“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Passing of Edward Albee…

Posted on September 16, 2016 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

    Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee challenged theatrical convention in masterworks such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and A Delicate Balance. The former work opened on Broadway in 1962. The Tony-winning play, still widely considered Albee’s finest, was made into an award-winning 1966 film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Albee was arguably America’s greatest living playwright. His daring mix of theatricality and biting dialogue helped reinvent the post-war American theatre in the early 1960s.

270px-edward_albee_by_reginald_gray   Albee was born in 1928, and was adopted by a wealthy suburban New York couple. Estranged from his parents, Albee worked as a messenger for Western Union before gaining notice with The Zoo Story, a one-act play written in 1958. His early works reflect an Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd that descended from European playwrights, including Eugene Ionesco. The playwright shook up a Broadway dominated by Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, and their intellectual disciples. Many of his works had similar things in common: domestic rancor inflamed by booze, a sense of unknown anxiety, a lost child who creates a marital friction, and precise but flailing language that alternates between comic and profound. Willing to tackle successful works, Albee adapted to the stage the productions of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Lolita.

   The Edward F. Albee Foundation was founded in 1967, after proceeds from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf proved abundant. The foundation has maintained the William Flanagan Memorial Creative Persons Center in Montauk, on Long Island, as a residence for writers and visual artists. The mission of the foundation:

To serve writers and visual artists from all walks of life, by providing time and space in which to work without disturbance. The only criteria for selection are talent and need, and the foundation invites any and all artists to apply.

   Albee was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1972. In 1985, Albee was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Albee was honored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1996 for his lifetime contributions. Then-President Bill Clinton praised Albee as a creative type who inspired a generation of American dramatists. Clinton also awarded Albee a National Medal of the Arts that year.

   The acerbic Edward Albee was 88.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

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