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2014 American Literature Association Conference

Join us Thursday, May 22 for the 25th Annual American Literature Association Conference!

From May 22 through May 25, the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC will play host to literary scholars, enthusiasts, and more with a series of panels, readings, and other events.

Among the many captivating presentations, EAS will present the panel “Influences on/of Edward Albee” on Thursday, May 22 during the 12:00-1:20 pm block. A summary of the panel is shown below.

Session 3-C Influences on/of Edward Albee
Organized by the Edward Albee Society
Chair and Respondent: Natka Bianchini, Loyola University Maryland
1. “Visited by a Phantom: Adrienne Kennedy’s Encounter with Edward Albee,” David Crespy, University of Missouri
2. “Albee’s Prototype of the Two-hander,” Robert Combs, George Washington University
3. “Postmodernity’s Influence on Albee/Albee’s Influence on Postmodern Drama,” Lincoln Konkle, The College of New Jersey
4. “Order… On its own terms: Hybridity of Form in Albee’s A Delicate Balance,” Jacob Juntunen, Southern Illinois University

To download the conference program or for information on procedures, paper proposals, fees, and other topics, please visit the 2014 ALA Conference webpage.

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One-year Anniversary, Join the Edward Albee Society

Dear scholar, artist, critic, student, or fan of American theatre and drama,

I am writing to invite you to join The Edward Albee Society, a new nonprofit, 501C3 organization, incorporated in June 2013, whose mission is to promote the study of the life and works of Edward Albee, and the drama and theatre for which his work was in large part the instigator and model. As we approach the one-year anniversary of the birth of the Edward Albee Society we would like to tell you what we have been up to and encourage you to join us in promoting the works and legacy of one of the great American playwrights.

It has been an exciting few months since our incorporation, and we’re gearing up for many more events over the next several months. We have just added Emily Mann, John Guare, and Angelina Fiordellisi to our board of honorary of directors, and we hope to add more soon. Please contact luminaries you might know and have them contact me if they would like to serve in this capacity.

Below are just a few of our upcoming activities – please join us!

The Edward Albee Society at Conferences

The Edward Albee Society is hosting two inaugural panels this spring. Our first panel, which features two international scholars in addition to one American scholar, is on Albee’s Global Influence and will be presented at the Comparative Drama Conference in Baltimore, MD, in April 2014. Our second panel, on influences on/of Albee, will be presented at the American Literature Association’s annual meeting in Washington DC, in May 2014. The Society will also convene our first general business meeting at ALA.

The Society plans to sponsor at least one panel at each of these conferences annually, with plans to expand to the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) in 2016.

The Edward Albee Review

With the approval of the Board of Directors of The Edward Albee Society, the Editor of The Edward Albee Review (Michael Y. Bennett) has signed an initial five-volume contract with Rodopi to publish The Edward Albee Review on an annual basis, starting with the first volume to be published in 2016. The Edward Albee Review is an annual peer-reviewed journal meant to provide an outlet for scholarship and criticism on, or related to, Edward Albee and his works. Volumes will feature original, academic articles and reviews (i.e., book reviews and review-essays) centered around a special topic.

Visit our Journal page for more information on The Edward Albee Review.

Editor of The Edward Albee Review:
Michael Y. Bennett (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)

Advisory Board:
Linda Ben-Zvi (Tel Aviv University)
Natka Bianchini (Loyola University Maryland)
Stephen Bottoms (University of Manchester)
John M. Clum (Duke University)
David A. Crespy (University of Missouri)
Norma Jenckes (University of Cincinnati)
Philip Kolin (University of Southern Mississippi)
Lincoln Konkle (The College of New Jersey)
Brenda Murphy (University of Connecticut)
Matthew Roudané (Georgia State University)

Upcoming Volumes:
Volume #1 – “Albee and Absurdism” (2016)
Volume #2 – “Edward Albee and Sexuality/Gender” (2017)
Volume #3 – “Edward Albee as a Theatrical and Dramatic Innovator” (2018)
Volume #4 – “Edward Albee’s Influence on American Drama”
Volume #5 – “Edward Albee’s Own Influences”

The purposes of the Albee Society are the exploration of Albee’s life and works by means of historical and critical writing, artistic performances on stage, film, television, radio and recordings, by the amassing of historical documentation, and by publications and conference presentations devoted to Albee and his plays. The subjects of study shall include not only Albee and his works, but all aspects of the American and World Theatre he has affected by his own work in theatre as a playwright, director and producer. Furthermore the Albee Society will support efforts that affirm the notion of drama as literature, and encourage projects that support new dramatic work by new playwrights, as an extension of Edward Albee’s own Playwrights Unit, which he founded in 1963 with his producing partners Richard Barr and Clinton Wilder. We are affiliated with New York City’s Cherry Lane Theatre under the artistic direction of Angelina Fiordellisi.

Please consider joining and making a donation to the Edward Albee Society today! Annual membership dues are $30. Lifetime memberships are $300. (Dues and donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.) Your dues and donations will help us pay for designing and registering our website, our journal, The Edward Albee Review, as well as other organizational costs. Members receive a substantial discount to the annual Albee Review. Members who provide us with their e-mail address will be kept up to date on Albee-related publications, performances, and events around the country.

Visit our Membership page for a membership form and additional information

Also, please pass this news along to your colleagues and any family or friends who are fans of Albee so that we may build our membership! And if you know any major theatre artists or producers or other luminaries whom you think might assist us in funding, please let me know!

Our elected officers are:

President & Treasurer: David Crespy
Professor of Theatre
University of Missouri

Vice President: Natka Bianchini
Assistant Professor of Theatre
Loyola University Maryland

Secretary: Ashley Gallagher
Teacher, Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School
and Theatre Studies M.A. Candidate, Montclair State University

Website Editor: Lincoln Konkle
Professor of English
The College of New Jersey

Editor of The Edward Albee Review: Michael Y. Bennett
Assistant Professor of English
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

International Secretary: Valentine Vasak
Ph.D. Candidate, Université Paris Sorbonne

Our Board of Directors consist of Brenda Murphy, Lincoln Konkle, Ashley Gallagher, Michael Bennett, and David Crespy.

Thanks again,

Dr. David A. Crespy
President, Edward Albee Society
Department of Theatre
University of Missouri

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Call for Submissions: The Edward Albee Review

The Edward Albee Review is currently seeking proposals and/or articles for Volumes #1-3.

To submit an article to The Edward Albee Review, please email your double-spaced article as an MS Word attachment. While the journal prefers articles to be 6,000-9,000 words in length, articles between 4,000-12,000 words will be considered. Articles should follow The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition. Simultaneous submissions are not accepted. Please email your submissions and/or proposals to the Editor: Michael Y. Bennett, bennettm@uww.edu. Inquiries regarding book reviews and/or review-essays should also be sent to the Editor.

Published by Rodopi, The Edward Albee Review — a publication of The Edward Albee Society — is an annual peer-reviewed journal meant to provide an outlet for scholarship and criticism on, or related to, Edward Albee and his works. Visit our Journal page for more information on The Edward Albee Review

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2014 Comparative Drama Conference

Join the Edward Albee Society Friday, April 4 for the 38 Annual Comparative Drama Conference!

From April 3 through April 5, Stevenson University in Baltimore, MD will play host to literary scholars, enthusiasts, and more with a series of panels, readings, and other events.

As part of this year’s conference, the society will present a panel entitled “Edward Albee’s Global Influence.” An overview of the panel and its presenters can be found below.

Edward Albee’s Global Influence
Friday, April 4, 2014, Harbor West C, 10:30-11:45 am, Session 32
Sponsored by the Edward Albee Society
Presiding: Dr. Natka Bianchini (Loyola University Maryland)
1. Mansbridge, Joanna. (Simon Fraser University)
“Family, Fantasy, and Fictions of Authority in And Baby Makes Seven and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Paula Vogel’s Burlesque of Edward Albee.”
2. Williams, Liza. (Marlboro College)
“Albee and the Mainstreaming of Alcoholism.”
3. Vasak, Valentine. (Université Paris Sorbonne)
“Albee at Point-Blank Range: A Phenomenological Analysis of the Use of Firearms in the Early Plays of Edward Albee.”

In addition to the Society’s presentation, this year’s conference features another chance to explore Albee’s writings with the panel “Albee and 20th Century American Theatre.”

Albee and 20th Century American Theatre
Saturday, April 5, 2014, Harbor East D, 10:30-11:45 am, Session 55
Presiding: William Hutchings (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
1. Bisaha, David. (University of Pittsburgh)
“Edward Albee Stands Apart: American Reception of Two Albees.”
2. Leasure, T. Ross. (Salisbury University)
“Fuller and Albee: Homogenic Love v. Suicidal Trick.”
3. Combs, Robert. (George Washington University)
“American Drama’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell.”

For additional information, including a complete conference schedule, please visit the Comparative Drama Conference website.

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“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Original Cast Recording to be Released

Playbill.com reports that an audio recording of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, featuring the original Broadway cast of Uta Hagen, Arthur Hill, Melinda Dillon and George Grizzard, will be available for purchase Feb. 18.

Released by Masterworks Broadway, the recording, which received the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Recording, was made in 1963, a few months after the play first opened on Broadway. It was produced by Columbia Records.

The recording has been unavailable for years, but it will be available for purchase via MasterworksBroadway Feb. 18 on CD and digital download. The recording will feature a booklet with the original liner notes by Edward Albee and Goddard Lieberson, as well as a new essay by David Foil.

“In [Goddard] Lieberson’s mere decision to make this recording of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, there was a bit of daring,” press notes state. “We forget how deeply shocking the play was for many of its first audiences (as the film would be to a larger audience in 1966). As if to prove the point, in the spring of 1963, the trustees of Columbia University overruled the unanimous recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize drama jury and refused to award Albee’s play the prize in drama that year — because of its unprecedented portrait of a dysfunctional marriage and the scathing language with which it speaks.”

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? follows two married couples who find themselves engaged in marital war late into the night following a party. The original 1963 production received the Tony Award for Best Play, and Hagen and Hill were both honored for their performances with Best Actor and Actress. The production has since been revived on Broadway in 1976, 2005 and 2012. The 2012 revival, starring Tracy Letts, Amy Morton, Carrie Coon and Madison Dirks, won the Tony Award for Best Revival, and Letts was honored with Best Actor.

Visit the Masterworks Brodway website for more information.

Read the original article on Playbill’s website.

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“Death of Bessie Smith” Harnessed to Save Hospital

As reported by Anemona Hartocollis of the The New York Times, Albee’s rarely performed play, The Death of Bessie Smith is being used to “[…] help save the Interfaith Medical Center, a small community hospital that serves poor and black patients from Bedford-Stuyvesant. It filed for bankruptcy a year ago and has been struggling to stay open since.”

The Death of Bessie Smith is set in Memphis, Tennessee, 1937, a time when the South’s aristocracy is crumbling amidst the deeply racist views of its citizens. At a white hospital a Nurse belittles a black Orderly, a polite young man eager to improve himself, and is severely condescending to an Intern, a white man, who is seemingly in love with her. When the Intern finally turns on her she vows to retaliate by ruining his career.

For more information on the production, visit The New York Times website to read the full article.

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