Edward Albee came to my class today. Just dropped on by. To our class, where coincidentally we were talking about his work. Crazy!
I’m not the hugest Albee fan though I admire what he has accomplished and find some of his plays worth all the attention they have received over the years. I do think his conception of theater is just so different than mine. And that’s something that I’m starting to get used to I think. We don’t all want or need theater to be the same thing. For him, it’s all about the playwright, the play exists solely as a product of one person. I belive very strongly that it’s a collaboration and that many people are involved in making theater, audience included. It’s collaborative and communiative. So that’s just were we are gonna have to just differ. No msatter what differneces exist he is still EDWARD ALBEE and he CAME TO MY CLASS and that is pretty darn RAD.
So here are some of the notes I scribbled (I also drew a sketch and maybe if I can figure out how to make my scanner work again I’ll upload it):
in referance to the new first act attached to Zoo Story: “take it on faith that it’s a better play in its two act version”
“If you write a play and if anybody wants to produce it that’s where the trouble starts”
“If people knew how to read plays nobody would need to pay to see them”
His advice to actors: “Do whatever you want as long as you end up exactly where I intended”
“The creative act is what the writer does”
In reference to a production of his he directed: “I won a Pulitzer prize so I couldn’t have fucked that up”
How long should a play be: As long as it needs to be.
How many characters should it have: No more characters than you need but as many you need
He was asked about contemporary writers he liked. He couldn’t remember names off the spot (I don’t blame him, it’s a hard thing to do) but he did mention Will Eno and Jennifer Schwartz as people to look out for.