There are many reasons to be glad that we live in DC: free museums and monuments, generally temperate weather and plentiful green spaces, Open City Coffee, but this spring, there’s an even greater reason to be excited for living here in the Nation’s Capital—the Arena Stage Edward Albee Festival. A two month long celebration of one of the greatest living American playwrights of our time, the festival will feature some of acting’s brightest talents as they perform, produce and read from nearly all of Albee’s works, almost thirty events overall.
Born on March 12, 1928, Edward Albee’s remarkable canon of work includes The Sandbox (1959), The American Dream (1960), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf ? (1961-1962), A Delicate Balance (1966), Seascape (1974), The Lady from Dubuque (1977-1978), Finding the Sun (1982), Three Tall Women (1991), The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? (2000), At Home at the Zoo (2004) and Me, Myself and I (2007), among others. His plays have won multiple Tony Awards and Pulitzer Prizes, and he continues to be considered one of the greatest writers of our time.
The festival kicks off on February 25th with performances of two of Albee’s best works. In the Kreeger Theater, the Steppenwolf Theater Company will delight with their rendition of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? directed by critically acclaimed Pam MacKinnon, and featuring Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award Winner Tracy Letts as George, as well as Carrie Coon as Honey, Madison Dirks as Nick, and Amy Morton as Martha. At the same time, Arena Stage will mount At Home at the Zoo in the Arlene and Robert Kogood Cradle from February 25th – April 24th, directed by Mary B. Robinson. Other companies participating in the festival include DC’s own The Shakespeare Theater Company, Theater J. Taffety Punk, Round House, American Century Theater and Forum Theater.
Although tickets are needed for all events, staged readings are free and many will include discussions by participating artists afterwards. Other events of interest include An Evening with Edward Albee. On March 14th, Arena Stage will present the playwright with the American Artist Award during their annual benefit which supports community engagement programs, and on Monday April 4th, make plans to attend the Edward Albee Festival Saloon, where some of the actors from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and At Home at the Zoo will be on hand for free public discussions, as well as readings from the festival.
Tickets will be available to Arena Stage supporters on January 31st, to subscribers on February 2nd, and available to the general public on Friday, February 4th, and may be purchased at the Arena Stage Sales Office (202-488-3300), or online at www.arenastage.org. If you haven’t had a chance to visit the newly re-opened Arena Stage yet, the Edward Albee Festival promises to offer something for everyone, and is the perfect chance to take part in the Stage’s inaugural season here in DC, so make plans now. Arena Stage is conveniently located in Southwest Washington at 1101 6th Street, SW, and offers a parking garage and access to METRO. For more information or for a complete listing of festival events, please visit their website at: www.arenastage.org.