Edward Albee Expands at Goodman Theatre in 2003-04

News   Edward Albee Expands at Goodman Theatre in 2003-04 When the Goodman Theatre of Chicago first announced its 2003-04 season, works by Edward Albee launched the line-ups at both the company's two stages, the larger Albert and smaller Owen.

Apparently, artistic director Robert Falls decided that wasn't nearly enough Albee for one year. Therefore, those two Chicago premieres will now be augmented by three programs of Albee one-acts.

The first, playing Oct. 21, Oct. 26 and Nov. 1, will include 1959's The Zoo Story, the lacerating play that made Albee's name, and 1960's lesser-known The Death of Bessie Smith. Lynn Bernatowitcz will direct the former, Chuck Smith the latter. The program will play the Owen stage.

Program Two, appearing on Oct. 23, Oct. 26 and Nov. 1, contains three plays: Box, an experimental work from 1968; The Sandbox, an early bit of absurdism from 1960; and Finding the Sun, a longer ensemble piece from 1983. Eric Rosen will direct all three at the Owen.

Finally, Program Three will consist of a single work, 1987's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?-like Marriage Play, directed by Lou Contey. Dates are Oct. 25, Oct. 29 and Nov. 2 at the Owen.

The plays in Programs Two and Three were staged a decade ago by New York's Signature Theatre Company, when it devoted an entire season to the playwright and assisted greatly in resurrecting his then-flagging career. In addition, Albee himself will take part in a panel with Robert Falls on Oct. 13 at 7 PM, at the Albert.

The Albert season will open, as previously announced, with The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?, Edward Albee's searing, Tony-winning drama, Sept. 27-Nov. 2. Falls will helm the piece about a family floored when dad falls in love with the title animal. No casting has been announced.

At the Owen stage, meanwhile, the first work out of the box will be Albee's The Play About the Baby, directed by David Petrarca, Sept. 20-Nov. 2.