Friday, 30 August 2013

Friday Five: Edward Albee on Theatre

5 Great Quotes by Edward Albee on Theatre and Playwriting:
  1. “I’m not sure that it’s the responsibility of a writer to give answers, especially to questions that have no answers... I don’t think that it’s the responsibility of the playwright to present a dilemma and then give its solution, because if he does that, and if he is at all concerned with how things are and how people are now, almost inevitably he is going to present a less puissant dilemma.”
  2. “You notate a play like a piece of music. By the use of punctuation, emphasis, underling, you indicate the way a line is to be spoken. Two or three people in conversation are like two or three instruments answering each other. The structure of drama is similar to musical structure. When you have a dramatist who writes as precisely as Chekov or Beckett, you can actually conduct the play – you know there is a silence here, a phrase there...”
  3. “I am absolutely opposed to that conception of the theatre defined as a great collective experience live in common with the public, by a thousand spectators who react on each other by the warmth of their bodies, and inept comments like that. The ideal production of a play would be to have all the actors in a room with an INVISIBLE spectator whom the actors would not be able to see.”
  4. “A playwright – unless he is writing escapist romances (an honourable occupation, of course) – has two obligations: first to make some statement about the condition of ‘man’ (as it is put) and, second, to make some statement about the nature of the art form with which he is working... a playwright must try to alter the forms within which his precursors have had to work.”
  5. “The function of the theatre as a form of art is to tell us who we are: that is its first value; and the health of the theatre depends on the degree of self-knowledge we wish to have.”

1 comment:

Colin Murphy said...

Great quotes, thank you. Do you have the source for them? I found the first in 'Conversations with Edward Albee', by Edward Albee, Philip C. Kolin, but not the others. Thanks very much.