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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Biz Staff Pick!
Author: Edward Albee
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 115
Pub. Date: 1962
ISBN-10: 0822212498
ISBN-13: 9780822212492
Cast Size: 2 female, 2 male

About the Play:

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? has long been a favourite of acting teachers for female monologues, male monologues, female/male scenes, and male/male scenes.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a full-length drama by Edward Albee. One night. Four people. Two marriages. The author won the Tony Award for his Broadway debut, in which a college professor and his wife invite a younger academic and his wife over for drinks after a late-night party, leading to an evening of sadistic games, attempted seductions and shattering revelations. A classic American portrait of a tempest-tossed marriage, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is especially recommended for repertory and community theatre productions.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? portrays a husband and wife in a searing night of dangerous fun and games. George, a professor at a small college, and his wife, Martha, have just returned home, drunk from a Saturday night party. Martha announces, amidst general profanity, that she has invited a young couple – an opportunistic new professor at the college and his shatteringly naive new bride – to stop by for a nightcap. When they arrive the charade begins. The drinks flow and suddenly inhibitions melt. It becomes clear that Martha is determined to seduce the young professor, and George couldn't care less. But underneath the edgy banter, which is cross-fired between both couples, lurks an undercurrent of tragedy and despair. George and Martha's inhuman bitterness toward one another is provoked by the enormous personal sadness that they have pledged to keep to themselves: a secret that has seemingly been the foundation for their relationship. In the end, the mystery in which the distressed George and Martha have taken refuge is exposed, once and for all revealing the degrading mess they have made of their lives. Gut-wrenching and visceral, this seminal work shows that Edward Albee's genius is as powerful and relevant today as it was over fifty years ago.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? premiered in 1962 at Broadway's Billy Rose Theatre, ran for over eighteen months, and won the Tony Award for Best Play. Uta Hagen originated the role of Martha, earned her second Tony Award and two years later won the London Critics Award for her role in the English production – "Twelve times a week," she answered, when asked how often she'd like to play Martha. The show enjoyed numerous award-winning revivals and tours, has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops, and is regularly performed in regional repertory, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 2 female, 2 male

What people say:

"Towers over the common run of contemporary plays." — The New York Times

"This is a Big One." — New York Journal-American

"…a scorching, scalding, revealing and completely engrossing drama." — Women's Wear Daily

"…a brilliant piece of writing." — New York Herald-Tribune

"Albee can … be placed high among the important dramatists of the contemporary world theatre." — New York Post

"An irreplaceable experience … A crucial event in the birth of contemporary American theatre." — Village Voice

About the Playwright:

Edward Albee (1928-2016) was an American playwright. Widely considered the foremost American dramatist of his generation, he wrote and directed some of the best plays in contemporary American theatre. Three of his plays have received Pulitzer Prizes, and two won a Tony Award for best play. He was awarded the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1980, and in 1996 he received both the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts. In 2005 he was awarded the special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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