Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

by  Edward Albee

Full Length Play, Drama  /  2m, 2f

Winner! 5 Tony Awards including Best Play, 1963
Winner! 2013 Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding Revival of a Play
Nominee! 2013 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Revival of a Play
Winner! 2013 Drama League Award, Outstanding Revival of a Play
Nominee! 2013 Tony Award, Best Revival of a Play

The original Broadway production of this play was a shattering and memorable experience and proclaimed the author as a major American playwright.

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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

by  Edward Albee

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Tony, From Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Monologues
    • Scene work
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

George, a professor at a small college, and his wife, Martha, have just returned home, drunk from a Saturday night party. Martha announces, amidst general profanity, that she has invited a young couple—an opportunistic new professor at the college and his shatteringly naïve new bride—to stop by for a nightcap. When they arrive the charade begins. The drinks flow and suddenly inhibitions melt. It becomes clear that Martha is determined to seduce the young professor, and George couldn't care less. But underneath the edgy banter, which is crossfired between both couples, lurks an undercurrent of tragedy and despair. George and Martha's inhuman bitterness toward one another is provoked by the enormous personal sadness that they have pledged to keep to themselves: a secret that has seemingly been the foundation for their relationship. In the end, the mystery in which the distressed George and Martha have taken refuge is exposed, once and for all revealing the degrading mess they have made of their lives.
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Accolades

  • Winner! 5 Tony Awards including Best Play, 1963
    Nominee! 2013 Outer Critics Circle Awards, Outstanding Revival of a Play
    Nominee! 2013 Drama League Awards, Outstanding Revival of a Play

Reviews

Winner! 5 Tony Awards including Best Play, 1963
Winner! 2013 Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding Revival of a Play
Nominee! 2013 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Revival of a Play
Winner! 2013 Drama League Award, Outstanding Revival of a Play
Nominee! 2013 Tony Award, Best Revival of a Play

"This is a Big One." — New York Journal-American

"…a scorching, scalding, revealing and completely engrossing drama." — Women's Wear Daily

"…a brilliant piece of writing." — New York Herald-Tribune

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Large Stage
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Community Theatre
  • College Theatre / Student

Cautions

  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Intense Adult Intense Adult Themes
  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol

License details

  • Licensing available for professional groups only. Some restrictions apply.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Present Day
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The living room of a house on the campus of a small New England college.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Casting

2m, 2f
MARTHA - a large boisterous woman, 52, looking somewhat younger; ample, but not fleshy
GEORGE - her husband, 46; thin, hair going gray
HONEY - 26, a petite blond girl; rather plain
NICK - late 20s, her husband; blond, well put-together, good-looking
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Cast Attributes

  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Ensemble cast

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Authors

Edward Albee

Edward Albee was born on March 12, 1928, and began writing plays 30 years later. His plays include The Zoo Story (1958), The American Dream (1960), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1961-62, Tony Award), Tiny Alice (1964), A Delicate Balance (1966, Pulitzer Prize; 1996, Tony Award), All Over (1971), Seascape (1974, Puli ...

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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was first presented by Theater 1963 (Richard Barr and Clinton Wilder), A.B.W. Productions, Inc., and Pisces Productions, Inc. on Broadway at the Billy Rose Theatre in New York City on Octiober 13, 1962. It was directed by Alan Schneider.

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