Albee, Edward

Albee, Edward

▪ American author
in full  Edward Franklin Albee  
born March 12, 1928, Washington, D.C., U.S.

      American dramatist and theatrical producer best-known for his play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), which displays slashing insight and witty dialogue in its gruesome portrayal of married life.

      Albee was the adopted child of a father who had for a time been the assistant general manager of a chain of vaudeville theatres then partially owned by the Albee family. At the time of Albee's adoption, though, both his parents were involved with owning and showing saddle horses. He had a difficult relationship with his parents, particularly with his mother, whom he saw as distant and unloving. Albee grew up in New York City and nearby Westchester county. He was educated at Choate School (graduated 1946) and at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut (1946–47). He wrote poetry and an unpublished novel but turned to plays in the late 1950s.

      Among Albee's early one-act plays, The Zoo Story (1959), The Sandbox (1959), and The American Dream (1961) were the most successful and established him as an astute critic of American values. But it is his first full-length play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (filmed 1966), that remains his most important work. In this play a middle-aged professor, his wife, and a younger couple engage one night in an unrestrained drinking bout that is filled with malicious games, insults, humiliations, betrayals, savage witticisms, and painful, self-revealing confrontations. Virginia Woolf won immediate acclaim and established Albee as a major American playwright. It was followed by a number of full-length works—including A Delicate Balance (1966; winner of a Pulitzer Prize), which was based in part on his mother's witty alcoholic sister, and Three Tall Women (1994; Pulitzer Prize). The latter play deals with Albee's perceptions and feelings about his mother and is a remarkable portrait achieved by presenting the interaction of three women, who resemble each other, at different stages of life. Among his other plays are Tiny Alice (1965), which begins as a philosophical discussion between a lawyer and a cardinal; Seascape (1975; also winner of a Pulitzer Prize), a poetic exploration of evolution; and The Play About the Baby (2002), on the mysteries of birth and parenthood. In addition to writing, Albee produced a number of plays and lectured at schools throughout the country.

Additional Reading
Mel Gussow, Edward Albee: A Singular Journey (1999), is a biography of the playwright. Among the critical studies are Anne Paolucci, From Tension to Tonic: The Plays of Edward Albee (1972, reissued 2000); Richard E. Amacher, Edward Albee, rev. ed. (1982); Philip C. Kolin and J. Madison Davis (eds.), Critical Essays on Edward Albee (1986); Harold Bloom (ed.), Edward Albee (1987); Matthew C. Roudané, Understanding Edward Albee (1987); and Gerry McCarthy, Edward Albee (1987).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Albee, Edward Franklin — ▪ American theatrical manager born Oct. 8, 1857, Machias, Maine, U.S. died March 11, 1930, Palm Beach, Fla.       theatrical manager who, as the general manager of the Keith Albee theatre circuit, was the most influential person in vaudeville in… …   Universalium

  • Albee,Edward Franklin — Al·bee (ôlʹbē, ŏlʹ , ălʹ ), Edward Franklin. Born 1928. American playwright. Best known for Who s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1967 for A Delicate Balance, in 1975 for Seascape, and in 1994 for Three Tall Women. *… …   Universalium

  • Albee, Edward — ► (n. 1928) Dramaturgo estadounidense. Fue premio Pulitzer en 1975, por Marina. Con una doble tradición teatral: el absurdo, visible en Historia del Zoo (1959), y el drama de influencia freudiana, en obras como ¿Quién teme a Virginia Woolf?… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Albee, Edward (Franklin) — born March 12, 1928, Virginia, U.S. U.S. playwright. He was the adopted grandson and namesake of a well known vaudeville theatre manager. His first one act play, The Zoo Story (1959), and other early plays, including The Sandbox (1960) and The… …   Universalium

  • Albee, Edward (Franklin) — (n. 12 mar. 1928, Virginia, EE.UU.). Dramaturgo estadounidense. Fue el nieto adoptivo y homónimo de un afamado productor de teatro de vodevil. Su primera obra de un acto, La historia del zoo (1959), y otras obras tempranas, entre ellas The… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Albee, Edward Franklin —    см. Олби, Эдвард …   Писатели США. Краткие творческие биографии

  • Albee — Albee, Edward …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Edward Albee — Edward Albee. Edward Albee est un auteur dramatique américain né le 12 mars 1928 à Washington, D.C. (États Unis). Adopté deux semaines après sa venue au monde par Reed et Frances Albee, Edward Albee côtoie très jeune le monde des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Edward Albee — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Edward Franklin Albee Edward Franklin Albee (Ciudad de Washington, 12 de marzo de 1928). Escritor estadounidense, introdujo en buena parte a los EE. UU. en las nuevas tendencias dramáticas europeas de la segunda… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Albee — may refer to:In places: * Albee, South Dakota, a US town * Albee Township, MichiganPeople with the surname Albee: * Edward Albee (born 1928), American playwright * Timothy Albee, independent animated filmmaker * Spencer Albee (born 1976),… …   Wikipedia

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