Maryland Ensemble Theatre Opens WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? Tonight

Maryland Ensemble Theatre Opens WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? Tonight

Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET) is proud to present Edward Albee's Tony Award winning masterpiece, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The hilariously dark martial war of words will run every Thursday through Sunday at Maryland Ensemble Theatre from tonight, February 14 through March 9.

On the campus of a small New England university the once loving but now embittered and battle-scarred middle-aged couple, George and Martha, entertain a new young professor and his wife following a late night faculty party. Over the course of the evening the unwitting guests are drawn into a three act tour de force of humiliation, frustration and manipulation that will leave everyone's cards face-up on the table and a marriage in tatters. Marital strife has never been so wickedly fun as the sharp tongued dysfunctional couple discover inventive ways to get under the other's skin, building to a climax that still leaves audience aghast.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? premiered on Broadway in late 1962 and went on to win both the Tony Award and the New York Drama Critics' Circle award for Best Play. Hailed at the time as "a brilliant original work of art" (Newsweek), the numerous award winning revivals over the past half century have proven that the play still packs the same punch it delivered in its debut. The play's author, Edward Albee, has received three Pulitzer Prizes for drama and was selected by the award's drama jury for Virginia Woolf? but was overruled by the advisory committee which elected not to give a drama award at all that year because of the play's then controversial use of profanity and sexual themes. Albee is also well known for his other works including The Zoo Story, The American Dream and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia but Virginia Woolf? would likely be his most well known work in some part due to Mike Nichols 1966 film adaptation featuring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

Maryland Ensemble Theatre's production of Virginia Woolf? will feature MET's Founding Producing Director, Tad Janes, in the role of George and MET Associate Artistic Director, Julie Herber, as Martha. "It's definitely on my 'bucket list' of roles that I'd love to do, so I'm thrilled to get the chance to have a crack at Martha," said Herber. "And, I'm excited to share the stage with Tad! We have had some fun with other 'power' couples in the past such as Macbeth and Lady M, so it's really nice to go for another ride." MET Company Members Joe Jalette and Courtney McLaughlin will portray the young unsuspecting married couple, Nick and Honey.

The show's director Peter Wray, is an associate artist at MET where he has directed The Glass Menagerie, American Buffalo, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Almost Maine, and Macbeth among others. Regionally, he has worked at Everyman Theatre, Rep Stage, The Bay Theatre Company, Generous Company, WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory and Maryland Institute College of Art. Peter is an associate professor of theatre at Towson University. "I'm grateful to the MET for giving me the chance to direct Albee's, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. I have been eager to bring this incisively funny and deeply riveting American play to life with a dynamic cast of ensemble members for years," said Wray.

Wray will be ably assisted by a design team including, Jennifer Adams (costumes), Allison Duvall (set), Paul Shillinger (lights), James McGarvey (properties) and Steve Younkins (sound). Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? will run from February 14 through March 9 at MET, located in the historic FSK Hotel at 31 W Patrick Street. Thursday, February 13 there will be preview performances at 8pm and tickets to that show are $5 (cash only at door/no reservations). The opening weekend will also include a social with the cast following Saturdays' performance and the first Sunday performance will be preceded by a reception hosted by MET Board Members Rona Mensah and JoAnn Lee and sponsored by JoJo's Restaurant & Tap House.

Tickets to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? are $16.50 (Thursdays) through $25.50 and can be purchased at 301.694.4744, marylandensemble.org or in person at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre box office. This show is made possible in part through the support of show sponsor Holistic Health and MET's season sponsors including Comcast, The Frederick Gorilla, Key 103, Eagle 106.9, Ausherman Family Foundation, Mark A Pitts Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, The Frederick News Post and both the Frederick and Maryland Arts Councils.

Now in its sixteenth season, Maryland Ensemble Theatre produces thought-provoking theatre, fun family entertainment, artist residency programs for public schools, theatre camps, challenging classes and side-splitting comedy.

Photo Credit: Dan Brick

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