chapter  VIII
RESERVE FORCE
Pages 10

PLAYS for the cinematograph are undergoing much

the same system of evolution as stage plays have

done. The most primitive plays, of course, were

merely tableaux, sans scenery and sans story. Then

came action and drama, melodrama, in fact, of the

most blood-curdling character, which could not be

disguised even by the superlative genius of

Shakespeare. Anon we were treated to comedy,

subsequently to pantomime, and following that,

burlesque. The introduction of music into the

theatre marked the advent of another epoch, and

then we find light domestic comedy, pathos, bathos,

and realistic melodrama provided by Faulkner and

Dion Boucicault. Another era witnessed the pre-

sentation of wonderful historical pageant plays, and

finally we are confronted with the problem play, and

by way of an antidote, what is known as the school

of reserve force.