The Challenge of Edward Albee
Image by Jerry Speler
"Edward told us during the rehearsals for Virginia Woolf that he'd wanted to be a composer as a young man and still thought of his texts as music. He said that he might be seen in the back of the theatre, not facing the stage but listening only. It was not an apology; it was a challenge. He's a man who likes being known for his crusty sense of challenge, but he is the most remarkably generous human being, "
Bill Irwin, Actor
The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?;
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
In 2002, Kathleen directed Edward's MARRIAGE PLAY here at Theatre Artists Studio. Working with two very accomplished actors, Judy Lebeau and Steven Mastroieni, she brought the humor and pathos of a complex relationship to The Studio's intimate stage, sharing the insights of one of our greatest modern playwrights with Phoenix audiences.
Today, Kathleen is directing those same artists together with a full cast of other veteran actors:
Al Benneian, Maureen Dias, Patti Suarez and Anne Vogel, in what many consider Albee's masterpiece, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning A DELICATE BALANCE.
Taking on the challenge of an Edward Albee play, we must honor both his vision and the very deliberate, painstaking way he uses his precise language to explore our humanity.
Performing Albee as he intended is a unique gift for both our artists and our audiences.
It's truly extraordinary theater — raw, focused, and disarmingly honest.
It's Edward Albee.
There's a good reason why theater companies think twice about producing a play by Edward Albee: An Albee play is very exacting of its actors and director. Typically awash with complex themes and subtleties that challenge both our personal compass and human nature, itself, an Albee play demands our full attention. It requires a commitment to explore discomfiting life experiences and "the thousand natural cuts that flesh is heir to." Most of all, an Albee story demands absolute honesty from anyone and everyone telling it.
Kathleen Butler is an awarding-winning actress, director and teacher who has long been a personal friend and colleague of Edward Albee. In the last 20 years, she has created three seminal characters in Albee plays in New York and around the country.