"THIS WOMAN YOU SEE BEFORE YOU HAS GIVEN HER LIFE TO THE LORD": SCARCE SOUVENIR PROGRAM FROM THE FIRST PRODUCTION OF JAMES BALDWIN'S PLAY, THE AMEN CORNER, 1964
BALDWIN, James. The Amen Corner. A New Play. [Los Angeles]: Theatre of Being Workshop, . Quarto, staple-bound as issued, original pictorial brown and yellow paper wrappers; pp. 32. $850.
Scarce souvenir program from the first production of Baldwin's acclaimed three-act play about a family and its interactions with and through the church.
"The Amen Corner (1955), a three-act play about Harlem churches, was James Baldwin's first attempt at theater, which followed Go Tell It on the Mountain and focused on the conflicts between art and religion, love of others and love of the Lord, as well as parents and children and men and women in the black church" (Zaborowska, The Literary Encyclopedia). Although published in 1954, the first performance of The Amen Corner was in 1964 at Theatre of Being. Founded by Frank Silvera and Vantile Whitfield, Theatre of Being was intended to provide non-stereotypical roles for Black actors. The founders financed the play with their own money and donations from friends. The play was wildly successful, grossing almost a quarter of a million dollars in the first year. The Amen Corner was first performed on Broadway in 1965 and inspired a short-lived 1983 Broadway musical adaptation called Amen Corner. The play was recently revived in 2013 at the Royal National Theatre in London.
Small rub to front wrapper. A very nearly fine copy.