Albee Talks ME, MYSELF & I and 5 Decades in the Theatre

He is one of the most admired and accomplished playwrites of all time.  Edward Albee has given the theater canon such classics as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Zoo Story, A Delicate Balance, Seascape, The Goat or, and Three Tall Women.  Now, more than 5 decades after the premiere of The Zoo Story, which put a 30 year-old Albee on the map, the playwright is still at it, with his latest (and 30th play), Me, Myself & I, opening at Playwrights Horizons on September 12, 2010.  Previews began last night, August 24.

Albee recently sat down with the Village Voice to discuss his prolific career, his favorite shows and his thoughts on the director/playwright relationship.

Among the highights of the interview:

The Village Voice: It's 50 years since The Zoo Story opened Off-Broadway. Did you have any idea then of the course your career would take?

Edward Albee: Well, having started by writing poetry and short fiction and novels, and knowing that none of it was any good, when I wrote The Zoo Story I was aware that I had finally written something that was good and that I might have a career as a writer, so that didn't surprise me.

VV: What has surprised you?

EA: The unpredictability of critical response, vicissitudes of having a career in the arts-sometimes you're in favor and sometimes you're so completely out of favor that you could have written the best play in the world and they would still give it a bad review.

VV: Have your literary tastes changed much over the years?

EA: No, although I've become more and more impatient with mediocrity. I've always liked the tough ones, the ones who try to make everyone think differently about the possibilities of the art form.

VV: What makes someone a good director of your work?

EA: To realize that the proper function of a director is to do an accurate translation of the play from the page to the stage. If the play is lousy, I suppose a director could improve it, as can actors. The better the play, the more damage they and the actors can do.

Click here to read the full interview in The Village Voice.

In Edward Albee's ME, MYSELF & I, Mother (Ms. Ashley) can't tell her identical twins apart. But when Otto (Mr. Booth) announces his brother (Mr. Sadleir) doesn't exist, the household descends into chaos.

Directed by Tony Award nominee, Obie Award winner and McCarter Theatre Center Artistic Director Emily Mann (Miss Witherspoon at Playwrights Horizons, Having Our Say on Broadway, Mr. Albee's All Over), the production will began previews Tuesday, August 24 at 8PM. With an Opening Night set for Sunday, September 12 at 7PM, the limited engagement is now on sale through Sunday, October 10 at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street).

The production will feature scenic design by Thomas Lynch, costume design by Jennifer Von Mayrhauser, lighting design by Kenneth Posner and sound design by Darron L West. Production Stage Manager is Alison Cote.

Albee makes his Playwrights Horizons debut with this production. Ms. Mann previously worked with Playwrights Horizons directing Miss Witherspoon (2005). Both Ms. Ashley and Mr. Murray are also returning to the theater company, where she appeared in When She Danced (1990) and he appeared in both The Butterfly Collection (2000) and Mud, River, Stone (1997). Mr. Booth previously appeared at Playwrights Horizons in Prayer for My Enemy (2009).

For tickets and more information, visit www.playwrightshorizons.org.

 



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