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                                                     On Writing Plays

From the Foreword to Five Plays (1961).

Every once in a while I write a play. In the past nine years I have written these five plays, not one of which has had a Broadway production. It would seem, therefore, that for me the writing of plays is an unprofitable pastime, and it is if you hold the view that profit is best measured in terms of money. But if I exclude journalism, my work in Hollywood, and some of my earlier potboilers in The New Yorker, I have never written principally to make money. I have made a lot of money for myself and for a great many other people, but I could have made a lot more. I could have tinkered here and there with my novels so that they would be acceptable at the Ladies Home Journal, and I could have tricked up hundreds of short stories for Colliers and Cosmopolitan. I could also have been a writer-producer; I was offered that job long ago when I could have used the money. But money isn't everything, and with the present and future taxes the way they are, it damn near isn't anything. So there is no sense to writing for money. There is a lot of sense to writing what you want to write, and in my case that includes an occasional play.

The five plays are: The Farmers Hotel, The Searching Sun, The Champagne Pool, Veronique, and The Way it Was.

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