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GLOBE-TALK...Seventeenth Century jargon of The Globe Playhouse. Can you match it with today's theatre talk? - JANICE ROTCHSTEIN

1. Tiring-house
   a. acting area
   b. rest rooms
   c. rowdy audience
   d. dressing rooms
2. Groundlings
   a. bit players
   b. critics
   c. backers
   d. standees
3. Gatherer
   a. gossip columnist
   b. prop man
   c. ticket seller
   d. casting director
4. "Hell"
   a. opening night
   b. stage cellar
   c. box office
   d. audition
5. Rushes
   a. reviews
   b. playbills
   c. soft area for falls
   d. rehearsals
6. Huts
   a. storage rooms
   b. boxes
   c. actors' hotel
   d. checkrooms
7. "Heavens"
   a. top of stage
   b. rear mezzanine
   c. light booth
   d. wings
8. Two-penny room
   a. two-fer section
   b. private box
   c. balcony
   d. producer's office
ANSWERS: 1.a; 2.d; 3.c; 4.b; 5.c; 6.a; 7.a; 8.c.

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[[photograph of two people seated outdoors]]
[[photo credit]] DOROTHY STICKNEY [[/photo credit]]

In 1958 a special Tony Award was given to the two most successful and best-loved playwrights of the country in recognition not only of their contribution to the American theatre but of their long and untroubled partnership, which had endured for over thirty years. Stuart W. Little of the Herald Tribune staff talked with them both about this extraordinary record. "I looked it up the other day," said Lindsay. "I thought the Goncourt Brothers in France might have gone on longer, but it seems they were listed as brothers long after one of them had died." And Crouse, to get in his bit added, "We're the longest collaboration since Sodom and Gomorrah, but for different reasons." But Lindsay and Crouse were not brothers. They were friends, men whose friendship meant everything that was warm and joyous and creative in their lives, outside of their marriages - though these, too, were a happy part of their friendship.

Neither man had the individual ego that demanded sole credit for creative work. They enjoyed writing together. There were good days when the work went well and they were exhilarated. There were frustrating days when no idea seemed forthcoming. Then, at least, they had companionship. There have been, to be sure, other collaborations beginning with Beaumont and Fletcher, but that Elizabethan partnership was troubled by frequent disputes and the interruptions of being called upon to fulfill occasional duties at Court. As Bennett Cerf pointed out in his "Cerfboard Column" in This Week, "Beaumont and Fletcher could tolerate each other for only six years. Kaufman and Hart parted professionally after ten. Gilbert stuck it out with Sullivan for twenty stormy ones, and there were long periods when they weren't even on speaking terms." Lindsay and Crouse, on the contrary, spoke every day and spoke long and volubly. They spoke about whatever play they were writing, they spoke about situations and characters that might be useful for future shows. They talked about where they had been the previous evening and whom they had seen, they talked about the morning news, about the political situation, and they talked with animation and amusement, whether over the telephone or in their study in the Lindsay house where the sound of their laughter carried to every floor.

One can't help wondering if other collaborators in other occupations so relish their work together. Have the tycoons of finance met to discuss their big deals with a similar sense of amusement? Has Mr. Merrill rushed with haste to start an animated discussion with Mr. Lynch? And the famous partners of merchandise come to mind. Did Mr. Fortnum and Mr. Mason celebrate with a bottle of port the success of their latest raspberry preserve? When Lindsay and Crouse worked, they did it because they liked to work and chiefly because they liked to work together.

Once, for some charity event, Howard and Russel were asked to paint the subject of their choosing. Painting was not one of their talents, and the result would have made a child of four blush with shame. It was clear, however, what the picture represented. There was a box office and a line of people standing in front of it--so many people that the painting ran off the page. Underneath was printed The most beautiful sight in the world. It was a sight they saw more than most. 

Copyright © 1976 by Cornelia Otis Skinner from "Life With Lindsay and Crouse" to be published this month by Houghton Mifflin Company.


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