Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Opens at PSU Sept. 19

September 13th, 2007 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, NH–The PSU Department of Music, Theatre,and Dance presents Edward Albee’s caustic portrayal of marriage and dysfunctional relationships, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, at the Silver Center September 19-22.

Associate Professor of Theatre Beth Cox, who is one of the lead characters in the production, explained that Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a play in three acts, set in the living room of George and Martha’s house on the campus of a small New England college. The play was first produced in 1962.

George, a college history professor, is married to Martha, the college president’s daughter. After a Saturday night party at the president’s house, George and Martha return home to host a new faculty couple. Albee’s characters play love-hate games, through the use of their wits.

“When this play was written, John F. Kennedy had just become President. The seeds of domestic upheaval were germinating and the American Dream (the 1950s) was rapidly changing to disillusionment. Written during the cold war era, this play has recently been revised by Mr. Albee,” said Cox. “The title, a play on words of the song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” is about living without illusions.”

The PSU production features Cox as Martha and Professor of Theatre Paul Mroczka as George. Honey is portrayed by senior theatre major Rebecca Rudolf, and Nick is portrayed by senior criminal justice major and theatre minor, Sean O’Donnell.

Guest Director Clayton Phillips says Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? still stands as an important play and an important piece of literature.

“The play’s major themes interweave themselves throughout the evening—marriage, unconditional love, politics, religion, truth versus illusion and history versus science. These are but a few of the things that are brought into the open and then ravaged by George and Martha,” said Phillips.

“The play still has relevance today in our nation’s international struggles,” Phillips continued. “We struggle, as a country and as individuals, with internal differences, concepts of religious freedom, disparate views of love and marriage and most of the complex themes explored in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? As we spend the evening with George and Martha, we will discover, as frightening as it may seem, that they love each other unconditionally,just as we all love our country, and we will survive,” he said.

Phillips is the producing artistic director of The Barnstormers Theatre in Tamworth, and has directed both nationally and internationally. He directed tours of Show Boat (nominated for American Theatre Award as Best Direction and Best Musical), and Kiss of the Spider Woman and served as associate director for the national tour of Cameron McIntosh’s production of Oliver! He was also Harold Prince’s assistant and production manager for Kiss of the Spider Woman,Candide and Parade on Broadway.

Performances are September 19 – 21 at 8 p.m. and September 22 at 2p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the Silver Center Box Office (603) 535-ARTS; $12 for adults and $10 for seniors, and the production is recommended for mature audiences.

For production information contact Professor Beth Cox at (603) 535-2499 or via e-mail to ecox@plymouth.edu