The Blacks. Jean Genet, Gene Frankel, Louis Gossett, Roxie Roker, Roscoe Lee Brown, Cicely Tyson, director, cast.

The Blacks. Showbill

New York: Newcastle Publications, Inc., c.1961. Octavo, publisher's photo-illustrated self wraps.

"Those who see in the play only a gesture of hatred—which is indeed there—have stopped midway. They must push further. If they do, they will participate not only in a singular esthetic vision, but in a paradoxical meditation on the nature of power" (translator Bernard Frechtman). Rare showbill program for St. Marks Playhouse’s historic production of French dramatist Jean Genet’s controversial play, "The Blacks." Marking the first time a work by Genet was performed in the US, the production made an astounding impact on New York City’s theatrical and cultural history in several capacities. Although it was feared the controversial exploration of racial hatred would be misconstrued and endanger the progressive aims of the burgeoning black theater movement of the early 60s, it successfully, if contentiously, incited conversations of immense aesthetic and political consequence. The play was unexpectedly a massive success, with over 1400 performances from 1961 to 1964—the longest running Off-Broadway non-musical of the decade—and grossing over $500,000 while featuring many famous actors and actresses (many then-unknown) throughout its run including James Earl Jones, Maya Angelou, Cicely Tyson, Roscoe Lee Brown, Louis Gossett, Roxie Roker, Billy Dee Williams, Vinie Burrows, and others. Horizontal creases from having been folded in threes, light wear. Very good. Item #2848