BALDWIN’S OWN COPY
(LITERATURE AND POETRY.) BALDWIN, JAMES. Blues for Mr. Charlie. Original mimeographed play script, 69, 38, 58 pages; bound in leatherette with large brass rivets; covers rubbed and creased. inscribed by baldwin to william gunn. New York, Actors Studio, (1964)
Baldwin’s own copy of the playscript, inscribed to fellow-writer and filmmaker William Gunn “For Bill Gunn, at last, Jimmy B.” and additionally “J.B.” Beneath the latter, where it’s printed: “Property of Actors Studio Theatre, 745 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y.” Baldwin has scribbled over that with the same black marker.
This version of the award winning play was the one that was used in the Actors’ Studio ANTA production on April 23, 1964 and differs in many ways from the book published by Dial Press. The “Notes for Blues” Introduction is significantly different as are various portions of the dialogue. Howard Taubman of the New York Times, reviewing the play said “James Baldwin has written a play with fires of fury in its belly, tears of anguish in its eyes and a roar of protest in its throat. ‘Blues for Mister Charlie,’ which stormed into the ANTA Theater last night, is not a tidy play. Its structure is loose, and it makes valid points as if they were clichés, but it throbs with fierce energy and passion. It is like a thunderous battle cry.” This copy is numbered “#13,” and probably represents one of a typically small number printed up for cast and crew. Provenance: James Baldwin to William Gunn to the consignor, [another filmmaker.]