Friday, October 03, 2008

Under the Sea!

This weekend, fans of playwright Edward Albee will get a real treat. The playwright has given special permission to Zeitgeist Stage for a production of his original Three Act version of his Pulitzer Prize Winning Play Seascape.

The 1975 play involves two basic Albee archetypes, (an aging WASP couple,) who encounter two human-sized lizards on the dunes by the ocean.

In 1975, the play which won the Pulitzer was presented with two acts, although a three act version played outside of the United States. The lost act apparently takes place under the water, on the lizards' turf.

The Zeitgeist press release recounts an interview Albee gave to the New York Times in which he gave the following reason for the jettisoning of the sea-bottom scene:

"It was... too fantastic and very hard to construct a set that could transform itself. It was turning into a play about set changes."

Una Chaudri, reviewing a recent Broadway revival of Seascape(the stunning picture above is from that production), mentioned the following:

"So far is Albee from wanting to abandon his animal characters to a reductively allegorical fate that he had originally planned to transport the entire play into their world: as he mentioned in a recent interview, the first draft of Seascape had three acts, one set underwater! Though later excised, this astonishing idea has left its mark on the play. For the inter-species encounter it stages is also a meeting of worlds, landscapes, ontologies."

Seascape will open tonight at the Boston Center for the Arts.

Boston has been a hotbed for Albee lately and it doesn't seem to be subsiding anytime soon. The American Dream, an early Albee one act, will be presented by Theatre on Fire in November.

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