Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1967. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher’s red cloth, spine stamped in sliver, original photo-illustrated dust jacket.
Shepard's first book, a collection of five plays exemplifying his mid-1960s post-modern style, when he was already famous for off-off broadway theater. Includes director's notes, cast, and technical information for the original production of each play: "Chicago," "Red Cross," "Icarus's Mother," "Fourteen Hundred Thousand," and "Melodrama Play." Reviewing Shepard's early plays, Village Voice critic Michael Smith wrote: "The plays are difficult to categorize, and I'm not sure it would be valuable to try.... Shepard is still feeling his way, working with an intuitive approach to language and dramatic structure and moving into an area between ritual and naturalism, where character transcends psychology, fantasy breaks down literalism, and the patterns of ordinariness have their own lives. His is a gestalt theater which evokes the existence behind behavior. Shepard clearly is aware of previous work in this mode, mostly by Europeans, but his voice is distinctly American and his own." Upper corners gently bumped; unclipped dust jacket chipped at spine tail and along bottom edge of rear panel. Very good. Item #1046