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Missed SEEING the play? READ the play!

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Missed SEEING the play?  READ the play
                                                   by JMW

This section is based on my experiences in Trek fandom in the 70s.  Once I found the fandom, my interest, like that of most fans, went beyond the characters on screen to the actors behind those characters  -- and NOT may I add in the way the stereotype of “Trekkies” and “Get a Life–ers” suggests either! Most people, I’ve found, are to some extent curious about actors’ bodies of work before they played their well-known characters.    In the pre-internet days, finding this information took a lot of work – but most of all luck.  I was born and raised in one of the boroughs of NYC, which put me only a subway ride away from the Lincoln Center Library of the Performing Arts, an incredible source of info on plays, actors and the history of the theater in general.  Thanks to this wonderful institution I compiled a scrapbook of clippings and playbills so as to have something to be autographed that has more meaning to me, even all these years later, than just one more 8 x 10 of an actor in a long ago role.


 But even more to the point, I discovered on researching the previous work of a number of the actors that they had been in many, many interesting sounding plays – in a number of cases before I was even born!  Without a time machine there wasn’t much I could do about missing the performances themselves, but there was still a way to “see” the plays –- one that really seemed obvious to a bookworm like me.  I scouted out the plays in libraries and in that venerable NY institution, The Drama Bookshop (source of the yellow covered Samuel French playbooks that KLS mentions with fondness in at least one of her Dark Shadows books), and READ them, seeing the actors in question in performance in my mind’s eye.


These experiences came immediately to mind when I rediscovered Dark Shadows – and David Selby’s work – back in 2002.  As mentioned elsewhere on this site, it was certain scenes of his that reawakened me to a serious interest in the show, as well as an interest in finding more of his work than I had managed to encounter casually up to that time.


Thanks to the Internet, this was not the time consuming chore it had been in my Trek days.  However, it was far more bang head on the wall frustrating, because in finding his list of credits in both In and Out of the Shadows and on, it was obvious to me that I had “missed him by THAT MUCH” in stage performances many times over the years.  I managed to miss him in Princeton, at a time when I was there at least two weekends a month.  Later I missed seeing him in Connecticut TWICE during the time I was in physical therapy.  Finally had to traipse down to Martinsburg WV to see him in a non-DS oriented role. So, once again my bookworm instincts took over, and I started seeking out the plays he had done.


So, for the like minded Selby fan, I have made a list of the plays he has done, arranged by author.  The details on his credits themselves are taken from the list of stage credits given in the two sources referenced above.  (The webmaster at was kind enough to confirm for me that the information itself is public domain, as long as the format of either source is not copied verbatim.  Thus, the use of it on this site does not infringe on David Selby’s copyright on either his website or In and Out of the Shadows.)  


What I have also done is indicate whether or not the work is available on the Project Gutenberg website and thus downloadable free of charge.  Project Gutenberg, for those who have never heard of it, can best be explained by being an attempt to build an on-line equivalent of the great Library of Alexandria.  What the organizers of this site are doing is attempting to compile a site containing all the great works of literature that are no longer covered by the copyright laws (Best I remember of the latest law is that this is the period of the author’s life plus fifty years).


For those able and willing to purchase the plays, here are the websites for




Jean Anouilh


       The Rehearsal – The Count -- 1987


Shelby Buford


     A Hundred Percent Alive (The Slugger) – Dave Krelack -- 1979



Augustus & Ruth Goetz (From the book by Henry James)



     The Heiress – Morris Townsend --1976


Project Gutenberg Link to Washington Square by Henry James:


AR Gurney


     Love Letters  -- Andy Ladd 1990 & 2003 (With Susan Sullivan of Falcon Crest)



Lillian Hellman


     The Children’s Hour – Dr. Joseph Cardin -- 1978

     Toys in the Attic – Julian Berniers --1978



Kermit Hunter


  Honey in the Rock  - Rev. Butelle --1961



Henrik Ibsen


     Hedda Gabler – Eilert Lovborg -- 1981


Project Gutenberg Link:



George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart



     You Can’t Take it With You – Tony –1966



Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee


     Inherit the Wind – Henry Drummond --1965

     Mame – Beauregard -1992



Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe


  Brigadoon – Sandy Dean --1961




Conor McPherson


     St Nicholas – one man show -- 2000



Arthur Miller


     The Crucible – role not given – 1966; John Proctor -- 1990



N. Richard Nash


     Echoes – Sam -- 1973



Joyce Carol Oates


     The Perfectionist  -- Tobias Harte -- 1993



Eugene O’Neal


     A Long Day’s Journey into Night  -- James Tyrone – 1998 & 1999



David Rabe


     Sticks and Bones – David –1971-72



Dennis J. Reardon


     The Siamese Connections – Franklin Kroner Jr. 1973



Mark Reed


     Yes My Darling Daughter – Doug Hall -- 1968



Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II


       Oklahoma – Will Parker --1962



William Shakespeare


     Henry IV – Prince Hal -- 1974

Project Gutenberg link:


     Much Ado About Nothing – Benedick -- 1992

Project Gutenberg link:


     Romeo & Juliet – Mercutio -- 1963

Project Gutenberg link:


     The Tempest – Alonso --1967

Project Gutenberg link:



George Bernard Shaw


    The Devil’s Disciple – Dick Dudgeon --1970

Project Gutenberg link:


    You Never Can Tell – Mr. Valentine -- 1966

Project Gutenberg link:



Sam Shepard


     Forensic and the Navigator – Emmet -- 1970

       The Unseen Hand – Cisco Morphan -- 1970






   Oedipus Rex  -- Oedipus --  1964

Project Gutenberg link:



J.M. Synge


      The Playboy of the Western World  {G} -- Christy Mahon -- 1977

Project Gutenberg link:


Tennessee Williams


     Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Brick Pollick --1975

     Eccentricities of a Nightingale – Dr. John Buchanan Jr. -- 1976

     Night of the Iguana – Rev. Lawrence Shannon -- 1991



David Williamson


     Money and Friends – Stephen  -- 1993



Although the listing of plays and roles David Selby has done is a matter of public record, the format and the article above which prefaces the list are @JMW 2005  and may not be reused without permission

This website is @2004-2013 by JMW. No original article or photograph may be reprinted in any form without prior written permission from JMW