Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee (1962)
Theatre | Comedic Drama
“Twelve times a week,” answered Uta Hagen when asked how often she’d like to play Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? In the same way, audiences and critics alike could not get enough of Edward Albee’s masterful play. A dark comedy, it portrays husband and wife George and Martha in a searing night of dangerous fun and games. By the evening’s end, a stunning, almost unbearable revelation provides a climax that has shocked audiences for years. With the play’s razor-sharp dialogue and the stripping away of social pretense, Newsweek rightly foresaw Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as “a brilliantly original work of art–an excoriating theatrical experience, surging with shocks of recognition and dramatic fire [that] will be igniting Broadway for some time to come.”
pooled ink Review:
Insane yet pretty brilliant.
Side note: I actually wrote a paper on Edward Albee in college with this particular play as one of my focus points for my exploration of Albee and gender roles. It was quite interesting to do the research! I definitely recommend this play…I suppose I could go into analysis and detail on the brilliance of this play but I’m afraid it may end up simply too long for a blog seeing as there is too much to just ignore. Haha I’d post my essay in its place but that is surely longer. So I shall stick with my short yet exceedingly accurate four word review and hope that you take me up on the recommendation and read it for yourself.
Posted on Goodreads on September 17, 2014
Purchase here: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Meet Edward Albee!
Edward Franklin Albee III is an American playwright known for works including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Zoo Story, The Sandbox and The American Dream. His works are considered well-crafted and 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.
Albee himself describes his work as “an examination of the American Scene, an attack on the substitution of artificial for real values in our society, a condemnation of complacency, cruelty, and emasculation and vacuity, a stand against the fiction that everything in this slipping land of ours is peachy-keen.” -Goodreads