Edward (Franklin) Albee

Definition

Theater

  • (1928 - ) US dramatist. Albee was born in Virginia and named after his adoptive grandfather, a manager of vaudeville theaters. He first came to public attention with a run of successful one-actplays, The Zoo Story (1959), The Sandbox (1960), andThe American Dream (1961), which led to his being classedwith the writers of the Theatre of the Absurd. Albee's reputationwas firmly established, however, by the Broadway success of his firstfull-length play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962),a campus play exploring the savage love-hate relationship of a collegeprofessor and his wife. In 1966, it was made into a successful filmstarring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. A Delicate Balance(1964) won Albee his first Pulitzer Prize, the second being awardedalmost a decade later for Seascape (1975).

    His later plays, which tend to be somewhat abstract and experimental, have on the whole been less successful with audiences and critics. Notable exceptions are Three Tall Women, which won Albee his third Pulitzer Prize in 1994, and the Tony Award-winning The Goat or Who is Sylvia? (2004), about an architect who falls in love with a goat. Me, Myself and I (2007) concerns a pair of identical twins both named Otto. Albee has adapted several works for the stage, including Nabokov's Lolita (1981), as well as directing a number of plays off-Broadway. The New York theater marked Albee's 80th birthday with a short season of his works in 2007 - 08.

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