Edward Albee, award winning author of dozens of plays passed away Friday, September 16 at his home in Montauk, New York. He is considered to be one of the major playwrights of the twentieth century and his Who is Afraid of Virginai Wolf? is regarded as a masterpiece of American theater.
Albee was exposed to the theater from an early age after he was adopted by a theater family but his sensitive nature and disfunctional parents fueled his view of the world. His works were often psychologically complex looks at relationships and society.His career started in 1960 with The Zoo Story and continued writing for over fifty yearsthroughout which he had many failures and successes. Even into his 70s and 80s, Albee continued to write provocative and unconventional plays that were well reviewed and received.
Mr. Albee wrote more than 30 plays, including Zoo Story; The Death of Bessie Smith, The Sandbox, Fam and Yam, The American Dream; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? (Tony Award); The Ballad of the Sad Café; Tiny Alice; A Delicate Balance (Pulitzer Prize); Box and Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung; All Over; Seascape (Pulitzer Prize); Listening; Counting the Ways; The Three Arms; Finding the Sun; Marriage Play; Three Tall Women (Pulitzer Prize); Fragments; The Play About the Baby; The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Tony);Occupant; At Home at the Zoo (Homelife/ The Zoo Story); and Me, Myself and I.
He was a member of the Dramatists Guild Council and president of the Edward F. Albee Foundation. Mr. Albee was awarded the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1980 and in 1996 received the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts. In 2005 he was awarded a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. (Playbill.com)
The following quote by Albee himself expresses his view of his work:
- "If anybody wants me to say it, in one sentence, what my plays are about: They're about the nature of identity. Who we are, how we permit ourselves to be viewed, how we permit ourselves to view ourselves, how we practice identity or lack of identity." Edward Albee
Below is the official trailer for the film version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?