As the curtain rises, a theatrical manager about to present a play announces that he has engaged a couple of highbrow lecturers to explain it to the audience. Or, in Rice's own words, "A couple of end men to pull Chatauqua gags." Only one of them is a woman. They proceed to expound Rice's philosophy of the theatre, and their discussions are illustrated via a number of blackouts and vaudeville skits. There are tongue-in-cheek pokes at playwrights, producers, actors, critics, backers and audiences. There are learned and sometimes trenchant references to everyone from Aristotle and Plato to Brander Matthews and Elmer Rice. When the shooting is all over, it is easy to fathom that Rice loathes a lot of things about the theatre, and yet loves it as an institution with all his heart. In the last scene his will is read, wherein he leaves his "millions" to found an idealistic repertory company in which all the ills of the current entertainment world will be obliterated. Produced by the Playwrights' Company at the Coronet Theatre, and starring Betty Field and Elliott Nugent.