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THE WATCH TOWER readers everywhere are enthused by the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION. In response to our recent suggestion, we are flooded with applications from various Classes, giving the names of those appointed for the DRAMA COMMITTEE. We have answered many of these communications directly, but think it well to now give a general response and explanation.
We started with the thought that the Association should put the DRAMA on in different cities and trust to voluntary support; but by the time we had gotten out twelve sets of the DRAMA, the expense was enormousour express bills alone on printed matter, machines, etc., running up to $2,000.00 in one month, besides post and freight charges. Then came the realization that each one of those twelve sets could be serving four cities at one time. This meant four times the cost. We perceived that unless the Lord worked a miracle we would run out of funds, without accomplishing anything like the work we see before us to do. At the same time propositions began to come in from various cities and towns, assuring us that the I.B.S.A. Classes of these places would be glad to finance the DRAMA locally, if they were provided with operators, free literature, Pax Pins, etc.
We take this to be the leading of the Lord's providencean intimation that the Lord desires to give His people everywhere an opportunity to participate in the DRAMA'S great testimony in their own cities. We are following this plan now, and invite those classes of Bible students who desire to have the DRAMA to canvass the subject amongst themselves and then, through their Committee, to correspond at once with our office, advising us what they desire to do and are able to do in the way of meeting the expenses of presenting the DRAMA in their home cities.
Such information should be sent to the Society's address, marked "DRAMA DEPARTMENT." Americans and Canadians should address Brooklyn, New York, Office; British Classes should address the London Office; Swedish Classes should address the Orebro Office; Danish Classes, the Copenhagen Office; German Classes, the Barmen Office; French and Swiss Classes, the Geneva Office. Act at once; and then, having done your part, wait patiently, assured that we will do all in our power to co-operate with you.
On the same postal it will be well to state how many Sisters of medium age and of good address and good appearance would volunteer to serve as ushers, and whether or not one or two of them would learn to operate the phonograph under the instructor whom the Society would send. Advise also if there is a Brother in the Class of good address suitable to serve the DRAMA presentation as Floor Manager and who could, without injury to his interests, give the necessary time.
We usually operate the DRAMA one week to each PART, afternoon and eveningfour weeks to the FOUR PARTS. However, where very large Auditoriums are used or where the city is small, we sometimes run the FOUR PARTS in two weeks, beginning one PART with Sunday afternoon, another PART with Wednesday afternoon.
Theatres are better places for the DRAMA than Churches, because Catholics do not care to go to Protestant Churches, nor Protestants to Catholic Churches, nor Jews to eitherand all classes are interested in the DRAMA and it is for all. The dull season of the theatres has begun. Many of them are operating now at no profit; and, if run further, it would be at a loss. Under such circumstances, whatever amount is paid to the [R5456 : page 143] theatre people above the cost of light and janitorage is profit. Besides, many theatres are interested in bringing their name and location prominently before the public and would be benefited greatly by having the DRAMA.
Under such circumstances the theatre owners often give us astonishingly low pricesfive, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five dollars per day, according to size and quality of the theatre and the size of the city. In no case should we use an inferior Auditorium, nor one in a poor location, even if it were offered free. Have these things in mind when writing to us. If you will, give us information respecting the best theatres, their seating capacity, the price at which they would be obtainable, etc.
In any event, be sure to inform us very definitely just what amount of assistance your Class would need for the local presentation of the DRAMA. We must know this in every case hereafter, in order to know how to use the DRAMA most widely and how to use the Lord's money in connection with it most wisely. Give this immediate attention, if interested; for whatever is to be accomplished this Summer should be under way now, or projected.
Toward fall there will be numerous Fairs and Expositions everywhere. The Fair and Exposition and Chautauqua Managers are interested in the DRAMA, as they would be in anything else that would help to attract to their enterprises. They frequently spend large sums for attractions. We have circulars to the effect that our Society is willing to supply the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION free to those who proffer suitable Auditorium and other conveniences. We make no objection to the [R5457 : page 143] usual entrance fees charged by Expositions, etc., but merely require that the DRAMA shall be free to all those inside the grounds. Any of you acquainted with such Fairs may drop us a postal card giving us the date and the name and address of the Treasurer or Business Manager. Brooklyn address No. 124 Columbia Heights.
In some places theatre managers are anxious for the DRAMA and are willing to show it free, provided that they are permitted to charge for one-third of their seating capacity as reserved seats. We have no objection to this. Evidently there are some people who would prefer to pay something, in order to have seats reserved.