re: Albee on Woolf
Posted by: BruceinIthaca 04:18 pm EST 01/15/22
In reply to: re: Albee on Woolf - icecadet 01:20 pm EST 01/15/22

I will confess I performed ALL four roles for my final performance assignment in Lilla Heston's Interpretation of Drama class at Northwestern in Fall 1976. (I did the final scene--Miss Heston said Honey was my best character--which says something about me and about Miss H.)

Should I contact the Albee estate? ;) (Of course, I realize a classroom assignment is something entirely different from even a staged public reading would be. For the record, I've always taken Albee at his word--even if the times would not have allowed him to depict gay couples in a Broadway show, and his depiction of married life may be inflected by his perspective as a gay man, though not, as William Goldman would have it, "distorted" by it--God knows, LGBT folk have so much contact with heterosexual couples that we certainly don't view their social interactions as "alien" to our observations--I think, even if his original idea was to show gay coupledom (and nothing he ever said leads me to believe it was), the play simply became something different--about two heterosexual/dysfunctional marriages. To read it otherwise seems to me to make leaps the script doesn't support--Honey's hysterical pregnancy would make no sense, there would be no "revelation" that George and Martha's son was imaginary (Sorry: SPOILER!!!)--it would have been the rare gay male couple that could pass off having a son (even if adopted or the product of the previous heterosexual marriage of one of the pair) in a small 1960s college town where one of the "men" (i.e. Martha) was the openly gay son of the college president. That college president would have done everything possible to cover up such a son's sexuality and would certainly not invite "him" to be hostess at a party. The entire premise and structure of the play would be unrealistic. Given Albee, if he had wanted to write a play involving two gay male "marriages," he would either have done so later or would have talked openly about the constraints on "artists who happened to be gay" (as he probably would have preferred to be known) later. Whenever I heard him him interviewed, candor seemed like a consistent trait.

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