We all look a little funny when trying to promote ourselves.
Company of PAUL FOSTER’s “Balls” after recording that
puppet-play’s soundtrack. Photo by JAMES D. GOSSAGE
WHY I AM NOT IN THREE MORE PICTURES. HERE , you may read how I stayed away from a famous group playwright photo in a sulk. I am absent from [PHOTO X] above for quite another reason. One dreadful winter 1966 day at the Cino, I was hauling garbage cans out over mounds of filthy frozen snow when a reporter and a photographer appeared, looking for “the so-famous American playwright, Row-bare Pah-treek.” I just couldn’t. Chipper, clean LANFORD WILSON came whistling down Cornelia Street. I whispered, “You’re me; I’ll explain later.” [NOTE: LANFORD e-mailed me on 2/17/2009: "...everyone was pointing cameras at us all the time and it didn't mean much to any of us and anyway we seldom saw the results and not half the photos were every published anywhere. I remember once when I posed as you with a group of other writers and everyone called me Bob the whole afternoon."] So in the super-chic French magazine Realites it is Lance’s bearded image at left in Union Square, with JEAN-CLAUDE VAN ITALLIE, Rosalyn Drexler, H.M. KOUTOUKAS, IRENE FORNES, Leonard Melfi, TOM EYEN, and (squatting) PAUL FOSTER. I felt terrible about missing yet another promotion until I saw the article and realized that the reporter had been less efficient than the photographer–no one’s name was mentioned! I felt much worse about not being mentioned in another caption as the creator of the Cino’s comic-book shows–until some years later DONALD L. BROOKS reminded me that he, not I, was (blush)! [PHOTO Y], yet another playwrights’ publicity photo I’m not in. This was organized for Vanity Fair Magazine by the seated woman, darling RUTH YORCK. I ran into DAVID STARKWEATHER on the sidewalk outside La Mama. He told me he was headed for this shoot and said that I should come up. Since I was Ruth’s secretary at the time, I assumed she would have told me if she wanted me there. So I’m sulking on the sidewalk outside on Second Avenue. Standing l. to r. are WALTER BROWN, SAM SHEPARD, LANFORD WILSON, PAUL FOSTER, Ross Alexander, and JEAN-CLAUDE VAN ITALLIE. Seated are DAVID STARKWEATHER and Ruth. I was told Ruth feared that I was “too gay” for Vanity Fair readers. (This is not the shot printed in Vanity Fair. I’d LOVE to have the printed photo.). FINALLY [PHOTOZ], I am not in this photo because it was taken at the first meeting of the New York Theatre Strategy (a group of playwrights joined for mutual support and promotion), and I wasn’t voted in until the second meeting. Do click on it and enlarge it to read the legendary names that are in it.