Il teatro dell’assurdo Americano
Edward F. Albee
At the end of the 1950s the semi-absurdist plays of Edward Franklin Albee III (1928- ) attracted American audiences with their intelligent dialogue. Edward Albee was adopted as an infant by Reed Albee, the son of Edward Franklin Albee, a powerful (potente) American Vaudeville (forma di teatro popolare) producer. The future writer soon come into conflict (venne in conflitto) against his family and started associating with artists and intellectuals. At 20 Edward moved to New York’s Greenwich Village where he held (fece) a variety of unusual jobs before achieving (raggiungere) his success with The Zoo Story, in 1959. The play gave birth (diede origine) to American absurdist drama and Albee was seen as the leader of a new theatrical movement, the successor to Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, and Eugene O’Neill, but he is more closely related to the European playwrights as Beckett and Harold Pinter. Albee describes his plays as “an examination of the American Scene, an attack on the substitution of artificial for real values in our society”. His works are considered well-crafted (ben costruiti), an unsympathetic (distaccato) examination of the modern condition. Among his other famous plays are The Sandbox (1959) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962). He also rewrote (riscrisse) the book for the unsuccessful musical Breakfast at Tiffany’s, an adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1966). Albee continues to experiment in works, such as The Goat: or, Who Is Sylvia? (2002).
Chi ha Paura di Virginia Woolf?
Edwar Albee’s most popular production is surely Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), the story of an unhappy couple: George, a university professor, and Martha. They spend most of the time attacking each other: he accuses her of being an alcoholic (alcolizzata), she humiliates him and praises (loda) Nick, a young professor George feels as his rival (rivale). They often mention their mysterious son, but they feel unconfortable speaking about him. When a young couple, Nick – the rival professor – and Honey, come for some drinks Martha tortures George in front of them providing the intimate details (dettagli intimi) of his failures (fallimenti). The tension gets so high (sale così tanto) that Honey, runs out of the room to vomit. While Honey is out of scene (fuori scena) Nick and George start speaking and they feel they can share (condividere) some of the intimate details (dettagli) of their lives. But Honey comes back and the craziness (pazzia) begins again. Martha and Nick flirt in front of their spouses (consorti) and then go to bed together, but Nick can’t perform and she treats him like trash (lo tratta come immondizia). Then George and Martha start speaking about their son, but suddenly George says that a telegram came when Martha was in bed with Nick to announce their son’s death . Martha cries out and says that he’s not allowed (non gli è permesso) to kill their son. It becomes clear that their son does not exist – it is just another game (gioco) they play, another fruit of their imagination to face (affrontare) their meaningless (senza senso) lives. Nick and Honey go away leaving George and Martha alone with no more illusion. The play was then adapted into a film directed by Mike Nichols in 1966 – starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis