10 November 1943
For quite a number of years now I have taken keen interest in dramatic art. I have acted in several plays at school including ‘Merchant of Venice’ (Shylock), besides writing and producing a few sketches and musical comedies. I am at present trying to recruit actors for a short musical comedy written by myself – a copy of which I should gladly send you if you were willing to give me some comments on it – such as only a person of your experience and training in this art can give.
All these, of course, come to naught, considering how much there is to be done yet, and that they are but poor amateurish attempts.
It would certainly be extremely difficult, even if you would be willing to do so, to have me as one of your students, firstly, as an African, secondly as a worker, and so would be a part-time pupil. As the latter I wonder if you would think it worth while having one pupil on, in the light of the fact that it would in the evenings, when you are undoubtedly too tired from the days work.
I could, however, get more interested people to attend, even if it be only a Saturday afternoon. If I am alone, I shall have to be content with the theoretical aspect of it; in this you would certainly be of much help, on the understanding that I shall pay for it.
Your suggestions and advice will be most welcome.
Thanking you in anticipation,
20 December 1943
Dear Miss Taylor,
I thank you sincerely for your criticism of the musical comedy, which I read very carefully. When I read the play over again for reference the whole thing became clear to me – the faults which only your professional insight could bring into relief and thus help me to go carefully in my subsequent attempts. The criticism is very constructive because of its frankness, and, rather than be discouraged, I feel the long way I still have to go is intriguing and I thrill at the prospect of the adventure. Thanks for the encouragement.
I hope you will not wait long before you read my next attempt.