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Podcasts with America's seminal directors and choreographers

Enjoy rare insights into how theatre is made with this podcast interview series produced by Stage Directors and Choreographers Workshop Foundation (SDCF) and co-presented by TDF. Browse three decades of priceless one-on-one conversations and panel discussions with distinguished theatre and dance luminaries.

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Edward Albee

Date: Dec 05, 2000


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Famed playwright Edward Albee sat for an interview with frequent collaborator Larry Sacharow before an audience of professional theatre artists and students at Fordham University in December of 2000. In a room composed predominately of professional and aspiring directors, Albee was quick to distinguish himself as a professional director. He recalled that his first inclination to become a director spawned from the process by which he writes for the stage. While developing his early plays, he began to understand that he had a good idea of what the play looked and sounded like in his mind, giving him the initial confidence to stage some early productions of his work. But, it was not until a self-directed production of Zoo Story, which he called "the worst production" of his work that he'd ever seen, that it ever occurred to him that there was craft involved in being an effective director. For the remainder of this 90-minute discussion, Edward Albee explains his experience with this craft - approaching it as both a director and playwright. He outlines the circumstances under which a director and playwright should collaborate, maintaining that directors should never direct plays that they don't admire, and that playwrights must learn to become 'sub-textually flexible' in order to let actors be effective. He describes why he kept on directing and how developing as a director serviced his development as a playwright. And he explains the "schizophrenia" necessary to effectively act as director to his own work, recounting conversations with himself about problems in prior productions. Above all he asserts the importance of the director's ability to stay true to the intentions of the playwright, admitting that he always tells his casts "I want you to do whatever you want, as long as you end up with exactly what I intended."