Elegant performances illustrate this discussion of 20th century French theater and its importance, with some comparisons to American theater-Maurice Valency-writer, critic, professor of French Literature at Columbia Univ. and translator of many plays for Broadway - discusses French theater and introduces scenes from Anouilh's "Ardel" and Giraudoux's "The Enchanted" - at the time (1958) playing in New York City. Valency's topics: witty talk on themes of importance is what is needed, writers must trust the audience and should know what actors they are writing for - a plea for repertory companies.
He laments that American playwrights think they can't afford to let their characters talk too high-mindedly, and producers always put profit before real success. The writers whose scenes are presented: Jean Giradoux (1882-1944) known for "Tiger at the Gates", "The Madwoman of Chaillot", "Amphitryon 38", "Ondine". Jean Anouilh (1902-1987): "Antigone", "Ring Around the Moon", "Thieves Carnival", "The Lark", "Becket."