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Conversations with Edward Albee

Conversations with Edward Albee

Edited by Philip C. Kolin
Series: Literary Conversations Series

Paperback : 9780878053421, 258 pages, January 1988


Edward Albee has reigned over the American theater since 1959. By transporting the techniques of European absurdism to American soil, he ushered in a new era in the American theater. He has said he won two and one-half Pulitzers---one for Delicate Balance, one for Seascape, and the one-half supposedly for Virginia Woolf, which the Pulitzer committee denied to Albee in 1962 because they objected to the language of the play.

Albee's numerous roles and achievements are reflected in the lively interviews in this collection. These reveal the many sides and responses of one of the most significant dramatists of our age. In them we see the poised and guardedly amiable Albee; the angry Albee; the speculative and philosophical Albee; the historical-critical Albee; and the witty Albee.

Albee talks knowledgeably and frankly about every phase of staging his plays---the many personalities involved in the process and the playwright's prerogatives, which he jealously guards.

These twenty-seven interviews contain a rich sampler of Albee's own scathing wit, his wry humor, and his sometimes biting, sardonic innuendo. His targets are many---the New York theater critics, television, Hollywood and films, complacent America, and lazy audiences.


"Arranged chronologically, these interviews cover the years from Albee’s first success in 1961 with Zoo Story to 1986. As the foremost American avant-garde playwright, Albee discusses his plays, the creative process, the critics (‘ignore them’), and the state of American theater, which he finds to be thriving in experimental and university settings. This collection is of interest to serious theater students and deserves to be in most theater collections."

- Marcia L. Perry, Berkshire Atenaeum, Library Journal