It is this spirit of judging Jewish interests in the light of the whole which promises a helpful and lasting solution of all the differences which unfortunately have been permitted to arise between the people of Judah and the others.
The fact of Jewish control of the theater is not of itself a ground for complaint. If certain Jews, working separately or in groups, have succeeded in wrenching this rich business from its former Gentile control, that is purely a matter of commercial interest. It is precisely on the same footing as if one group of Gentiles won the control from another group of Gentiles. It may be regarded as a business matter. In this, as in other business matters, however, there is the ethical test of how the control was gained and how it is used. Society is usually willing to receive the fact of control with equanimity, providing the control is not used for anti-social purposes.
The fact that old-time Gentile producing managers usually died poor—Augustin Daly being about the only exception—while Jewish producing managers wax immensely wealthy (there being on this side the exception of the late Charles Frohman), would indicate that the Gentile managers were better artists and poorer business men than the Jewish managers. At least poorer business men, perhaps; and in any case working on a system whose chief object was to produce plays and not profits.
The advent of Jewish control put the theater on a more commercialized basis than it had previously known. It really represented applying the Trust Idea to the theater before it had been largely applied to industry. As early as the year 1896 the Theatrical Trust controlled 37 theaters in strategic cities. The men composing this alliance were Klaw and Erlanger, Nixon and Zimmerman, and Hayman and Frohman. All but Zimmerman were Jews, and his racial origin was a subject of dispute. This group was later joined by Rich and Harris, of Boston, and Joseph Brookes, all known as Jews.
Controlling these theaters, the Trust was able to assure a long season to both managers and playing companies. Outside the Trust, the managers and companies were left to make arrangements between