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Rainbow Lifelong Learning Institute, Boston

Who's Afraid of Edward Albee: Reading Selected Plays

with Jyl Lynn Felman



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This course will take place on Tuesdays at 1:00 PM for ten weeks (9/6/22 - 11/15/22) no class on 10/11/22.  This course will be on Zoom.

Course Description:

What does it mean to be a major American playwright of oversized proportions?  That’s Edward Albee whose plays ask all the hard, intimate questions about love, loss, and marriage.  Albee explodes the mundane moment on the page, and rips open the myths of domesticity. Simultaneously soul searching and deeply disturbing with a biting humor, Albee is a wizard with language.  His characters are complex, never one-dimensional. Albee’s worked changed the direction of the American Theatre. 

We will deconstruct his most famous play, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” seeing what makes it a masterpiece of technique and structure, and look at other significant works.  We’ll do in depth analysis and critique, asking “What makes a good play?” and we’ll argue about the moral successes and failures of Albee’s characters.  A focused reading of the texts is important.  Students will be asked to read scenes aloud and come up with their own questions.  This will be a terrific journey into the imagination of a great, haunting mind!

We will read aloud each play and discussion questions will be offered by the facilitator.  Please do not read the plays until they are assigned, because it will affect the discussion.  We are reading the plays in the order Albee wrote them.  This schedule may change depending on how the class goes.

  1. “The Zoo Story"
  2. “The American Dream”
  3. “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf”
  4. “A Delicate Balance”
  5. “Box” and “Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung”  (This is a maybe.) 
  6. "Three Tall Women” 
  7. "The Goat" or, "Who is Sylvia"

Please do not order the plays on kindle!  We need to be using all the same texts:

The Collected Plays of Edward Albee  Volumes One, Two, and Three

Overlook Duckworth, Peter Mayer Publishers

(These texts are available used, much cheaper.)

Course Leader:

Jyl Lynn Felman, a former Brandeis professor, playwright and performance artist, is the author of Hot Chicken Wings, a collection of short stories; Cravings, a memoir, and Never A Dull Moment: Teaching and The Art Of Performance.   She’s performed her one-woman shows, “Terri Schiavo, Inc., ” “Burning In Cuba,” and “Silicone Valley” across the USA as well as Prague, Czech Republic and Havana, Cuba.  “If Only I’d Been Born A Kosher Chicken” aired on C-SPAN’s performance series. Productions of her plays include “Oh Daddy, Poor Daddy” in The Seven Deadly Sins Festival, and SLAMBoston; and “Birdie” in The Universal Theatre Festival. 

For more information see:

  • Sep 6 - Nov 15th, 2022
    Tue for 11 weeks from 1:00 - 2:30 pm

    Will run

Online Class

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