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viernes, 1 de mayo de 2009

Edward Albee

"Writing should be useful. If it can't instruct people a little bit more about the responsibilities of consciousness there's no point in doing it."

Edward Franklin Albee III (IPA: [ˈɔːlbiː] "AWL-bee") (born March 12, 1928) is an American playwright best known for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Zoo Story, The Sandbox and The American Dream. His works are considered well-crafted, often unsympathetic examinations of the modern condition. His early works reflect a mastery and Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd that found its peak in works by European playwrights such as Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett, and Eugène Ionesco. Younger American playwrights, such as Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel, credit Albee's daring mix of theatricalism and biting dialogue with helping to reinvent the post-war American theatre in the early 1960s. Albee continued to experiment in new works, such as The Goat: or, Who Is Sylvia? (2002).

According to Magill's Survey of American Literature (2007), Edward Albee was born somewhere in Virginia (contrary to the popular belief that he was born in Washington, D.C.). He was adopted two weeks later and taken to Larchmont, New York in Westchester County, where he grew up. Albee's adoptive father, Reed A. Albee, the wealthy son of vaudeville magnate Edward Franklin Albee II, owned several theaters. Here the young Edward first gained familiarity with the theatre as a child. His adoptive mother, Reed's third wife, Frances tried to raise Albee to fit into their social circles.

Albee attended the Rye Country Day School in New York, then the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, from which he was expelled. He then was sent to Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1945 at the age of 17. He enrolled in the graduate studies program at Choate prep school in Connecticut, graduating in 1946. His formal education continued at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he was expelled in 1947 for skipping classes and refusing to attend compulsory chapel. In response to his expulsion, Albee's play "Who is Afraid of Virgina Wolf" is believed to be based on his experiences at Trinity College.

Albee left home for good when he was in his late teens. In a later interview, he said: "I never felt comfortable with the adoptive parents. I don't think they knew how to be parents. I probably didn't know how to be a son, either." More recently, he told interviewer Charlie Rose that he was "thrown out" because his parents wanted him to become a "corporate thug", and didn't approve of his aspirations to become a writer.

Albee moved into New York's Greenwich Village, where he supported himself with odd jobs while learning to write plays. His first play The Zoo Story, was first staged in Berln. The less than diligent student later dedicated much of his time to promoting American university theatre. He frequently spoke at campuses and served as a distinguished professor at the University of Houston from 1989 to 2003.


A member of the Dramatists Guild Council, Albee has received three Pulitzer Prizes for drama — for A Delicate Balance (1967), Seascape (1975), and Three Tall Women (1994); a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement (2005); the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1980); as well as the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts (both in 1996).

Albee is the President of the Edward F. Albee Foundation, Inc., which maintains the William Flanagan Creative Persons Center, a writers and artists colony in Montauk, New York. Albee's longtime partner, Jonathan Thomas, a sculptor, died on May 2, 2005, from bladder cancer.

In 2008, in celebration of Albee's eightieth birthday, a number of his plays were mounted in distinguished Off Broadway venues, including the historic Cherry Lane Theatre. The playwright directed two of his one-acts, The American Dream and The Sandbox there. These were first produced at the theater in 1961 and 1962, respectively.

The Zoo Story (1958)
The Death of Bessie Smith (1959)
The Sandbox (1959)
Fam and Yam (1959)
The American Dream (1960)
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1961-62)
The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1963) (adapted from the novella by Carson McCullers)
Tiny Alice (1964)
Malcolm (1965) (adapted from the novel by James Purdy)
A Delicate Balance (1966)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1966)
Everything in the Garden (1967)
Box (1968)
All Over (1971)
Seascape (1974)
Listening (1975)
Counting the Ways (1976)
The Lady From Dubuque (1977-79)
Lolita (adapted from the novel by Vladimir Nabokov) (1981)
The Man Who Had Three Arms (1981)
Finding the Sun (1982)
Marriage Play (1986-87)
Three Tall Women (1990-91)
The Lorca Play (1992)
Fragments (1993)
The Play About the Baby (1996)
The Goat or Who is Sylvia? (2002)
Occupant (2001)
Knock! Knock! Who's There!? (2003)
Peter & Jerry retitled in 2009 as At Home at the Zoo (Act One: Homelife. Act Two: The Zoo Story) (2004)
Me, Myself and I (2007)

Entrevista que le hizo Charlie Rose a Edward Albee, 27 de Mayo del 2008




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