In 1909 Nobel Prize-winning dramatist George Bernard Shaw wrote a tidy little screed that slammed what he called the "mechanical" tendencies of turn-of-the-century theater. "How to Write a Popular Play" is full of acerbic advice: "First you have an idea for a dramatic situation. If it strikes you as a splendidly original idea, whilst it is in fact as old as the hills, so much the better. For instance, the situation of an innocent person convicted by circumstance of a crime may always be depended on." Railing against formulaic writing, Shaw went on to lambaste the critics who had "become so accustomed to the formula that at last they cannot relish or understand a play that has... More >>>