I Am a Camera

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I Am a Camera
Julie Harris as Sally Bowles
Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, May 1952
Written byJohn Van Druten Adapted from the Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood
CharactersChristopher Isherwood
Fraulein Schneider
Fritz Wendel
Sally Bowles
Natalia Landauer
Clive Mortimer
Mrs. Watson-Courtneidge
Date premieredNovember 28, 1951
Place premieredEmpire Theatre, New York City
SubjectAn English writer living in Berlin before the rise of the Hitler regime
SettingA room in Fraulein Schneider's flat in Berlin 1930

I Am a Camera is a 1951 Broadway play by John Van Druten[1][2] adapted from Christopher Isherwood's 1939 novel Goodbye to Berlin, which is part of The Berlin Stories. The title is a quotation taken from the novel's first page: "I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking."[3] The original production was staged by John Van Druten, with scenic and lighting design by Boris Aronson and costumes by Ellen Goldsborough.[1] It opened at the Empire Theatre in New York City on November 28, 1951 and ran for 214 performances before closing on July 12, 1952.[4]

The production was a critically acclaimed success for both Julie Harris as the insouciant Sally Bowles, winning her the first of five Tony Awards of her career for Best Leading Actress in a play, and for Marian Winters, who won both the Theatre World Award and Tony Award for Featured Actress in a Play. The play also won for John Van Druten the New York Drama Critics' Circle for Best American Play (1952).[4] It also earned the famous review by Walter Kerr, "Me no Leica".[5][6]

Original Broadway Cast (1951)[edit]



  1. ^ a b Van Druten, John (1951). I Am a Camera. Random House, Inc.
  2. ^ Van Druten, John (1998). I Am a Camera. Dramatists Play Service, Inc. ISBN 0822205459.
  3. ^ Isherwood, Christopher (1963). The Berlin Stories: the Last of Mr. Norris and Goodbye to Berlin. New Directions. ISBN 0811200701.
  4. ^ a b Playbill Vault. "I Am a Camera on Broadway". Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  5. ^ Botto, Louis."Quotable Critics" Playbill, May 28, 2008
  6. ^ Friedman, M. (1989). "Commercial expressions in American humor: an analysis of selected popular-cultural works of the postwar era". Humor – International Journal of Humor Research. 2 (3): 265–284. doi:10.1515/humr.1989.2.3.265. ISSN 1613-3722. S2CID 145418943.

External links[edit]