"AS SHE HAD WRITTEN IT, AS SHE WANTED IT": AYN RAND'S ONLY PLAY, INSCRIBED BY HER TO THE STAGE MANAGER OF THE 1973 PRODUCTION ON OPENING NIGHT
RAND, Ayn. Night of January 16th. New York and Cleveland: World Publishing, (1968). Octavo, original half black cloth, original dust jacket. $3800.
First definitive edition, signed and inscribed by Rand to the stage manager of this, her only play, on opening night: "To Arthur Silber—on opening night, with many thanks—Ayn Rand, 2/22/73."
Rand's only play was originally written in 1933 and called Penthouse Legend, a title she continued to prefer even after the 1935 revision for Broadway under the title Night of January 16th. It portrays the death of a magnate, and then uses members of the audience to form a jury and try the magnate's mistress for his murder. Until this 1968 edition, versions of the work had appeared only in manuscript or play or movie script form except for two 1936 book printings, one a bowdlerized version for the amateur stage (which, Rand said, "belongs on the horror side of [the play's] history… [it] is not written by me and is not part of my works") and the other from the Broadway version extensively revised by A.H. Woods (Rand notes, "In this final definitive version, I had to cut out everything that had been contributed by the Woods production except one line change and the title."). Perinn B3e. Silber was the stage manager for the 1973 production of this play, which was performed at the McAlpin Rooftop Theatre in New York City under the direction of Phillip J. Smith. This 1973 production was of great importance to Rand. "Ayn was approached by Kay and Phillip Smith, both friends of Ayn… requesting her permission to stage an off-Broadway production of Night of January 16th. They has been involved in theater for a number of years, Phillip as director and Kay, under the stage name of Kay Gillian, as actress. Ayn was happy to grant permission. She respected their work, and she knew that their admiration for her and desire to help spread her ideas would guarantee that there would be no repeat of the personal agony of its original Broadway production. At last, Night of January 16th would be produced as she had written it, as she wanted it… [For this production, Rand updated some of the lines and restored the play] to its original form, which had never been produced. After thirty-eight years, it was her play again" (Branden, The Passion of Ayn Rand, p. 369-70).
Inscription clear and bold. Fine condition. A wonderful inscribed copy.