CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: June 30, 2000
July 16 Iowa Summer Rep reading features two of Albee's one-act plays
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa Summer Rep 2000 will round out its festival of plays
by Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright Edward Albee with minimally
staged readings of two of his short plays -- "Counting the Ways"
and "Listening" -- at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 16 in Theatre B of the
University of Iowa Theatre Building.
"Counting the Ways" is a "vaudeville" that explores
the interactions of a couple -- "He" and "She" -- long
married but uncertain if love has survived. A New York Times review described
it as a play "full of that particular Albee prescription of fun and menace."
Albee originally conceived of "Listening" as a radio play. Written
in a form akin to musical composition, this "chamber play" weaves
together strands of conversation to portray how communication shapes our lives.
A New York Times critic proclaimed, "The beauty of Mr. Albee's writing
has never been more evident."
Combining these plays into a single production follows Albee's lead. He
directed the American premiere of the duo in 1977. The Iowa Summer Rep readings
are directed by William Barbour.
Beginning in the late 1950s, Albee established a reputation for creating
dramatic tension while simultaneously voicing serious social criticism. In
addition to "Seascape," he won the Pulitzer Prize for "Three
Tall Women" and "A Delicate Balance." His three Pulitzers rank
second only to Eugene O'Neill's four. Tony Awards for Broadway productions
went to "A Delicate Balance" but also to "Who's Afraid of Virginia
In 1996, Albee received a Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award, and
in 1997 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. At the Kennedy Center Honors
ceremony in 1996, Albee was praised for his impact on American drama: "Edward
Albee burst into the American theatrical scene in the late 1950s with a variety
of plays that detailed the agonies and disillusionment of that decade and
the transition from the placid Eisenhower years to the turbulent 1960s. Albee's
plays, with their intensity, their grappling with modern themes, and their
experiments in form, startled critics and audiences alike, while changing
the landscape of American drama."
"To me, Edward Albee means power and wit combined in breathtaking ways,"
says UI department of theatre arts faculty member Eric Forsythe, artistic
director of Iowa Summer Rep. "He audaciously jumps into your living room
or into your beach party and shakes things up. I can't imagine a more exhilarating
For many seasons Iowa Summer Rep has pursued a unique focus in American
summer theater with its single-playwright, festivals, and last season Iowa
Summer Rep also became an Actor's Equity Company, elevating its status as
a professional theater company.
Tickets for the Iowa Summer Rep 2000 readings of "Counting the Ways"
and "Listening" are $5. Tickets may be purchased in advance from
the Hancher Auditorium box office. Any remaining tickets will be available
one hour before curtain time at the Theatre Building box office.
Hancher box office summer hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays. From the
local calling area, dial 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER.
Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American
Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills,
and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information
and brochures may be requested by e-mail at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should
dial 335-1158. This line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment
who use that technology.
For UI arts information, visit <www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr>
on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <email@example.com>.