Section XII: Faulkner On the Stage

Number Item Edition Condition Cost
Oh Mr. Faulkner, Do You Write? - the stage production
The premise of this production is simple enough - we are taken into Faulkner's living room where we are addressed by Faulkner himself. John Maxwell, who wrote and stars, is as little like Faulkner as is humanly possible. It's not just that he looks nothing like Brother Will - he can't help being a good half foot taller than the writer - it's that he makes almost no effort to move, act or sound like Faulkner either. What we get is Faulkner's words drawn from various sources and arranged for theatrical effect. Many years later it was still being performed.
12-1.A program from a 1981 performance at Fulton Chapel of "a new play"original(VG)5.00
Requiem For a Nun - the stage production
The book by Barbara Izard and Clara Hieronymous about Requiem For a Nun as a stage production could be (should be) a lot clearer than it is. Though it has a lot of interesting information, as a chronicle of the story on stage the book stinks. The information I give here comes as much from my own research as from the book.

As best as I can determine the show was first produced on stage in Zurich in October of 1955, working with Faulkner's novel rather than a playscript. Albert Camus created an adaptation for Paris the next year. Productions of various adaptations took place in Athens (Spring of 1957), Berlin (1956), London (November 1957), and a few other European cities.

The play finally appeared in the United States at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut January 7 - 10, 1959 in an adaptation credited to the starring actress Ruth Ford (my feeling is that Faulkner did the writing and gave Ford credit because he was more than professionally interested in her). That production then moved to the Colonial Theatre in Boston for two weeks starting January 12 before heading on January 30, 1959 to the John Golden Theater on Broadway. The Broadway run folded after 43 performances. All of the 1959 American performances used the same script and featured the same basic cast.

Even being named one of the best plays of 1959 did not spark public interest and the play has enjoyed a phenomenal neglect ever since. Requiem for a Nun was done on stage at Vanderbilt University (June 24-26, 1965); in Minneapolis in 1982; in Chicago in 1993. Not many others.

Memorabilia from the New Haven, Boston and Broadway productions is uncommon. Memorabilia from any other production is quite uncommon.
12-2. Playbill from 1959 production at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven. original (F)40.00
12-3. Playbill from 1959 production at the Colonial Theatre in Boston. a) original 4 page version (VG minus)25.00
b)original 24 page version (F)25.00
I assume that the shorter version is the earlier - that there was a question initially as to how much to invest in programs. It could be the exact opposite - the stock of full programs ran out just before the move to Broadway and there was no reason to invest more in a show that was going elsewhere. These are different programs, and the shorter one is the less common.
12-4. Playbill from 1959 Broadway production at the John Golden Theatre. a) original, signed by Ruth Ford and Zachery Scott (F)70.00
b)original, unsigned (F)25.00
12-5. index card inscribed to Judy by Ruth Ford, with a small photo attached original (F)20.00
12-6. Playbill from 1957 production at the Royal Court Theatre in London, the UK. original (VG)35.00
I have listed materials from the American productions first because most Americans want American things. In fact, America was one of the last places the play debuted. If you want to chronicle the development of the stage production you should be more interested in programs from anyplace but America. Foreign programs are also much scarcer.
12-7. Playbill from 1957 production in Denmark. original (F)40.00
12-8. Playbill from 1957 production in France. original (F)35.00
See also item 1-38, the published playscript.
Tomorrow - the stage production
12-9.The stage script by Horton Foote in Literary Calvacade, February 1976original(VG)10.00

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