American dramatist Edward Albee was born in 1928. Three of his plays— A Delicate Balance, Seascape and Three Tall Women— received Pulitzer Prizes, and his most famous, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, was adapted to a movie directed by Mike Nichols and starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. His other plays include The Zoo Story, The Death of Bessie Smith, The Sandbox, The American Dream, Tiny Alice, All Over, Listening, The Lady from Dubuque, The Man Who Had Three Arms, Finding the Sun, Fragments, Marriage Play, The Lorca Play and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? He died in 2016.
Counting the Ways and Listeningby Edward Albee
COUNTING THE WAYS. In a series of blackout sketches, "He" and "She" probe into the nature of their love for one another. Long married, but aware that time has wrought changes in their relationship, the two spar and thrust at each other in exchanges and reminiscences which are sometimes lighthearted, sometimes poignant, sometimes almost brutal. In the end a mosaic of experience is constructed, illuminating the nature of human love and pointing up the gathering indifference that can beset those who have been perhaps too long and too closely aligned in the sharing of years. (1 man, 1 woman.) LISTENING. Constructed with the precision of a musical composition, and described by Clive Barnes as "a chamber opera and a symbolic poem about communication," the play juxtaposes three characters—"The Man," "The Woman," and "The Girl"—and sifts through the tangled relationship they have evidently shared. The Man is amiable but distant; The Woman acerbic and bitter; The Girl is perhaps mad—a catatonic who has destroyed her own child. Elliptical in form and redolent with evocative overtones, the play weaves together its strands of conversation and soliloquy into a meaningful pattern of events—underscoring the inescapable fact that while we may listen we do not always hear, and our lives, for better or worse, are shaped accordingly. (1 man, 2 women.)"
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