A Shadow and A Silhouette is a memoir of the riotous 1970s taking place at the Bucks County Playhouse in the artist's colony of New Hope, Pennsylvania. A neurotic young writer and a scurrilous young actor find they have loves and fears and ambitions in common and strike up a friendship based on imbibing, art and women. While the writer is recovering from a violent end to his college career and early love life, the sodden actor is escaping from an overwhelming fear of imaginary gigantic spiders, as both find relief in the local gin mills and one sordid affair after another. Old-time movie and TV actors and actresses like Yvonne DeCarlo, Tom Poston and Dana Andrews makes cameo appearances when they come to town to act in the playhouse's productions. The wild young days of artists and alcoholics turn inevitably toward disaster and disintegration, as novels get written and theater is acted out in tragedy and comedy and personal failings turn ugly.