May 10, 2010
Two months ago we released our 2010/11 Season short one show, which we promised to announce at a later date. At this time, I’m pleased that we can finally announce Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women as the play that will complete our season. This will be the second play by Albee that I’ve directed at Court Theatre, following our 2004 production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. I spent a great deal of time with my copy of Three Tall Women this winter, wrestling with my own conflicted opinion of the play and its view of life and death. The play follows three women, named only A, B, and C—one woman in youth, one woman in middle age, and one woman on her death bed. As the elder woman reflects on her life—including the estrangement of her son, widely interpreted to represent Albee himself—she develops clarity of mind that transcends her debilitated body. Albee wrote the play shortly after the passing of his adoptive mother, with whom he had a fraught relationship; he has often described the writing process of Three Tall Women as an “exorcism.” It is a wickedly funny play, but persistently difficult, and the residual venom between Albee and his mother is very foreign to my own personal experience. Nevertheless, I admire the kinetic energy and the scope of the text, and it provides an extraordinary challenge to me and three actresses—exactly the kind of challenges I like to seek out. Famously, this was the play that made people take a second look at Edward Albee, and I think it’s actually the right classic play to fill the final slot of the 2010/11 Season. I hope to announce the three talented actresses who will fill the parts soon—check this blog again for more news!
Kevin Gudahl and Barbara E. Robertson in Court’s 2004 production of Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? directed by Charles Newell.