This collection contains three full-length plays and a monologue: CONJURING AN EVENT, JUNGLE COUP, THE KILLING OF YABLONSKI, and SCOOPING. From the introduction by Robert Marx, Executive Director of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts: "Richard Nelson has gifts to spare. His talent, skill, wisdom, persistence and faith in the power of theater have led to an unprecedented American career. Irony, which infuses his writing, has come to inform his life. He is one of the most-produced American writers in Europe and England (particularly by the Royal Shakespeare Company), but Nelson's plays have enjoyed few major productions in the U S A. He writes passionately about his country's politics and morals, but his prime audiences are foreign. Nelson is able to create plays built upon venomous characters and brutal scenes, but is himself generously loyal to family and colleagues. On stage and in life, there is no one quite like him..... This three-volume collection of Richard's early plays provides a welcome chance to revisit his exciting young work and the struggles of a writer's career.... The four plays in this first volume (THE KILLING OF YABLONSKI, CONJURING AN EVENT, JUNGLE COUP and the short monologue SCOOPING) were written between 1975 and 1977. An indication of the excitement sparked by Richard Nelson, whose plays first surfaced in informal workshops at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, is that the three full-length works included here were all produced by major not-for-profit New York theaters in back-to-back presentations between February and June 1978. It was a critical trial-by-fire, and a painful time for him, but these darkly comic plays have themes, character traits and theatrical set-ups that Nelson would refine in his acclaimed later work. The Chekhovian spirit that informs Nelson's mature plays is not yet evident, but many of the basic tenets of his writing are already in place. From the start, Richard has been something of an American contrarian. In common with O'Neill, he often explores the dark side of American myth and bravado. The mid-1970s was the Post-Watergate era. Counter-culture investigative journalism brought down the Nixon White House, and reporters replaced rock stars as gods for the young. These four reporter plays aimed to burst the bubble of admiration that surrounded American journalism at that time."