American Dream; The Sandbox; The Death of Bessie Smith; Fam and Yam

ISBN-10: 0822223910

ISBN-13: 9780822223917

Edition: 2009

List price: $9.00 Buy it from $4.47
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Description:

THE STORIES: THE AMERICAN DREAM. Mommy and Daddy sit in a barren living room making small talk. Mommy, the domineering wife, is grappling with the thought of putting Grandma in a nursing home. Daddy, the long-suffering husband, could not care less. Grandma appears, lugging boxes of belongings, which she stacks by the door. Mommy and Daddy can't imagine what's in those boxes, but Grandma is well aware of Mommy's possible intentions. Mrs. Barker, the chairman of the women's club, arrives, not knowing why she is there. Is she there to take Grandma away? Apparently not. It all becomes evident when Grandma reveals to Mrs. Barker the story of the botched adoption of a bumble of joy twenty years ago by Mommy and Daddy. Mrs. Barker appears to have figured it out when Young Man enters. He's muscular, well-spoken, the answer to Mommy and Daddy's prayers: The American Dream. Grandma convinces him to assist in her master plan. She puts one over on everybody and escapes the absurdly realistic world which she finds so predictable. (2 men, 3 women.) THE DEATH OF BESSIE SMITH. Memphis, Tennessee, 1937, a time when the South's aristocracy is crumbling amidst the deeply racist views of its citizens. At a white hospital a Nurse belittles a black Orderly, a polite young man eager to improve himself, and is severely condescending to an Intern, a white man, who is seemingly in love with her. When the Intern finally turns on her she vows to retaliate by ruining his career. The conflict comes to a head when a blood-spattered black man, a car accident victim, stumbles in pleading to get help for his woman friend who is in his wrecked car. The Nurse orders him out, but the Intern convinces the Orderly to go with him to investigate. The Nurse is furious. When they return the Intern announces, in a helpless fury, that the woman is dead. The driver reveals that his woman friend was the legendary blues singer Bessie Smith. The Nurse admits she had heard of Bessie, but it seems her anger at the futile rescue by the Intern is the only emotion she feels. (5 men, 2 women.) FAM AND YAM. YAM (the young American playwright) has requested an interview with FAM (the famous American playwright). The interview begins as YAM clucks appreciatively over all the evidences of FAM's success-the paintings, the view, the luxury of his apartment. FAM endeavors to bring the conversation back to the subject at hand, the article for which YAM is gathering material. YAM responds-with a vengeance. As FAM swallows one glass of sherry after another, YAM proceeds to mount a vitriolic attack on the insidious commerciality of the Broadway theatre. FAM is enormously amused and fails to realize words are being put in his mouth. The interview ends, and YAM thanks his host for the interview which he intends to use as the basis for his article. FAM is struck-too late-by the realization of the trap into which his fatuousness has allowed him to be led. He turns ashen as his paintings frown, reel, tilt and crash down around him. (2 men.)
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Book details

List price: $9.00
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/3/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 107
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.50" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

Edward Albee was born on March 12, 1928. He was adopted as an infant by Reid Albee, the son of Edward Franklin Albee of the powerful Keith-Albee vaudeville chain. He was raised in great affluence and sent to preparatory and military schools. ending his formal education after a year and a half at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Albee often clashed with his mother and eventually left home when he was 20 and moved to New York's Greenwich Village. Albee's first job was writing continuity dialogue for radio station WNYC. After using up the inheritance from his paternal grandmother, he took a variety of menial jobs until 1959 when The Zoo Story made him a famous playwright, first in Europe, where it premiered in Berlin, and then in New York. In 1960 it won the Vernon Rice Memorial Award. Albee's first and major "hit" was Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? which opened on Broadway in 1963. It ran for 664 performances and was made into a film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and is probably Albee's most recognized work. In 1966, A Delicate Balance won Albee his first Pulitzer Prize. In 1975, Albee won his second Pulitzer with Seascape, and then his third with Three Tall Women in 1991. Three Tall Women enjoyed a sold-out success in New York and has been staged across the country and around the world. It received Best Play awards from the New York Drama Critics Circle and Outer Critics Circle. Albee has written 25 plays and over the years has received an impressive number of awards including two Tony Awards, one for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 1965 and a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 2005. Albee also taught at the School of Theatre of the University of Houston and gives lectures on his work at colleges around the US.

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