SAN DIEGO -- Highlights from 19 of Edward Albee's plays form the basis of Albee's People, which ends its scheduled run at the Old Globe Theatre March 21. The show (actually two shows) officially opened Feb. 13 & 14, 1999 for a six-week run. Previews began Feb. 10.
Chosen and directed by long-time Albee assistant Glyn O'Malley, Albee's People consists of two separate nights, Albee's Women and Albee's Men. The former runs Wed., Fri. & Saturdays, the latter Sun., Tues. & Thursdays.
"Three men and three women handle all the roles," said O'Malley, who first went to work for Albee in 1974 and remained with him for ten years, not only running his writer's foundation but directing many of his plays, including the world premiere of Three Tall Women at the English Theatre in Vienna.
"I was with him through his up cycle in the 70s and his down period in the 80s," said O'Malley, who is a playwright in his own right. "I really admire him for the way he handled all that, writing at least a play a year no matter what."
O'Malley feels Albee has become popular again not only because he is a wonderful writer, one who "searches relentlessly for the truth," but because "the baby boomers are tired of romantic comedies and musicals. They've grown up and are ready to grapple with big themes, the way Albee does. They are learning to accept responsibility for their own lives, just as Albee's characters have always done." This is the first tryout for Albee's People, which grew out of a one man play O'Malley directed last year at the American Repertory Theatre, with Stephen Rowe playing several of Albee's characters.
The cast of Albee's Women includes Carol Mayo Jenkins, Lois Markle and Jennifer Roberts. In Albee's Men are Richard Easton, Brian Hutchison and Allen Williams.
The material is drawn from such plays as Zoo Story, A Delicate Balance, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Seascape, Three Tall Women and Marriage Play, among others.
Albee's People plays in the Cassius Carter Centre Stage at the Old Globe. For information call (619) 239-2255.
After Albee on the Cassius Carter Centre Stage will come Blues For an Alabama Sky, March 31-May 9. The Globe's mainstage will host Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce, starting April 3.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent