Edward Albee: Biography
Edward Franklin Albee III is an American playwright known for works including Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Zoo Story, and The Sandbox. His works are considered well-crafted and often unsympathetic examinations of the modern condition.Edward Albee was born in Washington, DC and was adopted two weeks later and taken to Westchester County, New York. Albee's adoptive father, Reed A. Albee, himself the son of vaudeville magnate Edward Franklin Albee II, owned several theatres, where Edward first gained familiarity with the theatre as a child.
His mother was Reed's third wife, Frances. Albee left home when he was in his late teens, later saying in an interview, "They weren't very good at being parents, and I wasn't very good at being a son." He attended the Rye Country Day School, then the Lawrenceville School, where he was expelled. He attended Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania in 1943 and graduated in 1945 at the age of 17. He studied at Choate Rosemary Hall and graduated in 1946, then attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut for a year and a half before being expelled for skipping classes and refusing to attend compulsory chapel in 1947. He lastly attended Columbia University in 1949. A member of the Dramatists Guild Council, Albee has received three Pulitzer Prizes for drama — for A Delicate Balance, Seascape, Three Tall Women, a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement (2005); the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters; as well as the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts.
In his best play, Who´s afraid of Virginia Wolf (1963), he has shown at once humour and horror of modern family life. The disintegration of human values is obvious in a society where money and social position are leading motives of men. The similar theme has also been employed in the plays: The American dream, Everything in the Garden, A Delicate Balance.Most of his plays show alienation of man within society, the inner decay of man and the shattering of his moral values. He has been busy engaged in breaking the American dream and the images of Coca-cola civilization. Albee predominantly attacks the narrowmindness, hypocrisy and conformity of people.Albee is the President of the Edward F. Albee Foundation, Inc., which maintains the William Flanagan Creative Persons Center (a writers and artists colony in Montauk, NY). Albee's longtime partner, Jonathan Thomas, a sculptor, died on May 2, 2005, the result of a two year-long battle with bladder cancer.Plays Fam and YamThe SandboxThe American DreamWho's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?Occupant (play)Everything in the GardenFinding the SunThe Play About the Baby