The more things change the more they stay the same.
“In Paris four out of every five plays produced succeed. In New York only two out of every five produced succeed. In Paris play production is an art and is done by professionals who regard their work seriously, as a legitimate enterprise. In New York play production is regarded on all sides and is spoken of by managers, authors, actors and the public, as a “gamble.”
It is, in its effect, and the attitude borne toward it by the chief players surely a gambling proposition. The manager, author or actor who engages in it enters precisely as does a player at Monte Carlo or any other systemized gambling institution- with the full knowledge that the chances are against his winning. The “house” has an even chance, so far as luck is concerned but a percentage is invariably demanded which makes the chances slightly against the individual gambler.”
From a New York Times article,
“Stealing Plays Nowadays Not So Easy As It Sounds”
December 8, 1912
By Richard Berry