I Was Sitting on My Patio This Guy Appeared I Thought I Was Hallucinating

N.p. / London: N.p. / Robert Wilson, 1977 / 1978. Archive of two scripts of Robert Wilson's iconic play "I was Sitting on My Patio This Guy Appeared I Thought I was Hallucinating," an original 1977 script with annotations in manuscript red marker throughout, and faint copied annotations and illustrations throughout, and a copy of the 1978 publication of the script, published on the occasion of the June 5-11 performances at the Royal Court Theatre, London, with a contemporary gift inscription on the title page, dated "London June 6, 1978," the second Royal Court Theatre performance.

The 1977 script, dated “12/76-2/77” and entitled “NO” on the first page, is a one act play, as opposed to the final two act production, but retains all the final premiere production credits on the title page for Wilson, co-performer Lucinda Childs, and music by Alan Lloyd, as well as the final title. The manuscript annotations, which highlight all the stage actions, props, and off stage clues, and the copied annotations and illustrations of stage directions and prop usage, indicate this was likely used by Wilson in preparation immediately before the premiere, or by Wilson or Childs during the production, a fascinating documentation of Wilson's process.

The play premiered on April 5, 1977 at Eastern Michigan University, barely a year after Wilson's revolutionary opera "Einstein on the Beach," before traveling to the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York in May, 1977. In 1978 productions were mounted in ten European cities, ending in June at The Royal Court Theatre. A re-staged version, starring Christopher Nell and Julie Shanahan, and directed by Wilson and Childs, premiered fourty-four years later, on September 20, 2021 at Espace Cardin, in Paris.

Set upon an austere black and white stage set, a performer begins a monologue that appears to be a seemingly random outpouring of association, becoming increasingly feverish and frantic before being replaced by another, only to be replayed in a nearly identical, yet strikingly different, fashion. A seminal piece of experimental theater.

"12/76-2/77" script:

Self wrappers with front wrapper integral with title page, with credits for playwright Robert Wilson, performers Lucinda Childs and Robert Wilson, and music by Alan Lloyd. First page dated "12/76-2/77" on upper left with credits for playwright Robert Wilson on upper right. 39 leaves, with last page of text with a copied annotation number of 38. Xerographic duplication, rectos only. Pages Near Fine, side stapled with six staples, three on recto and three on verso, with light toning to the extremities.

1978 script:

11.75 x 8.75 inches, side stapled in card wrappers. Very Good plus, with light toning and creasing at spine fold, wrappers with light rubbing overall, some edgewear, and creasing at spine fold.

[Book #155042]