. or if not on that
day, on the earliest day possible.


The question of additional stage lighting if the apron were
used was then considered and it was decided that Mr. U.
Wright should be interviewed at the next meeting in order
that he might give an estimate of the additional
lighting necessary and of the probable cost.


An estimate submitted by Messrs. Hilton for re-upholstering
the seats in the auditorium was considered and it was
decided to authorise Messrs. Hilton to carry out the work
in the Stalls and the Pit, the prices to be 13/6 each
per Stalls seat and 10/= each per Pit seat.


The Board then adjourned until Friday, 12th July 1935.


W. B. Yeats
12-7-35



Page 121

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre
Society Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin on Friday,
12th July 1935, at 5.30 p.m.


Present: Mr. W. B. Yeats in the chair,
Dr. Walter Starkie, Senator E. Blythe, Mr. Brinsley
Macnamara, Mr. F. R. Higgins.


The minutes of the meeting held on Friday, 5th July and of
the special meeting held on Monday, 8th July were read and
signed.


The Directors interviewed Mr. Hugh Hunt who gave them particulars
of his work as Producer at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich
and at the Croydon Repertory Theatre. He submitted designs
and photos of some of his productions including Ghosts,
Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Lear, The Rivals.
After some consideration the Directors to offer Mr. Hunt an
engagement for three months at £10 per week and Mr. Hunt
agreed to these terms. It was arranged that Mr. Hunt should
commence on Monday August 19th and that for the first couple
of weeks he should see the performances in order to get some
knowledge of the personnel of the Company and the capabilities
of the various players. It was also decided that Mr. Hunt should
submit a list of plays he had already produced so that the
Directors could select one for his first production.



Page 122

Mr. Maurice McGonigle was interviewed by the Board and discussed
with them his designs for The Silver Tassie. It was decided that
he should endeavour to get a student to do the necessary painting
at a fee of five pound per week.


It was decided that four spotlights be erected on the Balcony.
Mr. U. Wright gave the approximate cost as £18, four dimmers
costing £8 and the wiring about £10.


A letter was read from the Manager, Theatre Royal Waterford, asking
if a date could be booked there for the autumn. The Board decided
to consider the matter at a later date.


In reply to an enquiry from Mr. [Andrew] MacMaster the Secretary was
instructed to say that the Theatre would not be available during the
autumn or winter.


Letters were read from the Manager, Glasgow Alhambra and from
the Booking Agent in London enquiring as to the possibility of the
Company being booked for a visit during the Autumn. It was
decided that no visit could be arranged for a date earlier
than next Spring. It was also decided that a visit to Edinburgh
suggested in a letter from Mr. R. D. Macleod could not be undertaken
until next Spring.


A letter was read from the Director of the Dublin Broadcasting Station
suggesting that they might take a broadcast during Horse Show Week.
The Directors decided to consider the matter later.


The debt due by the Gaelic Players to E.S.B. for current
used in the Peacock Theatre for the six months from 1st October
1934 to 31st March 1935 was considered and it was decided


Page 123

not to move in the matter in the hope that the Gaelic Players would
soon be in a position to pay the amount due.


A pattern of a material for the re-upholstering of the seats in the
Auditorium was submitted by Messrs. Hilton and was approved of.
It was also decided that the back of the Stalls seats be
remodelled at cost of sixpence each.


It was decided that the morning rehearsals should commence
at 11 a.m. and continue for as long as required.


It was decided that estimates be obtained for new uniform
coats and caps for the Ticket Checkers.


The question of advertising in a new publication called
The Dublin Diary was considered and it was decided not to
advertise.


The Board then adjourned until Friday, 19th inst.


W. B. Yeats
19-7-35.



Page 124

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre
Society Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin on Friday,
19th July 1935 at 5.30 p.m.


Present: Mr. W. B. Yeats in the chair,
Dr. Richard Hayes, Senator E. Blythe, Mr. Brinsley
Macnamara, Mr. F. R. Higgins.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


The following Players were jointly interviewed by the Directors:-
the Misses Crowe and Craig, Messrs. Arthur Shields, F. J. McCormick,
M. J. Dolan, P. J. Carolan, Denis O'Dea.


Mr. Yeats pointed out the difficulty of running the Theatre and
stated that the profits on the American Tour went to pay off
the losses incurred at home. He stated that in order to keep the
Theatre alive it would be necessary to either increase the audience
or to economise on the expenses of the Theatre. The Directors
had considered the reduction of the Players salaries but
had decided that for the present no reductions would be made
and that new contracts for six months would be offered to
the Players who had been on contract. At the end of this period
the position would be reconsidered.


Senator Blythe added that the Directors considered there should
be an infusion of new blood and that new people should
be tried for small parts with a view to enlarging the


Page 125

Company and having a greater variety of Players.


In the discussion which followed, Mr. Shields suggested that more
attention should be given to the work of publicity. He also
suggested that the Directors might consider the possibility of
an English tour taking in such places as Oxford, Cambridge,
London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Manchester.
Mr. Higgins replied that the question of publicity was being
considered and that it was intended to revive the Theatre's
publication "The Arrow".


Mr. McCormick suggested that there might be more co-
operation between the Board and the Players and that the
Players might be encouraged to bring before the Directors any
ideas they might have for the increased success of the Theatre.
Mr. Yeats in reply said that the Board would at all times
welcome any suggestions the Players might have to make
and would give them full consideration. He added that
the question of the School of Acting would be considered
at the next meeting.


It was decided that the Board, at their next meeting, should
interview Mr. U. Wright with reference to his future position in the
Theatre.


The Secretary reported that Mr. McGonigle had informed
him that his fee for the designs of "The Silver Tassie" would be £20,
also that he had procured a student of the School of Art who


Page 126

would do the necessary painting at £5 per week. Mr. McGonigle had
also suggested that the Directors should, if possible, plan new
productions well ahead as such a policy would enable them
to have designs done at less expense than if the work had to
be done at short notice.


The Directors expressed the opinion that the fee charged by Mr.
McGonigle was very reasonable and the Secretary was instructed
to thank him.


An estimate from the Gas Co. for Urns for the Cafe was considered
and it was considered and it was decided to obtain two two-gallon Urns
at £5 each.


Estimates for new uniforms and caps for the Ticket Checkers
obtained from The Kildare House, McBirneys and [Hyanes] were
considered and it was decided to order one coat at £5,
two jackets at £3-7-6 and three caps at 12/6 from
Messrs. [Hyanes].


It was decided that no matinee be given either in Horse Show
week or in the week of The Silver Tassie.


A letter addressed by the Director of Broadcasting to Mr. Arthur
Shields was read, suggesting a radio debate with Mr. J. H.
O'Rourke, formerly a member of the Abbey Co.
It was decided that Mr. Shields should decline the offer.


The Secretary reported that he had been informed by Mr. Ml.
Scott, Architect, that the Corporation would not sanction the
proposed raising of the floor of the Auditorium and that any
new floor would need to be laid on a concrete foundation.



Page 127

Mr. Scott also stated that the present height of the balcony above
the ground floor did not conform with the Corporation
regulations and that this matter would have to be considered
in conjunction with any future plans for the remodelling
of the Balcony.


The salary to be paid to Mr. S. [G]. Little (Edward Levy) for playing
in Bridgehead and The Silver Tassie was fixed at £3-3-0
and Miss Aideen O'Connor's salary was fixed at £2-10-0.
The question of the extra charge of 2/6 per day made by the Irish
Times for inserting the new block in the Theatre's advertisement
was considered and it was decided that Mr. F. R. Higgins
should see the Manager of the paper and discuss the matter with
him.


A letter was read from Mrs. Carey enquiring if she could rent
the Peacock Theatre for a season and it was decided that
the matter be postponed until the question of the School of
Acting had been considered.


The Directors considered a suggestion made by Mr. U. Wright that
25 watt white pearl lamps be substituted in the Auditorium for
the 40 watt amber at present in use. The alteration would mean
a saving of 3d per hour and would brighten the Auditorium.
The Board decided that the suggestion be adopted.


The Board then adjourned until Friday, 26th July.


W. B. Yeats
26-7-35.



Page 128

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Socty.
Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Friday, 26th July 1935 at 5.30 p.m.


Present: Mr. W. B. Yeats in the chair
Senator E. Blythe, Mr. Brinsley Macnamara, Mr. F. R.
Higgins.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


It was decided that the new Players taken on without experience should
be paid from £1 to £1-10-0 per week when playing.


The Secretary reported on an interview which he had had with the
Director of Broadcasting and Mr. John McDonagh who had suggested
various cuts in Act I of The Silver Tassie so as to enable a relay to
be taken from the Theatre performance. The Directors decided
that this would not be done and that the question of a relay
be postponed until the performances of either The Doctors Dilemma
or John Bull's Other Island.


It was decided that in future the curtain should rise at 8.15 p.m.
sharp except in the case of a long play which might necessitate
an earlier start.


The Directors interviewed Mr. U. Wright to whom Mr. Macnamara explained
the difficulty that had been found in reconciling the salary paid to
Mr. Wright with the duties that had to be performed.
Mr. Wright explained that his duties were:- control of all the lighting and
repairs to same in the Abbey & the Peacock, the working out of lighting


Page 129

schemes for all plays produced in the Abbey, and the making out of lighting plots
for the guidance of Mr. O'Malley, attending dress rehearsals on Sundays, taking down
the lighting used in the previous week and setting up for the next week; attending
at night as well as O'Malley, during a heavy show, looking after all repairs
and renewals in the entire building, overseeing the cleaners, looking after lets
in the Peacock and setting up any lighting and staging required.


Mr. Wright further explained that he was formerly a member of the Electrical
Union but had to leave on taking up a position as Assistant Manager with
a firm in the city. The shows in the Theatre were 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
to 5.30 p.m. His salary was £5-10-0 per week plus £2-10-0 a week paid
to him when he acted.


The Directors considered Mr. Wrights statement and after some discussion it
was proposed by Mr. F. R. Higgins, seconded by Mr. Brinsley Macnamara and
passed: That Mr. Wright be employed as a fulltime electrician in the Theatre
that he do the work at night instead of Mr. O'Malley and that his hours
be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 7.30 p.m. until the performance
is over.


It was decided that the Contracts with the Players should run from
1st July 1935 to 31st Dec. 1935.


It was decided that the question of the School of Acting be adjourned
until Mr. Robinson would be able to attend, probably at the next meeting.


A letter from Mr. H. Fine, Publicity Agent was read suggesting a salary of
£4-10-0 per week for complete publicity ot alternatively three Guineas a
week for Press Publicity.


The Board agreed that before coming to any decision in the matter, Senator
Blythe should see Lord Longford and enquire if there was any objection to the


Page 130

Abbey employing Mr. Fine.


It was decided that a short advertisement of the Play Competition should be
printed in the Programme. It was also decided that an offer by Messrs.
Hilton of £8 per 13 weeks for a full page and £4 for a half page advertisement
be rejected.


The question of the Free List was discussed and it was decided that all
accredited representatives of the Press should be admitted free and that
the admission of free-lance journalists and others should be left to
the discretion of the Secretary.


It was decided that the Annual General Meeting of the Society should be
held on Friday the 9th August.


Mr. Higgins informed the Board that he had interviewed Mr. Symington of the
Irish Times who explained that his paper made it a rule to charge extra
for a display advertisement on the leader page. He promised however, in
view of the fact that the other papers did not make any extra charge to
the Theatre for the insertion of the new block, to have the matter further
considered and to notify Mr. Higgins at a later date of the decision come to.


Mr. Higgins raised the question of the Board altering decisions already
come to and expressed the opinion that all decisions on questions
of policy or expenditure should appear in the Minutes in the form
of resolutions duly proposed, seconded and passed. Then, if at
a later date the Board wished to alter any of these decisions a
motion rescinding the previous resolution should be passed. This
procedure would ensure the legality of decisions come to by the Board.
The Directors agreed that in general this practice should be followed.
The Board then adjourned until Friday 2nd August.



Page 131

Mr. Yeats read a letter he had received from Mr. Hugh Hunt suggesting that the
Directors might select one of the following plays for his first production:-
The Three Sisters, Ghosts, The Rivals, Faustus by Marlowe.


It was decided that Marlowe's Faustus be selected for Mr. Hunt's first
production and that The Toy Cart or Hoppla be suggested to him for his
second production.


The Board then adjourned until Friday, 2nd August.


W. B. Yeats
2-8-35.



Page 132

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society Ltd.
held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, at 5.30 p.m. on Friday, 2nd August 1935.


Present: Mr. W. B. Yeats in the chair
Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr. Walter Starkie, Senator Blythe,
Mr. Brinsley Macnamara, Mr. F. R.
Higgins.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


Arising out of the Minutes Senator Blythe stated that he had spoken to
Lord Longford who raised no objection to Mr. Fine being employed
by the Directors as a Publicity Agent. He added that Lord Longford
had given no indication of his opinion of Mr. Fine's
capabilities.


Mr. Robinson stated that Mr. T. J. Robinson had been appointed by
the Board to deal with the publicity and he asked why it
was necessary to employ Mr. Fine in addition at £4-10-0
per week. After some discussion it was decided that the
matter be postponed.


Mr. Robinson read a letter he had received from Mr. Bullock of the Belfast
Station of the B.B.C. asking if the Theatre were anxious to resume broadcasting
from Belfast.


Mr. Macnamara said he was of opinion that the Monday visits to Belfast
with the consequent closing of the Theatre for that particular night was bad
for the general business. Mr. Robinson pointed out that these broadcasts
had been a source of considerable revenue to the Theatre, the profit on


Page 133

six given during the financial year Feb. 1934 to Feb. 1935 amounting to £202-5-0.
Mr. Yeats said he would like to have details of the profit on each broadcast and
further consideration of the matter was postponed until the next meeting when the
Secretary would give the details required.


Mr. Higgins raised the question of the plays to be produced by Mr. Hunt
and enquired if he was only engaged to produce certain new plays as
Mr. Higgins was under the impression that the engagement was as general
producer for the three months that Mr. Hunt was here. If another producer
were to be employed in addition to Mr. Hunt who would receive £10 per week
it would mean a very heavy expenditure.


Mr. Higgins suggested that Mr. Hunt should be commissioned to produce during
his stay some of the following plays:- "The Playboy" done in modernistic style
"The Tinkers Wedding", "The Miser", "The Doctor in Spite of Himself", "The Phoenix and the
Cockatoos", "The Saint in a Hurry", "One Fine Day", "Parnell of Avondale", "The White
Cockade".


Mr. Macnamara considered that the engagement of Mr. Hunt was an
experiment and that he should be responsible for all the plays put on
during his engagement.


Mr. Robinson stated that if another producer were engaged for plays done
in the week between Mr. Hunt's productions the Theatre would be
paying altogether too much money for this work.


Mr. Yeats said it was essential that one good production of an
Irish work should be done by Mr. Hunt.


After some further discussion it was proposed by Mr. Robinson,
seconded by Dr. Starkie and passed:- "That Mr. Hunt be responsible


Page 134

for all productions during his three months engagement, with
Arthur Shields as Assistant Producer."


A letter from Mr. U. Wright was read asking if, in view of the new
arrangement of his duties, he would still be able to increase his
salary by occasional acting.


The Secretary was instructed to inform Mr. Wright that he would still
be able to act when the part did not interfere with his duties as
Electrician.


The question of the plays for Cork on Oct. 21st and Belfast on Nov. 11th and
also the plays and Players for Dublin during these weeks was postponed
until after Mr. Hunt's arrival on the 19th August.


The Secretary was instructed to discharge the debt due to the E.S.B.
for current used in the Peacock Theatre since 1st October 1934, the major
part of the amount being due by the Gaelic Players.


A letter was read from Messrs. Craig Gardner & Co. giving details of the
sums due to the Players as their share of the profits of the American
Tour. The Secretary was authorised to pay these sums and also
the sum of £20 to Craig Gardner & Co. as audit fee.


A letter from Mr. M. J. McGuinness formerly Pit Ticket Checker was read
and also the reply to same issued by the Secretary. The Board
decided that no further reply was necessary.


A letter from Mrs. Carey was read regarding the renting of the Peacock
Theatre for four weeks for a Dramatic School and also renting the
Abbey for a lecture on a Sunday night. The Board decided that
the rent of the Peacock be £8 per week and the charge for the
Abbey be £10-10-0.



Page 135

Mr. Robinson was selected as reader of plays for August.


It was agreed that a salary of £2-10-0 be paid to Miss M. Madden
for playing in "The Plough and the Stars".


It was decided that invitations for the opening night of "The Silver
Tassie" be issued to all the Government Ministers and also
to certain members of the Diplomatic Corps and others
selected by Mr. Robinson and Senator Blythe.


The question of re-opening the School of Acting was considered and
it was decided that Mr. Dolan's services would not be required. The
Secretary was instructed to notify him that the retaining fee
of £2 per week at present being paid to him would cease as
from the 17th August 1935.


It was proposed by Senator Blythe, seconded by Dr. Starkie and
passed:- "That the School of Acting be re-opened and that a session
should run from October to Christmas, the fee for the session
to be £4 paid in advance, and that the teaching of the
classes be offered to Miss Ria Mooney at a rate of ten
Shillings per class."


The Board then adjourned until Friday, 9th August 1935.


Yours
W. B. Yeats



Page 136

Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre
Society Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin on Friday
9th August 1935. at 6 p.m.


Present: W. B. Yeats in the chair
Lennox Robinson, Senator Blythe, Brinsley
Macnamara, F. R.
Higgins.


The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.


It was proposed by Mr. Lennox Robinson seconded by
Mr. F. R. Higgins and passed "That the Directors Report
and Statement of Accounts for the year ending 28th
February 1935 be approved."


The meeting then adjourned until 6.30 p.m. to enable
the Annual General Meeting of the Society to be held.


On resuming the Secretary read a letter from Mr. Arthur
Shields stating that he had been advised by his doctor
that he should for about six months confine himself
to acting as his work on the American Tour had been very
heavy and as a result he was very rundown. Mr. Shields
reminded the Directors that he had at an interview,
requested that they should relieve him of work as
Producer as soon as The Silver Tassie went on.



Page 137

After some discussion it was proposed by Mr. F. R. Higgins, seconded
by Senator Blythe and passed:- "That Mr. Shield at the end of the
week of The Silver Tassie be given four weeks holidays at
£10 per week and that for this period Mr. M. J. Dolan
be asked to do the work of Producer at a payment of
£7-10-0 per week."


A letter was read from the Tattoo Committee, Department
of Defence, enquiring if certain costumes of 1798 and
1867 could be hired from the Theatre.
As such costumes are not in stock the Secretary was instructed
to refer them to P. J. Bourke, Costumier.


A letter was read from Mr. Hugh Hunt agreeing to do "Faustus"
as his first production and suggesting "The Toy Cart" as a
second production in preference to Hoppla which
would be difficult to stage.


After consideration it was decided that Mr. Hunt be asked
to suggest some other Toller play and also a play by
Eugene O'Neill.


A letter was read from Mr. M. J. McGuinness complaining that
no unemployment or Health cards had been stamped for
him whilst in the employment of the Theatre. The Secretary
was instructed to enquire if Mr. McGuinness had other employment
while working in the Theatre.


The recommendation of the Sub-Committee with reference
to Mr. Eric Gorman's salary was referred to by Mr. F. R.


Page 138

Higgins who stated that the last Secretary, Mr. Perrin
had a larger salary than Mr. Gorman and that he (Mr.
Higgins would propose an increase of £50 per year in
Mr. Gorman's salary.


Mr. Robinson stated that Mr. Gorman was engaged at a lower
salary than Mr. Perrin but that at the time it was hoped
the Directors at a later date would be able to increase
it. He was all in favour of the increase suggested by
Mr. Higgins.


Senator Blythe said he would like to defer the increase
and after some further discussion it was proposed
by Mr. F. R. Higgins seconded by Mr. Lennox Robinson and
passed:- "That an increase of £50 per annum be made in the
salary payable to Mr. Eric Gorman."


The Secretary gave particulars of the profits made on
six broadcasts made in Belfast during 1934 and after some
consideration the Board decided that Senator Blythe and
Mr. Brinsley Macnamara should go in to the question of future
broadcasts in relation to the closing of the Theatre for the
night on which the Company would be in Belfast.


A question of payment to Mr. F. J. McCormick of £26
per. an. for taking photos of the sets of new productions
was considered and the Board decided that for such work
in future Mr. McCormick should be offered a fee of 10/6
per set photographed, this payment to cover all expenses
including cost of plates, developing and printing.



Page 139

It was decided that The Silver Tassie should not run for
longer than one week and that the selection of either "John Bull's
Other Island" or "The Doctor's Dilemma" as the play to follow
be left to Mr. Dolan as changes of cast would be necessary
owing to the absence of Mr. A. Shields and Mr. E. Gorman.
The Board were of the opinion that it was undesirable to run
a play for more than one week except in very exceptional
circumstances.


Ernest Blythe
16/8/35.



Minutes of a Special Meeting of the Directors held
in the Abbey Theatre on Wednesday 14th August 1935. at 5.30 p.m.


Present: Mr. Lennox Robinson (in the chair), Mr. F. R. Higgins
Mr. Brinsley Macnamara. An apology was received from
Mr. E. Blythe.


Mr. Macnamara stated that he objected to the first few
minutes of Act II of the Silver Tassie as in his opinion
the music suggested a travesty of portions of the liturgy
of the Catholic Church.


Mr. Higgins said that, while he would be opposed to giving
way to popular clamour, he would be entirely against
anything which might offend the religious susceptibilities
of any portion of the audience.


Mr. Robinson was of opinion that, the play having been
accepted, it ought to be produced as written.



Page 140

After discussion it was proposed by Mr. Macnamara,
seconded by Mr. Higgins and passed: Mr. Robinson dissenting "That the beginning
of Act II of The Silver Tassie be spoken and not chanted.


The meeting then adjourned.


Ernest Blythe
16/8/35.


16th Aug. 1935. Meeting of Directors held at the Abbey Theatre
at 5.30 p.m.


Present. Senator E. Blythe (in the chair), Messrs. F. R. Higgins, B.
McNamara & L. Robinson.


Minutes. The Minutes of the Meeting on the 9th Aug. 1935 were
read, confirmed and signed.
The Minutes of the Special Meeting on the 14th Aug.
1935 were read, confirmed as amended and signed.


Photos of new sets. The Secretary reported that Mr. F. J. McCormick had
informed him that he did not wish to continue the
photographic work in connection with new productions.
The Secretary was instructed to invite tenders from a
number of photographic firms for doing this work.


Mr. Hunt. A letter from Mr. Hugh Hunt dated 14th Aug. was
considered. It was decided to leave the decision
as to plays to follow "Faustus" till Mr. Hunt
arrived. Scene Painter. (?) On the motion of Mr. Robinson,
seconded by Mr. Higgins, it was decided to engage
the lady scene-painter recommended by Mr. Hunt, [sec]


Page 141

to make further enquiries and report.


Mr. Dolan as Stage Manager. It was agreed that Mr. M. J. Dolan should act
as Stage Manager as well as Producer during
Mr. Shield's absence and receive an extra 10/- per
week, making his salary £10 in all. Mr. Carolan
to continue as Assistant Stage Manager.


Fire Drill & Extinguishers.
It was proposed by Mr. Robinson, seconded by Mr.
McNamara and passed that Fire Drill should be carried
out once per month. The Secretary was instructed to
ascertain whether there is a sufficient number of
Mimimax Extinguishers in the Theatre and, if not, the
cost of supplying those necessary, also whether any
allowance on Fire Insurance premium would be
made if additional extinguishers were installed.


Box Office Curtains. Mr. Scott's estimate and samples for curtains in
the Box Office were approved and it was ordered
that they be fitted.


Pictures. Mr. Scott's letter with reference to the hanging
of the pictures in the Vestibule was considered
and the Secretary was directed to instruct him
to proceed with the secret hanging of the pictures.


Box Office Seats. The Secretary was instructed to arrange for
seating of a suitable height in the Box Office by
means either of higher stools or a false floor.


Brinsley MacNamara
23rd August 1935



Page 142

23rd Aug. 1935. Meeting of Directors held at the Abbey Theatre
at 5.30 p.m.


Present. Mr. Brinsley MacNamara (in the chair), Messrs. F. R.
Higgins and Lennox Robinson.


Minutes. The Minutes of the Meeting on the 16th August
1935 were read, confirmed and signed.


Arising out of the Minutes the Secretary reported
that Mr. Scott was obtaining curtains for the Box Office
and that a raised floor had been put in. Vestibule Pictures. Mr. Scott
wished to know if the position of the pictures in the
had been finally decided before he proceeded
with the rehanging. It was decided that no change
would be made, but that the portrait of Miss Moira
O'Neill should be reframed.


Stair Carpet. It was decided that Mr. Scott be instructed to
obtain a new carpet for the stairs to the Balcony.


Fire Extinguishers. The Secretary having reported as to the number of
Fire Hydrants and Extinguishers in the Theatre
and pointed out that the equipment had recently
been considered by the Corporation Officials in
connection with permission for smoking in the Theatre,
it was decided not to increase the number of
extinguishers.


Fire Drill. The Secretary was instructed to ask Mr. P. J.
Carolan to take charge of the monthly fire drill.


Mr. McGuinness. The Secretary reported that he had been unable


Page 143

to obtain any definite information on the question of whether
Mr. McGuinness had or had not been otherwise employed
while in the service of the Theatre; but that there was
a general impression that at one time he had
been an Insurance Agent. The Secretary hoped to
obtain further information that evening from Mr. Allgood
of the Unemployment Department. A letter from
Mr. McGuinness was read and the matter was
postponed for further enquiries from Mr. Allgood
and Mr. Robbins.


Producer. It was proposed by Mr. Higgins, seconded by
Mr. Robinson and passed that the producer be
in attendance at each meeting to report.


Interview with Mr. Hunt. Mr. Hugh Hunt was interviewed. Future plans
were discussed and it was decided that his
first production should be "Faustus" on 23rd September.
It was arranged that he should submit estimates of
the probable cost of costumes. He stated that he could
obtain masks for the Seven Deadly Sins at 30/- each
and one for Mephistopheles at about £2/-/-. On the
motion of Mr. Robinson, seconded by Mr. MacNamara
he was authorised to purchase these masks. Mr. Hunt
reported that Miss Tanya Moiseiwitch, the lady
scene painter, would arrive in Dublin on Wednesday
the 28th August. It was arranged that Mr. Hunt should
try out all the non-contract players and also those


Page 144

whom the Directors had picked out at the
auditions in June.


Mr. M. J. Dolan. Mr. M. J. Dolan was interviewed and reported
that "Grogan and the Ferret" and "Far Off Hills"
were ready for production. Mr. Dolan asked for
a clarification of his position vis-a-vis Mr. Hunt.
The Chairman explained that Mr. Dolan was
responsible for the production of those plays which had
been entrusted to him, but that Mr. Hunt might
assist by way of suggestions as to 'sets' etc.
Mr. Dolan having protested against interference
with him in his capacity of Producer, it was
ordered on the motion of Mr. Higgins, seconded by
Mr. MacNamara, that a motion defining the position
be posted in the Green Room and the Back Stage.


School of Acting. The secretary read a telegram from Miss Ria
Mooney agreeing to take charge of the School of
Acting.


Peacock Theatre. The Secretary was authorised to rent the Peacock
Theatre to the Keating Branch of the Gaelic League
for the second week in October.


Photographs. Estimates for photographing "sets" were
considered and on the motion of Mr. MacNamara,
seconded by Mr. Higgins, the Estimate of Mr. H. W.
Lewis, 108 St. Stephens Green of 6/6 per photograph
was accepted.



Page 145

Ash Trays in Balcony. The Secretary raised the question of danger
from smoking in the Balcony. He was instructed
to obtain Ash Trays.


Miss O'Connor and Mr. O'Gorman. It was agreed that Miss Aideen O'Connor and
Mr. W. O'Gorman's salaries should continue at
the same rate as before the American Tour, namely
£3/10/- and £3/15/- respectively.


Mr. O'Higgins raised the question of applications
for reemployment from actors who previously
been with the Company. It was agreed to leave
all such applications to Mr. Hunt to be dealt
with on their merits.


Those Directors present signed a specimen
Signature Card for the Bank.


Lost cheque. The Secretary reported that Mr. Barry Fitzgerald
had lost his cheque for share of profits of
the American Tour and that the cheque had
been stopped at the Bank. It was decided to
wait a fortnight before issuing a duplicate
cheque.


Accounts. Payment of Accounts of Messrs. Hilton Bros and
H. E. Harrison was postponed. The Secretary to report
to next meeting the position as regards Bank
Balance.


Dr. Larchet. The Directors noted Dr. Larchet's letter stating
that he would be absent from Dublin for about a
fortnight.



Page 146


Page 147

to his organisation of the fire drill.


Cheques Drawn. On the proposal of the Chairman it was ordered
that cheques be drawn in payment of the Accounts
of Hilton Bros. £208/18/- and H. E. Anderson £24/14/3, for
new seating in the auditorium and electrical fittings
respectively.


Mr. Hunt. Mr. Hugh Hunt appeared to report. He stated that
he had tested all the non-contract players and
found them weak in verse-speaking. He had not yet
succeeded in finding suitable actors to take the
parts of Faustus and Mephistopheles and feared he
could not have 'Dr. Faustus' ready for the 23rd Sept.


Mr. M. J. Dolan. Mr. M. J. Dolan was then called into consultation
as to the future programme and after discussion
the following was agreed upon.


Programme. 9th September. Look at the Heffernans.
16th do. Maurice Harte and The Deuce of Jacks.
23rd do. Days Without End.
30th do. The Village Wooing & Candida (Mr. Hunt)
7th October. The Cat and the Moon and The of Mary Doyle.
14th do. Dr. Faustus (Mr. Hunt)
21 do. Parnell of Avondale.
Mr. Hunt and Mr. Dolan to consult with Mr. F. J.
McCormick as to whether he could cope with Dr. Faustus
and Parnell in successive weeks.


Cork. It was decided that "Autumn Fire" should be


Page 148

one of the plays to be taken to Cork on Oct. 21st
as the Manager of the Cork Opera House had specially
asked for this play.


Mr. Dolan was authorised to obtain a new 'set'
for "The Duece of Jacks".


Miss Moiseiwitsch. Miss Moiseiwitsch was interviewed. She showed
her designs for 'set' and costumes for "The Deuce
of Jacks". She was authorised to proceed with the
costumes, cutting up if necessary any existing
costumes in the wardrobe.


Players interviewed. At their own request the following players were
jointly interviewed by the Directors - Miss May Craig,
Miss Eileen Crowe, Miss Maureen Delaney, Messrs. P. J.
Carolan, M. J. Dolan, F. J. McCormick, A. Shields, W.
Shields and D. O'Dea.


Mr. McCormick said that they wished to protest
against the statement by Mr. Brinsley MacNamara
which appeared in the press on the 29th inst. in
as far as it referred to the players. They considered
that the statement was not true. The players had no
knowledge that they had any power to secure
alterations in the text of a play. Personally he had
disliked appearing in "The Silver Tassie"; but had
done so out of loyalty to the theatre. It was
completely false to say that the players had
a special reverence for Sean O'Casey's plays


Mr. McCormick states
that what he would like to say
was that as a catholic
[(?)]he would not have
played in the Silver
Tassie in the part he did.
R. H.
W. B. Y.



Page 149

Miss Eileen Crowe thought the Directors ought to
make a public statement that the players had no
power to alter the text of plays. She also considered
that a public apology was due from Mr. MacNamara.


Mr. MacNamara expressed regret that it should
have been necessary to involve the players in his
statement; but he felt that the particular statement
which he had made was absolutely necessary in
order to save the theatre. He repeated his statement
as to the steps which he had taken to secure
modifications before the play was produced and
added that the players must have realised that
the play would be offensive.


Mr. Carolan said that the subject of discussion
was not the merits of the play, but Mr. MacNamara
press statement.


Mr. MacNamara said he stood by his statement.
Not a word had been cut in the play.


Mr. A. Shields, as producer, said this was not
correct, as he could show where cuts had been
made. He said the players had no preference for
one author over another.


Mr. W. Shields said that what they resented was
the attempt which they considered had been made
to throw the responsibility for the play upon the
players.



Page 150

The Chairman, Mr. Higgins and Dr. Starkie expressed
their agreement that the Board must bear the full
responsibility for the plays produced.


Miss Crowe mentioned that she had lost a part some
years ago because she protested against some of the
words and had not been given another part for a
considerable time afterwards.


Mr. MacNamara said that his great objection had been
to the use of the chant.


Mr. Higgins pointed out that the question of the chant
had been settled at the meeting on the 14th inst. If
Mr. MacNamara had any complaint to make about
the players he should have made it at that meeting.


The Chairman stated that (?) Mr.
McNamara had expressed the opinion to him that
everything in the play could be defended except the
chant.


Mr. MacNamara said he thought that, if the
chant was dropped, the words would be dropped
also.


The Chairman expressed the opinion that Mr.
MacNamara's statement in the press was grossly
unfair and unjust to the players.


Mr. McCormick pressed for a definite statement
clarifying the future position of the players.


The Chairman said Mr. MacNamara had agreed to


Page 151

the production of "The Silver Tassie" and should therefore
be prepared to stand by it.


Mr. MacNamara said he had expressed disapproval
of the proposal to produce "Within the Gates"; but
had expressed neither approval nor disapproval
of "The Silver Tassie" though he disliked the play.


Mr. McCormick stated that he objected in principle to
censorship of plays by the players, but if they were
to be held responsible, he personally would in future
decline to act in any play to which in his opinion
objection might be taken.


The Chairman assured Mr. McCormick that if
a player objected to a part it would not be forced
upon him, and he would not subsequently be
penalised for his action.


The players stated that they would feel obliged
to issue a public statement if the Directors did
not do so. They were prepared for outside criticism
(?) but the matter became very serious when
they were publically criticised by one of the
Directors.


Mr. Starkie said that the Board must uphold
the players.


The players then withdrew with the exception of
Mr. A. Shields, who stated that Mr. MacNamara's
objections were first mentioned to him by Mr. Gorman


Page 152

when the play had been in rehearsal for about two weeks. He
consulted the musician who was also training the players and
was assured that the music was not similar to that used
in the service of the church. He subsequently consulted Dr.
Larchet, who said that a skilled musician would be able
to detect a similarity in one or two phrases, but that
the ordinary listener would notice no resemblance. He
later arranged a special rehearsal to afford the Directors
an opportunity of judging for themselves; but none of them
attended.


Mr. Shields then withdrew.


Directors' discussion.
Mr. MacNamara stated that the necessity for his statement
to the press was rushed upon him. When asked for a
statement he enquired whether any other Directors had
made statements and was informed that Dr. Starkie
and Mr. Higgins had done so, their statements were
read to him over the phone. He considered that these
statements were insufficient, but that, as they had been
made, he was at liberty to make one also. He felt that
the statement he had made was necessary in
order to avert a great danger. He considered that
Mr. Shields should have come and consulted him. He
was a busy man with no time to attend rehearsals.


Mr. Higgins said Mr. MacNamara should not have
accepted a journalist's version of what he (Mr. Higgins)
had said. He had as a matter of fact said he could


Page 153

make no statement as a Director, but had expressed
the personal opinion that many criticisms of the theatre
were due to ignorance. He was not in agreement with
Mr. MacNamara's attitude. He had not heard of the
special rehearsal until after it had taken place.
He considered Mr. MacNamara's actions in revealing
what had occurred at Board Meetings very treacherous
and entirely disassociated himself from it. He pointed
out that the fact that Mr. MacNamara had written
his statement to the press showed deliberation.


Mr. McNamara said he was compelled to make a
statement.


The Chairman said that in his opinion such a
statement should have been followed by Mr.
MacNamara's resignation. He considered the
statement treacherous and false.


Mr. McNamara suggested that the Chairman should
express these views in a letter to the press, but
The Chairman declined to enter into a press controversy.


Mr. Robinson considered Mr. McNamara had not
satisfactorily explained why he did not attend
the special rehearsal. He drew attention to the Resolution
of the Board on the 8th April 1935 that statements
to the press should be made only through the
Secretary after approval by the Board. In view of


Page 154

this resolution Dr. Starkie's and Mr. Higgins'
statements, though very mild, ought not to have
been made. Mr. McNamara's statement however
disclosed what took place at meetings of the Board
and thus made free discussion at future meetings
impossible. He was not prepared to remain a member
of the Board if Mr. MacNamara continued a Director.
He moved that Mr. MacNamara be asked to tender
his resignation. No seconder was forthcoming.


Mr. MacNamara said he would not resign.


Mr. Higgins said Mr. MacNamara had committed a
breach of confidence which made the future
conduct of business impossible as long as he remained
a member of the Board.


The Chairman and Dr. Starkie concurred in
Mr. Higgins opinion.


Dr. Hayes thought the matter was not quite as
serious as that, but considered Mr. MacNamara
had committed a lamentable indiscretion.


The Chairman asked Mr. McNamara to reconsider
his decision not to resign.


Mr. McNamara refused, but said if the Directors
would put on "The Silver Tassie" for another week
he would resign. He declined to admit that he
had even committed an indiscretion.


Statement for Press. The question of the statement to be issued as to


Page 155

the position of the players was then considered. In
view of the lateness of the hour it was decided,
on Mr. Higgins suggestion, to hold a meeting at
5.30 p.m. on 2nd September to deal with this
matter. Dr. Starkie promised to prepare a
draft statement for consideration.


It was agreed to postpone to the meeting
on the 2nd September the remaining items of
business on the agenda.


Mr. Higgins handed the following statement
to the secretary.


I wish to have it recorded on the Minutes of this Board
meeting that I entirely disassociate myself from the
unwarranted and (?) inaccurate statement by Mr. Brinsley
MacNamara as published in the Dublin Newspapers of August
29th 1935; and I also protest against the incorrect
manner in which he introduced my name into that statement.
My disassociation from Mr. MacNamara's action is, mainly
due to my opinion that certain passages in his statement
are breaches of the Board's confidence and therefore
detrimental to the success of a policy for the Theatre as
evolved by Mr. MacNamara and myself.


F. R. Higgins


W. B. Yeats



Page 156

2nd Sept. 1935. Meeting of Directors held at the Abbey Theatre
at 5.30 p.m.


Present. W. B. Yeats (in the chair), Messrs. F. R. Higgins
Brinsley MacNamara and Lennox Robinson and
Dr. R. Hayes and Dr. Walter Starkie.


Apology. An apology was received from Senator E. Blythe.


Minutes. The Minutes of the Meeting of the 30th August
were read. Mr. MacNamara asked that certain words
used by Mr. F. J. McCormick should be inserted in those
Minutes. As there were differences of recollection as to
exactly what Mr. McCormick had said Dr. Hayes spoke
to him on the phone and obtained from him the words
he had used, to the best of his recollection. The words as
reported by Dr. Hayes were inserted in the Minutes,
which were then approved and signed.


Resolution. The following resolution was proposed by Mr.
Lennox Robinson and seconded by Mr. F. R. Higgins
"In the opinion of this Board Mr. Brinsley
MacNamara's statement to the press on August
29th was a grave breach of confidence."


Mr. MacNamara. The Chairman having ruled, as against Mr.
Higgins, that any discussion as to the accuracy or
otherwise of the statement was irrelevant, Mr.
MacNamara stated that he had always resisted efforts
of the press to draw statements from him; but that
he had felt in this case that the occasion


Page 157

demanded such action as he had taken.


The resolution was then passed, Mr. MacNamara dissenting
The Chairman suggested to Mr. MacNamara that, in
view of the resolution just passed, he ought to tendersend his
resignation fromto the Board. He was prepared to wait for
his resignation until Friday the 6th September, after which
he would not accept it, but the Board would take
other measures.


Mr. MacNamara expressed his regret that he had
felt obliged to take the action he did. He had felt that
the position was very dangerous and he still thought
that the step he had taken was a wise one.


The Chairman expressed his surprise that at no
meeting before the production of "The Silver Tassie" had
Mr. MacNamara stated his objections.


Mr. MacNamara said his position was a delicate
one as one of a religious minority on the Board.


The Chairman said Mr. MacNamara's duty had
been to act then. He had no right to wait to
protest till the play had been produced.


Resolution appointing Sub-Committee.
Mr. Lennox Robinson proposed and Dr. Starkie
seconded the following resolution.
"That a Sub-Committee be appointed consisting of
Mr. W. B. Yeats, Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr. Walter Starkie,
Dr. Richard Hayes, Mr. F. R. Higgins and Mr. Ernest
Blythe, with power to add one to its members. That


Page 158

this Sub-Committee be empowered by the Board
to act for the Board till 15th October 1935."


Dr. Hayes suggested that if Mr. MacNamara would
admit the commission of a fault it might be
possible that he might continue a member of the
Board.


Mr. MacNamara asked for two or three days to
consider this suggestion.


Mr. Higgins considered that Mr. MacNamara had
done a grave injury to the Theatre by his action and
that any apology should be made as publicly as the
original statement had been.


Dr. Hayes said this had been his intention when
making the suggestion.


Mr. MacNamara said that he also had so
understood it.


The Chairman said that the resolution before the
meeting was still necessary.


The resolution was then passed

with the addition of "With the power to add one or two members to"

Mr. MacNamara
dissenting.


Mr. MacNamara asked to be allowed to make a
copy of the resolution. This was agreed to and
Mr. MacNamara then withdrew.


W. B. Yeats



Page 159

2nd Sept. 1935. Meeting of Sub-Committee of the Directors held at the
Abbey Theatre at 6.15 p.m.


Present. Mr. W. B. Yeats (in the chair), Mr. F. R. Higgins, Mr. Lennox
Robinson, Dr. Walter Starkie and Dr. Richard Hayes.


Statement for Press. On the motion of the Chairman, seconded by Mr.
Lennox Robinson, the Secretary was directed to send
the following statement to the press.


Mr. Brinsley MacNamara writes in a statement to the press
of August 29th "I was not at any time in favour of the
production of "The Silver Tassie". At no Board Meeting
did Mr. MacNamara state his objections to the production of
this play. There is not one word in the Minutes on this subject.
His protest against the production of the play was only made
when attacks in the press began. Comment seems unnecessary. His
whole statement is an obvious breach of confidence according
to the procedure of all public and private boards. He then
goes on to attack the players for speaking the author's words
as they had been given given them to them. All players are expected to
speak the words that are given to them. All players are expected to
speak the words that are given to them and the charge receives
a touch of comedy precisely because it is made by Mr. MacNamara.
Owing to representations made by him at a recent meeting of the
Board instructions were issued to the Company that no word of
a play's text should be altered or omitted by a player. As
any breach of this regulation would have caused serious
consequences to the player, it is obvious that the Directors of the
Theatre alone are responsible for what is spoken on their stage.
Mr. MacNamara goes on the state that the players in performing
Mr. O'Casey's plays "have shown a reverence for his work which
has not been given to any other author who has ever written
for the Theatre," and this vague sentence means, we suppose, that
they act O'Casey better than they act anyone else. This is a
matter of opinion, but in our opinion our players have played
whatever work has been put into their hands to their utmost
ability.


He complains that our audience for the last ten years
"Has shown a wholly uncritical - - - - almost insane
admiration for the vulgar and worthless plays of Mr. O'Casey." We
do not consider our audience uncritical, and we point out that
it is this audience which has made the reputation of his own
plays.


(Signed)
W. B. Yeats
Walter Starkie
Lennox Robinson
Richard Hayes
F. R. Higgins



Page 160

Alterations in Articles of Association.
Mr. Robinson raised the question of amending the
Articles of Association so as to provide power to expel a
Director if necessary. Mr. Higgins pressed for an increase
in the quorum in view of the enlargement of the
Board. After discussion it was decided to deal with
these matters at the meeting on Friday 6th September.


Mr. McGuinness. The Secretary reported that he had failed to obtain
any information as to whether M. J. McGuinness had
had other employment while with the Theatre, he was
inclined to the belief that, whatever may have been
the case when he originally came into the Theatre's
employment, McGuiness had not had other employment
for some years and that the theatre was therefore
liable for his insurance. He was however informed by
Mr. Allgood that insurance could not be claimed
retrospectively for more than five years. The Secretary
was authorised to make whatever payment might
be necessary to discharge the Theatre's liability in
this matter.


Signatures. Dividend Request Forms in respect of 2nd National
Loan and also Specimen Signature Card were
signed by the Directors present.


Reader. Mr. F. R. Higgins was appointed reader of plays for
September.


The Secretary was instructed to inform Mr. Richard
Hayward that the Theatre would not be available


Page 161

for letting during the winter, and to inform the
Manager of the Cork Opera House that the programme
proposed for the visit to Cork in October would be
sent to him at an early date.


Date. 6th Sept. 1935


W. B. Yeats


6th September 1935. Meeting of Sub-Committee of the Directors held at
the Abbey Theatre at 5.30 p.m.


Present. Mr. W. B. Yeats (in the chair), Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr. Walter
Starkie, Dr. Richard Hayes, Mr. Ernest Blythe and Mr. F. R.
Higgins.


Minutes. The Minutes of the Meeting of Directors on the 2nd Sept.
were read, confirmed and signed.


The Minutes of the Meeting of the Sub-Committee
on the 2nd September were read, confirmed as amended and signed.


The following letter from Mr. Brinsley McNamara
was read.


47 Waterloo Road
Dublin.
3rd September 1935


To the Directors
Abbey Theatre
Dublin


Dear Sirs
Owing to the difference of opinion which has


Page 162

arisen between us over the production of "The Silver Tassie"
I cannot any longer remain a member of the Board of
the Abbey Theatre. I must, therefore, ask you to accept
my resignation.


Yours very truly
Brinsley McNamara


The Secretary was instructed to send the following
reply.


Dear Mr. MacNamara
I placed your letter of the 3rd. September
before the Board today and am instructed to say that the Board
deeply regrets that they have had to part from a Director who
has worked so hard in the interests of the Theatre.
Your publication of certain parts of their
proceedings made it absolutely essential that they should pass
the resolution, passed upon last Monday, stigmatising that action
as a breach of confidence and that, having done so, they should
ask for your resignation. At the same time they all thank you
for the hard and valuable work you did upon the board and
regret the necessity of parting.
I am
Yours very truly


Thomas R. Robinson
Secretary



Page 163

Meeting of Directors.
On the motion of Mr. Higgins, seconded by Mr. Blythe, the
Secretary was instructed to summon a meeting of the
Directors on the 13th September 1935 and to report to that
meeting that the Sub-Committee saw no reason for its
continued existence and therefore surrendered its powers
to the Board.


Articles of Association.
The amendment to the Articles of Association, drafted by
Messrs. Whitney, Moore and Keller, giving the Board power to
expel a Director was approved and the Secretary was
instructed to summon the necessary General Meetings
for the purpose of having it adopted and confirmed.


Mr. Hunt, Mr. M. J. Dolan.
Mr. Hunt and Mr. M. J. Dolan were interviewed. Mr. Hunt
said that if a new play were to be produced every
fortnight the hours of rehearsal would need to be
increased. After discussion he was informed by the Chairman
that he was entitled to call the players at
such hours and for such length of time as he thought
necessary; but was recommended to discuss the matter
with them so as to meet their convenience as far
as possible.


Programme. It was agreed that "The Spook Sonata" or "The Toy
Cart" should be put on instead of "Dr. Faustus" on
the 14th October and that "Dr. Faustus" should be
put on the 4th November. The Secretary was
instructed to post the programme for the next
few weeks on the board in the Green Room.



Page 164

Cork. It was decided that the plays to be taken to Cork
should be "Autumn Fire", "Spring" and "The Courtship
of Mary Doyle".


Barry Fitzgerald. Mr. Dolan submitted a request from Mr. Barry Fitzgerald
for permission to go to London for a Film Test. Permission
was granted for the 15th September, Mr. Robinson to speak
to him in the meantime as to the bearing of any possible
film contract engagement upon his contract with this
Theatre.


Eileen Crowe. Miss Crowe was given leave of absence for the 14th
October.


School of Acting. Miss Ria Mooney was interviewed with reference to the
School of Acting. She suggested that all pupils should
wear a simple uniform; that they should produce a group
of one act plays every couple of months to be witnessed
by the Directors and Producers, for these there would
be no costumes or scenery, and that at Easter there
should be a more elaborate production by a cast
chosen by her and the Directors as a result of their
experience of the tests. General approval was given
to Miss Mooney's ideas and she was requested to
obtain estimates of the cost of the proposed uniform
for submission to the next meeting.


Stair Carpet. The Secretary stated that Mr. M. Scott informed him
that his estimate dated 23rd August covered the cost
of carpet for the stairs to the auditorium as well


Page 165

as to the Balcony. In view of this, purchase of this second
carpet was authorised.


Smoking in the Balcony. The question of the danger from smoking in the
Balcony was again considered and the Secretary was
instructed to obtain estimates for sheeting the rails
with metal.


Flag poles. The Secretary was authorised to have the flag poles
adjusted so as to lessen the tendency of the flags
to become entangled.


Belfast Broadcasting. It was agreed that Mr. Robinson & Mr. Higgins
should go into the figures with reference to
Broadcasting from Belfast prepared by the Secretary
and should report to the Board.


Frolie Mulhern. It was decided that Miss Frolie Mulhern's salary
should be £2/-/- per week when acting.


Duplicate cheque. The Secretary was authorised to draw a duplicate
in place of that lost by Mr. Barry Fitzgerald
as requested to the meeting on the 23rd August 1935.


Those Directors who had not previously done so
signed the Dividend Request Forms with reference to
5% (?) National Loan, 5% Second National Loan
and 41/2% Third National Loan.


W. B. Yeats
13th September 1935.



Page 166

be made from some Irish Insurance Company as to what could be done.


Richard Hayward.
A letter was read from Mr. Richard Hayward of Belfast complaining
altho' he had been promised the first week in which
the Theatre would be vacant by reason of the Company playing
in Cork or Belfast, he now learned that the Theatre had been
let to the Ulster Players. The Secretary he had no
recollection of giving such a promise to Mr. Hayward but
that he may have done so when Mr. Hayward was playing
in the Theatre last February. The offer to the Ulster Players
had been suggested as they had done very good business
on their last visit and their bills for the week
would appeal to the Abbey audiences during the week
the Company were in Belfast.
The Secretary was instructed to reply to Mr. Hayward
as tactfully as possible and explain that the Theatre
was now definitely booked for the week Nov. 11th.


Mr. Hunt's memo. Copies of a Memorandum on Future Productions, drawn
up by Mr. Hunt were put to the Directors andin collaboration with Mr. F. R.
Higgins were circulated amongst the Directors and
Mr. Higgins explained the suggestions made in the Memo.
In the general discussion which followed at which
Mr. Hunt was present, the question of the cost of productions
was raised and it was decided that details of the cost of
each production should be kept.


It was proposed by Mr. Frank O'Connor, seconded by Sen. E.



Page 167

29th Nov. 1935. Minutes of a Meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Scty.
Ltd. held at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on Friday
29th Nov. 1935. at 5.30 p.m.


Present. Senator E. Blythe in the chair, Mr. Lennox Robinson, Dr.
Walter Starkie, Dr. Richard Hayes, Mr. F. R. Higgins, Mr.
Frank O'Connor.


Minutes. The minutes of the last meeting were read, confirmed and signed.


Finances. The Secretary reported that the Bank Overdraft was
£719-9-1.


Future Contracts with Players.
Mr. Higgins stated that he and Mr. Hunt had been appointed
at the last meeting of the Board to draw up a scheme which
might form the basis for discussion of future contracts,
but Mr. Hunt felt he would be in an awkward position
in helping to draw up such a scheme, owing to the fact
that he was a Producer in the Theatre and must
work with the Players. With this view Mr. Higgins said
he agreed. Mr. O'Connor said he also agreed and
considered that a bad mistake had been made at the last
meeting in asking Mr. Hunt to assist in drawing
up any such scheme.


After a discussion as to the future policy regarding
Contracts it was proposed by Mr. Frank O'Connor, seconded
by Dr. Starkie and passed "That the Contract system
be continued."


Mr. Robinson raised the possibility of



Page 168

After some discussion the Secretary was instructed
to write to Messrs. Whitney, Moore & Keller instructing
them to proceed in the issue of shares in
accordance with the resolution passed on 6th January 1936.


Railway Advertising. It was decided that advertising on hoardings at
railway stations be discontinued.


Finance Sub-Committee. The Finance Sub-Committee reported that they
had passed the accounts for December 1935.


Mr. Robinson in his letter to the Board asked if permission
could be given to Mr. A. de Blacam for a production
of a "Saint in a Hurry" by the Belfast Art Theatre.
The Board granted the required permission.


Ernest Blythe
17/1/36



Page 169

reply not being considered satisfactory Mr. Maurice McGonigle be
asked what the could do for the same figure, viz £60.


L. from P. M. Selby re Belfast and Cork.
A letter was read from Mr. P. Selby offering dates in October, November
and December for a visit of the Company to Belfast and Cork, and
stating that the terms suggested by the Directors viz 65% to the Abbey
Theatre would be out of the question; also suggesting the same terms as last
time up to the business done during those weeks with an additional 5%
for any business above the last figures.


The Board decided that Mr. Hunt consider the dates most suitable
provided that a Company be maintained in the Abbey during these
weeks and that the Theatre be better closed or let to any outside Company,
the question of terms to be the subject of further correspondence.


L. from the Dublin Corporation.
A letter was read from the Medical Officer of Health, Dublin Corporation
stating that the dressing rooms in the Theatre and means of exit from them
were not in accordance with the Bye Laws and requesting that the
Theatre's Architect be instructed to submit proposals for compliance
with the Bye Laws. The Board directed that Mr. Scott be asked to see the
Corpn. officials and report on what they require to be done.


Issue of shares to new Directors.
The following letter was read from Messrs. Whitney, Moore and
Keller with reference to instructions sent to them
regarding the issue of shares to the three Directors, Senator
E. Blythe, Mr. F. R. Higgins and Mr. Frank O'Connor:-


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