Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater continues its inaugural season this spring with an unparalleled tribute to one of the nation's greatest living playwrights, Edward Albee. The company has mounted a two-month festival featuring 30 events, making nearly every one of his plays available in performance spaces throughout the Mead Center.
The festival kicks off with Steppenwolf Theatre Company's highly acclaimed Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? directed by Pam MacKinnon (Arena's A Delicate Balance) starring Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tracy Letts as George, Tony Award nominee Amy Morton as Martha, Carrie Coon as Honey and Madison Dirks as Nick in the Kreeger Theater February 25 - April 10. Simultaneously Arena Stage mounts At Home at the Zoo directed by Mary B. Robinson starring Jeff Allin as Peter, Colleen Delany as Ann and James McMenamin as Jerry in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle February 25 - April 24.
Beginning in March through the end of April, 16 theater troupes will present staged readings of Albee's work. Participating companies include The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Theater J, Taffety Punk, Round House Theatre, American Century Theater and Forum Theatre and directors include Wendy Goldberg, Amy Freed, Mary B. Robinson, Aaron Posner, Irene Lewis and Howard Shalwitz among many others. The full schedule and list of participants is below.
All staged readings are free, though reservations are required via the Arena Stage Sales Office at 202-488-3300 or www.arenastage.org. All readings will be followed by a discussion with its participating artists. Supporters of Arena Stage will be able to make reservations January 31, with subscribers receiving early access on February 2 before a general release to the public February 4, 2011.
"At Arena Stage we are fiercely committed to shining a spotlight on the giants of American theater," shares Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith. "There's no greater contemporary American playwright than Edward Albee, and in this first season in our new home for American artists there is no better time to celebrate the glorious canon of work he has produced."
When asked what this festival means to him, Albee expressed, "Any playwright who would not be delighted to have this amount of intelligent and creative attention paid to his work would be a foolish and ungrateful person."
March 14 Arena Stage will honor Albee with the presentation of the American Artist Award during its annual benefit to support the company's Community Engagement programs. More information on the event entitled, An Evening with Edward Albee, to be release at a later date.
As part of the ongoing Arena Stage salon series, there will also be an Edward Albee Festival Salon Monday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m., featuring free public conversations with some of the artists from At Home At the Zoo, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the festival readings.