2016年9月18日 星期日

Edward Albee 1928-2016

Edward Albee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Edward Franklin Albee III (/ˈɔːlbiː/ AWL-bee; March 12, 1928 – September 16, 2016) was an American playwright known for works such as The Zoo Story (1958), The Sandbox (1959), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962) and A Delicate Balance (1966). He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama three times.

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America's leading playwright Edward Albee, the author of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
America’s leading playwright Edward Albee, the author of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – the bleakest of black domestic comedies – has died aged 88 at his home in Montauk, East Hampton.
His shocking play about a decaying academic marriage marked him out early as what the New York Times has called this weekend “the playwright of a desperate generation”.
A critical success on Broadway in 1962, it is still well known due to Mike Nichols’ 1966 film adaptation, which starred another dysfunctional couple, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
Speaking to the Observer, the actor Tim Piggott-Smith, who played the lead male role in the play on the British stage two years ago, praised the “visceral emotionality” of Albee’s writing.
“He had an absolutely astounding bravery and he was able to just pour it out. He lived to a good age, but it is very sad,” he said.
The fame of Who’s Afraid ... ?, Albee once complained, “hung about my neck like a shining medal of some sort – really nice but a trifle onerous”. It centres on the bitter, alcohol-fuddled verbal game-playing between a history professor, George, and his wife, Martha, the college president’s daughter.
Albee said he took the title from a joke he once saw scrawled on a pub mirror: “It did strike me as being a rather typical university, intellectual joke,” he said.
In a typically despairing line from the play, Martha declares she and George are silently crying inside all the time: “And then what we do, we cry, and we take our tears, and we put ’em in the ice box, in the goddamn ice trays until they’re all frozen and then ... we put them ... in our ... drinks.”
The play was denied a Pulitzer as its subversive vision of married life was judged not “uplifting” enough. But Albee’s later works, A Delicate Balance, Seascape and Three Tall Women, earned him the award three times over and he was widely regarded as the successor of the great playwrights Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams, standing alongside Arthur Miller, who died in 2005.
Albee’s major theme was the unpleasant underside of the American dream, with a special focus on self-delusion and the mutually assured destruction that cements intimate relationships. He ploughed a similar furrow to the novelist Richard Yates, author of Revolutionary Road, in making his points by demonstrating the horror of regret and domestic conflict, rather than by being didactic.
He seldom found commercial success on Broadway and his works helped to establish the idea of “off-Broadway” fringe venues, where serious theatre could thrive.
“Maybe I’m a European playwright and I don’t know it,” he said in a 1991 interview. “Just look at the playwrights who are not performed on Broadway now: Sophocles, Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Moliere, Ibsen, Chekhov, Pirandello, Beckett, Genet. Not a one of them.”
But Piggott-Smith was struck by Albee’s “un-English” capacity to unsettle his audience without compromise. “I first saw Who’s Afraid? at the Belgrade in Coventry with Margaret Tyzack in 1963. It was shocking. It knocked you off your feet. I had gone in to see this play with this nursery-rhymish title, and then came out having really been through the ringer.”
For an actor, he added, playing George is actually “a pretty horrible” experience. “Albee had his fingers in the dirt.”
The playwright was born in Virginia in 1928, and was put up for adoption in Manhattan as a baby. He grew up with the Albees in financial comfort, but felt he was a disappointment to his conventional adoptive parents. They were, he said, unhappy about his plan to write. He was sent to a number of schools in the north-eastern US.
Albee said he knew he was gay by the time he was eight and that he decided to become a poet soon after. As a young man, he settled into the Bohemian community in Greenwich village, befriending up-and-coming composers including Aaron Copland.
After persisting with poetry for a while, he had sudden success in 1959 with his first play, The Zoo Story, written in two and a half weeks before his 30th birthday. It opened in Berlin on a double bill with Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape.
He wrote more than 30 plays, including The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, about a love affair between man and a goat, which won a Tony award and ran in New York for almost a year.
Piggott-Smith said he believed the 1966 play A Delicate Balance was Albee’s greatest: “It is a primal and about people’s sense of territory.”
The playwright believed that a play that was good to the audience was not necessarily good for the audience, and he longed for theatre critics to make judgements about ambition and quality, not just entertainment value.

“All plays, if they’re any good, are constructed as correctives,” he told the Guardian in 2004. “That’s the job of the writer. Holding that mirror up to people. We’re not merely decorative, pleasant and safe.”
For the latter part of his life, Albee lived among a collection of modern art in a TriBeCa loft with his partner of 35 years, Jonathan Thomas, a sculptor who died in 2005.

Before undergoing a major operation a decade ago, Albee wrote a statement to be released upon his death that is perhaps surprisingly upbeat: “To all of you who have made my being alive so wonderful, so exciting and so full, my thanks and all my love.”

曾3奪普立茲獎,美國荒誕派劇作家阿爾比辭世 享年88歲
當地時間9月16日,美國知名劇作家阿爾比(Edward Albee)在紐約州長島南岸村落蒙托克(Montauk)的家中辭世,享年88歲。阿爾比是荒誕派劇作家的代表人物,他的離世被視為當代劇壇絕望的一筆。

「阿爾比基金」的行政總監 Jackob Holder 公布阿爾比的死訊,但未透露其具體死因。數年前,阿爾比曾接受一次大手術,期間預先寫下遺書,其中道:「感謝各位,讓我的人生如此美好、精彩和充實,請讓我獻上所有的愛。」

阿爾比被稱為尤金·奥尼爾(Eugene O'Neill)、田納西·威廉斯(Tennessee Williams)和阿瑟·米勒(Arthur Miller)之後,美國最偉大的劇作家,更是當代世界嚴肅戲劇的代表人物。自1958年展開、超過半個世紀的創作生涯中,阿爾比為世人帶來30餘部作品,不斷轟動美國劇壇,更三度摘下普立茲獎(Pulitzer Prize)、兩次獲得托尼獎(Tony Award)最佳戲劇獎、三次獲得最佳戲劇文學獎,以及四項終身成就獎。


阿爾比作品《關於寶寶的一齣戲》(The Play About the Baby)台詞

1928年3月12日,阿爾比在維珍尼亞州(Virginia)出生,但兩週後就被遺棄,最終由紐約州一對富裕的夫婦領養。其養父的名下產業包括數家劇院,因此阿爾比從小便有機會接觸劇壇名流,亦流露出對文學創作的興趣。但養父母並不支持阿爾比進行文學創作,阿爾比對其感到失望,亦無心承繼養父的產業;1947年,就讀康涅狄格州三一學院(Trinity College)的阿爾比因多次缺席課堂而被勒令退學,他隨後更乾脆離家出走,一邊打工、一邊創作劇本。

直至1958年,阿爾比帶着獨幕劇作品《動物園故事》(The Zoo Story)步入劇壇;1962年,他創作出《誰怕吳爾芙》(Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf?),並在百老匯上演,驚艷世人。


《誰怕吳爾芙》還被改編為電影《靈慾春宵》,於1966年登上大銀幕,由麥克·尼可斯(Mike Nichols)執導,伊莉莎伯·泰萊(Elizabeth Taylor)及李察·波頓(Richard Burton)擔綱主演。該部電影亦被稱為傳世佳作,成為奧斯卡史上唯一獲得13項所有獎項提名的電影,最終摘得5項大獎。

阿爾比的早期作品打破美國戲劇傳統的創作手法,大膽引進反戲劇的歐洲荒誕派創作技巧。作品關注美國中產家庭暴力、家庭倫理扭曲等現象,展現社會內部的腐化與沒落,並反映現代社會人與人之間的孤獨與異化。1961年,阿爾比創作出作品《美國夢》(The American Dream),就被英國戲劇評論家 Martin Esslin 評價為「美國首次對荒誕派戲劇作出貢獻」。


進入1980年代,阿爾比才以《三個高女人》(Three Tall Women)重獲世人矚目,並獲得第三座普立茲獎。


阿爾比(Edward Albee)


阿爾比直到80多歲仍在堅持創作,此前未有健康轉差的傳聞,其突然辭世,在劇壇等各界引起轟動,人們紛紛表示致意哀悼和敬佩。美國劇作家、電影導演 John Patrick Shanley 在第一時間發文致敬:「阿爾比去世了。我看見了他的黑暗,無邊無際又令人恐懼。我也看見了他的仁慈,安靜且低調。他的仁慈戰勝了黑暗的一面。」


阿爾比(Edward Albee)


藝術導演 Tony Taccone



愛德華·阿爾比愛德華·阿爾比(Edward Albee,1928年3月12日-2016年9月16日),美國劇作家,最著名的作品有《誰怕吳爾芙》、《動物園的故事》、《優美的平衡》、《海景畫》等。其作品設計嚴密,通常是關於現代狀態的冷峻考察。他早期的作品是荒誕派戲劇的美國化。以 Paula Vogel 為代表的新一代美國劇作家讚賞阿爾比在1960年代早期重構了戰後美國喜劇——既注重演出手法,也注重辛辣的台詞。阿爾比仍不斷推出新劇,如《The Goat: or, Who Is Sylvia?》(2002)。(資料來自維基百科)