Edward Albee will moderate while I and all the other creators of dramatic works for Playwrights Horizons will chat. Onstage, with you in the audience tossing questions our way. And we’ll enlighten you about the mysteries of the creative process (maybe). I’ll probably just mumble occasionally and nod my head sagely. I will try hard not to embarrass myself, even. 7:30pm, Mon Sept 13 at the Tribeca 92nd St. Y.
What do I know of Edward Albee? Well, I knew he was famous as the writer of the huge hit film “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, but I was too young to see it (or understand it) when it came out in 1966. Ten years later, when I landed the job of music director for the unapologetically political “Epic West” (The Center for the Study of Bertolt Brecht), Edward Albee’s name was often spat with contempt by the people in charge there. Heck, I was young and excited to be in this radical marxist environment (I’d grown up in a Goldwater/John Wayne household), but I didn’t quite understand all the fine political distinctions being made. I didn’t really understand Brecht. And I’d never even read Albee, so I always wondered what he’d done to get under their skin so much.
Ever since, whenever I hear Albee’s name, I’m brought back to that time in my early 20’s when I was trying to make sense of the world of Epic West. Their disdain of Albee was pretty silly – their strict Brechtian dogma did not result in very good theater after all (I could show you the reviews…). And the bits of Albee I’ve read in acting classes in the years since? I rather like them.
I’ve worked with the Brechtians. It was an interesting introduction to theater. Now it’s time to chat with Mr. Albee.