Artists Mourn Edward Albee

‘He Changed the World’: Edward Albee, the playwright whose Broadway debut — “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” — remains one of the best-known American plays, was mourned by the people who knew him best: those in the world of theater.

Edward Albee
Edward Albee

To the public, Mr. Albee, who died on Friday at the age of 88, was known primarily through his dramatic work — some 30 plays written over a career that spanned nearly six decades. For many colleagues and fans, his death was an opportunity to reflect on the man behind the curtain.

Playwrights expressed a particular debt to Mr. Albee, who won Tony Awards for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?,” as well as for lifetime achievement, in addition to three Pulitzer Prizes.

Tony Taccone, artistic director of Berkeley Repertory Theater, a prominent theater in California, interviewed Mr. Albee in San Francisco a few years ago. “He was a giant,” Mr. Taccone said. “He was able to navigate a wide range of styles, from hyper-realism to more expressionistic.”

Mr. Taccone described Mr. Albee as an absolutist and a risk-taker, and said that “he would have his characters talking in his head for three months, and if he could have them talk in his head for three months, then they’d stay as viable characters to be written on the page.”

Artists, authors, actors also spoke about the influence of Mr. Albee’s work. Some of twitters comments:

“Titan of the American Theater. Fearless. Original. Always challenged himself & his audiences.”

RIP Edward Albee.

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