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Theatre and Plays

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Theatre and Plays

Theatre and Plays

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Theatre Workshop: A Journal of the Theatre and Film Arts, published by the New Theatre League - April-June 1938 [includes "Senora Carrar's Rifles" by Brecht], (Brecht, Bertolt) Marvin, Mark, ed.
1 (Brecht, Bertolt) Marvin, Mark, ed. Theatre Workshop: A Journal of the Theatre and Film Arts, published by the New Theatre League - April-June 1938 [includes "Senora Carrar's Rifles" by Brecht]
New York New Theatre League 1938 NO (Vol. 2, No. 1) Journal Fair 
[nice clean copy, dog-earing to the corners of the first couple of pages, appears to be missing its original cover (all editorial matter is present)]. The highlight of this issue of this short-lived (1936-1938) publication is "Senora Carrar's Rifles," a one-act play by Bertolt Brecht, set in Spain during the Civil War; this is possibly its first publication in English (in a translation by Keene Wallis). Other contents include: a symposium on "Scenery or No Scenery?," with contributions from Hallie Flanagan, Marc Blitzstein, Mordecai Gorelik, Lee Strasberg, and others; "Warriors of the Theatre: China," a letter to the New Theatre League by Agnes Smedley; "America Needs the Fine Arts Bill," an article by Irwin Shaw; "Together," a one-act play by Alice Holdship Ware; and "The Tired Ostrich," a one-act play by Barbara Corcoran. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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The Old Maid; a play, based on the novelette of the same name by Edith Wharton, Akins, ZoŽ
2 Akins, ZoŽ The Old Maid; a play, based on the novelette of the same name by Edith Wharton
New York Samuel French (c.1951) Acting Version Softcover Very Good+ 
[slight browning along spine, very slight wear at bottom corner of front cover]. (B&W photo frontispiece, stage layout drawings) Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the 1934-35 season, originally starring Judith Anderson and Helen Menken as cousins fighting over the affection of the illegitimate daughter of the former. (In the 1939 movie Warner Bros. movie version, the roles went to Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins.) 
Price: 30.00 USD
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The Lady from Dubuque; a play, Albee, Edward
3 Albee, Edward The Lady from Dubuque; a play
New York Atheneum 1980 0-689-10925-3 / 9780689109256 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj 
[nice tight clean copy, slight fading to top edge (cloth and red topstain); jacket shows no significant wear, but is a bit faded at the spine]. Albee's Pirandellian play about a group of young couples engaged in playing psychologically revealing party games. Although the Time magazine critic (quoted in a jacket blurb) thought it "Albee's best work since 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'," but audiences apparently felt otherwise: its original Broadway run in 1980 lasted all of twelve performances. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Don't Drink the Water; a comedy in two acts, Allen, Woody
4 Allen, Woody Don't Drink the Water; a comedy in two acts
New York/London/Toronto Samuel French, Inc. (c.1967) NO Early printing Stapled wraps Good 
[an "actor-used" copy with extensive underlining and annotation (see notes), worn along spine, some dog-earing to covers and early pages, some discoloration and light soiling to covers, slight splitting at both ends of spine]. (stage diagram) Allen's early theatrical success, filmed in 1969 under the unsubtle direction of Howard Morris, with Jackie Gleason taking over the role played by Lou Jacobi on the stage, as head of an American family trapped in an unnamed "Middle-European" country behind the Iron Curtain; filmed again for TV in 1994, with Allen himself directing and starring. This particular copy of the play belonged to actress Fritzi Burr (whose name and address appear on the title page), and has her lines as "Marian" extensively underlined in red and black ink throughout, along with occasional stage directions and reminders-to-herself in the margins (usually in pencil). In addition, she has written in the names of some of the other actors in this production on the page listing the play's characters; these include F. Murray Abraham, Dick Van Patten, and Hans Conried (in the Jacobi role). My research has not definitively dated this particular production; one of Abraham's biographies states that he appeared in the play in "various cities" in 1966-67, which suggests it might have been the first national touring company, but I've also found specific reference to this ensemble appearing in a production that played a week in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in late December 1967 and early January 1968; Conried was also still appearing in the play as late as 1974. None of the numerous other plays advertised within this volume was published any later than 1967, which again suggests this is a fairly early printing, as does the lack of an ISBN. 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Box Office, Anderson, John
5 Anderson, John Box Office
New York Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith 1929 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Fair dj Illustrated by (dj design) "Gene" 
[moderate wear to book extremties, some fading to cloth around perimeters of both covers and at spine; jacket is a bit tattered, missing about two inches from top of spine, some degree of paper loss at most corners, small ragged closed tear at bottom of front panel, etc.]. Treatise on the economic conditions facing the American theatre in the late 1920s, historically interesting from at least two particular perspectives: (1) being just prior to the stock market crash in October 1929 (the book was ; and (2) appearing in the midst of the movies' transition from silents to talkies. The book is primarily organized in three sections, "Organization" (Equity; Labor Affiliations; The Road; Box Office), "Complications" (Morals, i.e. Censorship; Hits; Movies), and "Personalities" (Producers; Dramatists), with an additional short chapter called "By Products: Little Theatres." The author (1896-1943) was a drama critic for several New York newspapers during the 1920s and 1930s. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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Valley Forge; a play in three acts, Anderson, Maxwell
6 Anderson, Maxwell Valley Forge; a play in three acts
Washington DC Anderson House 1934 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[front hinge a little weak, slight fading to cloth at edges of covers and spine, attractive full-page vintage bookplate on half-title page; jacket spine is browned, jacket has some shallow chipping along top and bottom edges, minor paper loss at corners]. (endpaper maps) Historical drama about the difficulties endured by General George Washington's army during the Winter of 1777-78, "the dark days [when] the fortunes of the rebellious colonists were at their lowest ebb and defeat at the hands of Great Britain's trained mercenaries seemed inevitable." After a month or so of out-of-town tryouts and tinkering, the play opened on Broadway in December 1934, but ran for only 58 performances. It was reported at the end of its run that a movie version was in the works at Columbia Pictures, but nothing ever came of it, although a couple of live television versions were broadcast in the early 1950s, and a "Hallmark Hall of Fame" TV-movie adaptation was produced in 1975. 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Ring Round the Moon; A Charade with Music, Anouilh, Jean (translated by Christopher Fry)
7 Anouilh, Jean (translated by Christopher Fry) Ring Round the Moon; A Charade with Music
London Methuen & Co. Ltd. 1950 NO Second Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good- dj Illustrated by (dj art) Oliver Messel 
[spine turned, light shelfwear, a little soiling to ffep; jacket moderately soiled, some fading to spine, small tape remnant on front flap]. Preface by Peter Brook, who directed the original London production at the Globe Theatare. The original French title was "L'Invitation au Chateau." 
Price: 10.00 USD
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The Theatrical 'World' of 1894, Archer, William
8 Archer, William The Theatrical 'World' of 1894
New York Benjamin Blom, Inc. 1971 NO Reprint Hardcover Very Good+ 
(no dust jacket, probably as issued) [nice sound clean copy, with just a touch of wear at the extremities; the bottom corners of the paper spine label have chipped off, but with no loss of text on the label itself]. Facsimile reprint of the original (1895) edition, which itself essentially reprinted the theatrical reviews from "The World" covering productions on the London stage during 1894. Preface by George Bernard Shaw; includes a "Synopsis of Playbills" for the year by Henry George Hibbert. Among the productions of interest: "Gentleman Jack," the British staging of an American play starring champion prizefighter James J. Corbett; Shaw's "Arms and the Man"; Ibsen's "The Wild Duck"; Sarah Bernhardt's season, during which she appeared in no fewer than six plays (including "La Dame aux Camelias"); and "The Professor's Love Story" by J.M. Barrie; and several Shakespearean revivals. The Christmas pantomimes are reviewed, of course, along with a whole host of forgettable (and indeed forgotten) musical farces, comic operas, duologues, burlesques, and at least one "mimodrama" (it was put on by "A French Company" and only played a week; maybe it's best we don't know any more). A sampling of titles will give something of the flavor of the theatrical world of the day: "An Old Jew"; "A Comedy of Sighs"; "Go-Bang" (Musical-Farcical Comedy in Two Acts); "Jaunty Jane Shore"; "Time, Hunger, and the Law"; "Little Miss Cute"; "A Trip to Chinatown"; etc. There are separate indexes for: Theatres; Plays; Authors; Actors; Actresses; Managers, Critics, Composers, &c. (The latter led me to an interesting discussion of Bram Stoker's attack on theatrical critics.) 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Broadway Scrapbook, Atkinson, Brooks
9 Atkinson, Brooks Broadway Scrapbook
New York Theatre Arts, Inc. (c.1947) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj Illustrated by Al Hirschfeld 
[a bit of wear and slight deterioration to cloth at spine ends, otherwise a nice solid book with just a touch of dust-soiling to the top of the text block; jacket is browned along spine at at edges, with minor paper loss at and near spine ends, split along rear foldover about 3/4 of the way down from the top (but held together nicely by the jacket protector)]. (line drawings) The first book by the longtime New York Times theatre critic, who presents his "own selections of his Sunday articles from the last dozen years [1935-1947], a scintillating record of plays and personalities during that time." Whether Atkinson's criticism has stood the test of time I couldn't say, but the delightful Al Hirschfeld caricatures that illustrate the text -- all 25 of them (four of which are double-page spreads) -- certainly have. (The jacket text claims 26, but I counted!) Among the plays discussed are "The Petrified Forest," "Dead End," "You Can't Take It With You," "Our Town," "The Little Foxes," "Lady in the Dark," "Annie Get Your Gun," "The Iceman Cometh," "Born Yesterday," and of course many other classics; personalities written about include Charlie Chaplin, Ed Wynn, Bobby Clark, Eugene O'Neill, etc. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Intimate Exchanges: A Play [Volume I and Volume II], Ayckbourn, Alan
10 Ayckbourn, Alan Intimate Exchanges: A Play [Volume I and Volume II]
London Samuel French (c.1985) NO First Edition Softcover Near Fine 
[just minor external wear to each of the two volumes; very clean inside and out]. Trade PB "A related series of plays totaling eight scripts, [representing] a fascinating, often hilarious, new concept in stage management and character development. The plays begin with a woman faced with a small, fairly trivial decision. Should she resist having the first cigarette of the day before 6 pm? On some nights her willpower is strong enough, on others it isn't. The two quite separate chains of events that result from her choice are published under Volume I and Volume II. In each, at the end of the first scene, another character has to make a further decision, this time of a slightly more important nature. As each scene ends further and more crucial choices still have to be made, culminating in a major course of action. Thus each play is a single strange of a much larger web of interconnecting scenes." (And there, in a large nutshell, is why these two volumes are being sold only as a set.) 
Price: 40.00 USD
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First Your Money, Then Your Clothes: My Life and OH! CALCUTTA! [*SIGNED*], Barrett, Raina
11 Barrett, Raina First Your Money, Then Your Clothes: My Life and OH! CALCUTTA! [*SIGNED*]
New York William Morrow & Company 1973 0-688-00034-7 / 9780688000349 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Signed by Author
[very nice clean copy, just minimal shelfwear to book and jacket]. (B&W photographs) INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the author, opposite the title page, in the year of publication: "___! / All that you / read here is true, / and the stories I / didn't write make for / good bed-time stories." The author's story of her journey from 1967, when she was "a thirty-one-year-old wife, mother, and schoolteacher in Ossining, New York, [who] had never slept with any man but her husband, had always wanted to be an actress, and suffered from an ulcer," to 1969, when she "was living with her lover in Greenwich Village and was starring nude on the stage in Oh! Calcutta!" An "exceptional book by and about an exceptional woman, [who] with an honesty as compulsive as it is brutal, writes of what she gave up, what she got, and what she has learned through both pain and pleasure." Signed by Author 
Price: 30.00 USD
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411 Joseph; a play in two acts, Becker, Frawley
12 Becker, Frawley 411 Joseph; a play in two acts
Woodstock IL/London/Melbourne Dramatic Publishing (c.1998) 0-87129-883-X / 9780871298836 First Edition Softcover Near Fine Illustrated by (cover design) David G. Sergel 
[faint stain on front cover, minimal handling wear]. Trade PB "The rivalry between two brothers for paternal love is an old theme that gets a Jewish American twist" in this play, in which "eldest son David attempts to win his father's love by fulfilling his father's dream: to have his sons open a medical clinic dedicated to himself." 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Let Freedom Ring: A Play in Three Acts; based on the Grace Lumpkin novel "To Make My Bread", Bein, Albert
13 Bein, Albert Let Freedom Ring: A Play in Three Acts; based on the Grace Lumpkin novel "To Make My Bread"
New York Samuel French 1936 (c.1935) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ 
(no dust jacket) [nice clean book, with just light wear to extremities]. (B&W photographs) Proletarian drama, adapted from Grace Lumpkin's 1932 novel about the Gastonia strike. Don West, in his introduction (originally published as a review of the play in The Daily Worker), states: "With keen and discriminating understanding, with sensitive and sympathetic strokes, Albert Bein paints this picture of an awakening South, of a youthful and gigantic proletariat testing its strength, of the unity of black and white workers being welded over prejudice and lies by a common interest. ... It is one of the most significant things yet to be produced about the South. (The original cast included Will Geer and Tom Ewell. Also interesting to note that Lumpkin gets co-billing, as it were, on the book's spine, and also shares the copyright on the published version with playwright Bein.) 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Beyond the Fringe, Bennett, Alan, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller, and Dudley Moore
14 Bennett, Alan, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller, and Dudley Moore Beyond the Fringe
New York Random House (c.1963) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj 
[nice copy with no significant wear, blemished only by diagonal creases from turned-down corners of two pages (why do people DO this? never heard of bookmarks?), and also slightly twisted on its axis, possibly from long-term slanted shelving; jacket has tiny tears at a couple of spine corners, and shows light browning at spine and edges (somewhat less than usually seen, and somewhat less pronounced to the naked eye than in the scanned image, for some reason)]. (B&W photographs) Two Oxford men (Bennett and Moore) teamed up with two Cambridge men (Cook and Miller) in this "satirical review which treats calmly and ruthlessly of the hydrogen bomb, the end of the world, religion on television, capital punishment, race relations and the emerging African nations. It is funny on all subjects." (Walter Kerr) [Please note this is NOT the book club edition; it bears the printed price ($3.95) on the front jacket flap, and is a stated "First Printing."] 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Beyond the Fringe, Bennett, Alan, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller, and Dudley Moore
15 Bennett, Alan, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller, and Dudley Moore Beyond the Fringe
New York Random House (c.1963) Fireside BCE Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[moderate shelfwear, light bumping to several corners, agency stamp on front pastedown (hidden by jacket flap); jacket shows wear and minor wrinkling along top edge, wear at several corners, minor soiling to front panel, tiny tears at top of spine and bottom of rear panel]. (B&W photographs) Two Oxford men (Bennett and Moore) teamed up with two Cambridge men (Cook and Miller) in this "satirical review which treats calmly and ruthlessly of the hydrogen bomb, the end of the world, religion on television, capital punishment, race relations and the emerging African nations. It is funny on all subjects." (Walter Kerr) 
Price: 12.00 USD
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Life Demands! and Other Plays, Berman, Henry
16 Berman, Henry Life Demands! and Other Plays
New York Brentano's 1931 First Edition Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [solid copy, moderate shelfwear to bottom edge (slight cracking & exposure of boards at bottom corners), mild yellowing/discoloration to spine cloth, attractive custom vintage bookplate on front pastedown]. Contents: "Life Demands!" (a play in four acts), and five one-act plays: "Time's Fool"; "Out of the Dark"; "The Law of Compensation"; "The Age of Discretion"; and "Vestiges." Henry Berman would appear to define the term "obscure playwright": he apparently never had a play produced on Broadway, nor was I able to turn up any screenwriting credits (screenwriting being an enterprise in which even an obscure playwright might have been able to earn a few bucks in those days). He seems to have been the same Henry Berman who published three novels between 1906 and 1909 (cf. Smith, American Fiction 1901-1925), as well as another unknown play, "The Faith of the Fathers," published (but not, as far as I know, produced) in 1922. (There was also a Henry Berman who was the general manager of Universal Pictures in the 1920s (and father of Pandro S. Berman, who produced numerous classic films at RKO and later MGM), but that would seem to have been a different guy altogether.) 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Stalag 17; a comedy melodrama in three acts, Bevan, Donald, and Edmund Trzcinski
17 Bevan, Donald, and Edmund Trzcinski Stalag 17; a comedy melodrama in three acts
New York Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (c.1951, 1948) NO Fireside Theatre BCE Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[light shelfwear to bottom edge, slight dent in bottom edge of front cover; jacket shows some wear at extremities, a few tiny tears (no paper loss)]. (3 B&W photographs) Play set in a German prison camp during World War II, based on the authors' personal experiences. While confined together in the real Stalag 17, their activities included operating the camp theatre, making sets and writing scripts for their productions. "It was after curfew one night that they lay hidden in the makeshift theatre, and rather than risk their lives attempting to return to their bunks, they began writing what later became [this play]." Billy Wilder adapted it (with co-writer Edwin Blum) for his 1953 film of the same name, starring William Holden. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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The Sex Fable; a play, Bourdet, Edouard (English text by Jane Hinton)
18 Bourdet, Edouard (English text by Jane Hinton) The Sex Fable; a play
New York Brentano's 1931 NO 1st U.S. edition Hardcover Fair 
(no dust jacket) [well-worn copy, rear hinge cracked; should be considered a reading copy only]. "The theory that the female is the dominating, superior sex is not novel, but Bourdet treats it in a novel way. His characters in [this play] are members of the international plutocracy whose favorite playground is Paris. There is a dominant mother; her weak-willing, charming sons for whom she engineers 'fortunate' marriages; a daughter who manages an ultra-smart dress shop with masculine efficiency; their respective husbands, wives, mistresses and lovers." A film adaptation was produced in France in 1933, under the title "Le sexe faible" (aka "Weaker Sex"), under the direction of Robert Siodmak, who spent most of the 1930s in Paris after getting out of Germany when the Nazis took power; he eventually made his way to Hollywood in 1939. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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"The Private Life of the Master Race" (in Theatre Arts, issue of September 1944), Brecht, Bertold
19 Brecht, Bertold "The Private Life of the Master Race" (in Theatre Arts, issue of September 1944)
New York Theatre Arts, Inc. 1944 (Vol. XVIII, No. 9) Magazine Very Good+ Illustrated by (cover illus) Feng Chung-Teh 
[generally a nice clean copy, with a bit of bumping to the edges of the covers, inevitable due to the cover slightly overlapping the magazine's pages]. (B&W photos, facsimiles, drawings, etc.) Special issue of this popular theatrical magazine, entitled "A Book of Scripts." The English version presented here of the Brecht piece (translated by Eric Russell Bentley, and accompanied by his essay on Brecht and his work) is actually a partial work: a prefatory note explains that the play "consists in its entirety of seventeen scenes," although only five are included here. (The five are: "The Informer"; "The Old Nazi"; "Two Bakers"; "The Farmer Feeds His Sow"; and "The Sermon on the Mount.") The play -- "Furcht und Elend des Dritten Reiches" in German ("Fear and Misery of the Third Reich") -- the action of which takes place during the period 1935-1937, was Brecht's first openly anti-Nazi work, and "gives a picture of the New Order which Hitler introduced and tested in Germany and maintained by his divisions throughout Europe." (It had its premiere in Paris in 1938, at a time when Brecht was living in Denmark, having wisely gotten out of Germany when Hitler came to power.) In addition to the Brecht piece, the other scripts published here are: "'All Aboard!' by Ben Bengal; "Enemy -- A Monologue" by I.F. Alexander; and "Open Letter on Race Hatred: A Radio Document" by William N. Robson. There is also a report on the presentation of a "camouflage show" called "You Bet Your Life," which was presented at March Field, California; it's illustrated with sketches by T/Sgt. Harry Horner, who went on to a distinguished career as a designer for theatre and motion pictures. There are numerous illustrations throughout the magazine, quite a few from contemporary plays and films, with the highlights including: a woodcut (the cover illustration by Feng Chung-Teh) illustrating a native dance in southwest China; a reproduction of a painting by Luis Quintanilla, a kind of thematic parallel to the Brecht play; a sketch of Ivan the Terrible, in connection with the Sergei Eisenstein film; a really wacky still from a stage musical, "Helen Goes to Troy," depicting a polka-dotted Trojan Horse. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Small Wonder: The Story of The Yale Puppeteers and the Turnabout Theatre [*SIGNED*], Brown, Forman
20 Brown, Forman Small Wonder: The Story of The Yale Puppeteers and the Turnabout Theatre [*SIGNED*]
Metuchen NJ/London The Scarecrow Press 1980 0-8108-1334-3 / 9780810813342 First Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Signed by Author
[book is flawless; mostly-white jacket shows a bit of smudging on front panel, overall light surface wear]. (B&W photographs) SIGNED by the author on the dedication page. A bit more than half of this volume is actually a reprint of the author's 1936 book "Punch's Progress," which deals with the founding and early operation of the Yale Puppeteers; the remainder is new material about the Turnabout, including an appendix listing all the songs and sketches performed at the theatre. Foreword by Ray Bradbury. Signed by Author 
Price: 30.00 USD
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