Albee: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
This is a detailed study of one of the most important plays in contemporary theatre, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, by Edward Albee. In this fascinating look at the modern stage, Stephen Bottoms draws on original archival material and sources including an exclusive interview with Edward Albee. The Introduction considers the text of the play itself; part one provides a survey of the major productions from 1962 to 1999, with special attention paid to the premiere and the 1966 film version. Part two examines shifting critical responses to the play, demonstrating how changing times and attitudes have altered audience perception of performances. The third and final part offers a detailed examination of five different performances, comparing and contrasting directorial, design and acting approaches to demonstrate how our understanding of the play alters considerably according to its interpretation on stage.
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actors Afraid of Virginia Alan Schneider Albee's play Almeida production appeared Arthur Hill attempt audience Barr's Ben Gazzara Billy Rose Broadway Broadway premiere Broadway production Burton cast characters Clare Holman clearly Colleen Dewhurst commented critics David Suchet dialogue directed director drama Eddington Edward Albee Elaine Stritch emotional emphasis example exorcism film version Gazzara George and Martha George Grizzard George's guests Hill's homosexual Honey's Howard Davies illusion impact initially insistence interpretation Kauffmann Kerr kind Kolin Lehman lines London mance matinee McAnally McAnally's McNally movie Nancy Kelly National Theatre production naturalistic Nichols Nick and Honey October off-Broadway opening performance perhaps play's playwright Plowright Ray McAnally realisation recording rehearsals response revival Richard Barr Rigg Rigg's role Schechner Schneider 1986 script seems sense simply speech stage star story studio suggests Taylor theatrical things tion tone Tyzack Uta Hagen Virginia Woolf Warner Brothers Whitelaw Who's Afraid York
Page 8 - I have tried, oh God I have tried; the one thing ... the one thing I've tried to carry pure and unscathed through the sewer of this marriage; through the sick nights, and the pathetic, stupid days, through the derision and the laughter . . . God, the laughter, through one failure after another, one failure compounding another failure, each attempt more sickening, more numbing than the one before; the one thing, the one person I have tried to protect, to raise above the mire of this vile, crushing...
Page 7 - Martha and me. (They sit.) So? (Pause) So ... you're in the math department, eh? NICK. No . . . uh, no. GEORGE. Martha said you were. I think that's what she said. (Not too friendly) What made you decide to be a teacher? NICK. Oh . . . well, the same things that ... uh ... motivated you, I imagine. GEORGE. What were they? NICK (formal). Pardon? GEORGE. I said, what were they? What were the things that motivated me?
Page 9 - In most modern instances, interpretation amounts to the philistine refusal to leave the work of art alone. Real art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of art. Interpretation makes art manageable, conformable.