EDWARD ALBEE QUOTES

American playwright (1928-2016)

Good writers define reality; bad ones merely restate it.

EDWARD ALBEE, Saturday Review, May 4, 1966

10 likes

Tags: writing, reality


The most profound indication of social malignancy ... no sense of humor. None of the monoliths could take a joke.

EDWARD ALBEE, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

9 likes

Tags: humor


I think that's foolishness on the part of the playwright to write about himself. People don't know anything about themselves.

EDWARD ALBEE, interview, The Believer

8 likes

Tags: playwriting, writing


The avant-garde theater is fun; it is free-wheeling, bold, iconoclastic, and often wildly, wildly funny. If you will approach it with childlike innocence -- putting your standard responses aside, for they do not apply -- if you will approach it on its own terms, I think you will be in for a liberating surprise. I think you may no longer be content with plays that you can't remember halfway down the block.

EDWARD ALBEE, "Which Theater Is the Absurd One?", 1962

5 likes

Tags: avante-garde theatre


Few sensible authors are happy discussing the creative process -- it is, after all, black magic, and may lose its power if we look that particular gift horse too closely in the mouth.

EDWARD ALBEE, introduction, Three Tall Women

4 likes

Tags: writing, creativity


You gotta have a swine to show you where the truffles are.

EDWARD ALBEE, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

4 likes


When people can't abide things as they are, when they can't abide the present, they do one of two things ... either they ... either they turn to a contemplation of the past ... or they set about to ... alter the future. And when you want to change something ... YOU BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

EDWARD ALBEE, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

4 likes

Tags: change


That's the happiest moment. When it's all done. When we stop. When we can stop.

EDWARD ALBEE, Three Tall Women

4 likes

Tags: death


Unless you are terribly, terribly careful, you run the danger--without even knowing it is happening to you--of slipping into the fatal error of reflecting the public taste instead of creating it. Your responsibility is to the public consciousness, not the public view of itself.

EDWARD ALBEE, Stretching My Mind

4 likes

Tags: writing, playwriting


In a democracy you cannot stop public access to that art that will most misinform the people. You cannot stop people from being misinformed. But what you can do is to educate the people to the point that they will throw the rascals out.

EDWARD ALBEE, Stretching My Mind

4 likes

Tags: democracy, art


Musical beds is the faculty sport around here.

EDWARD ALBEE, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

4 likes

Tags: sex


Time passes. You're not as ... recognizable now as you were.

EDWARD ALBEE, Occupant

4 likes

Tags: time, change


Every monster was a man first.

EDWARD ALBEE, Tiny Alice

3 likes

Tags: monsters


If you have no wounds, how can you know if you're alive?

EDWARD ALBEE, The Play About the Baby

3 likes

Tags: life


Well, you go into rehearsal, when directors and actors start asking all sorts of unnecessary questions, because they don't understand half of it--the nature of the characters. Almost all of those answers, if the play is well constructed, are answered during rehearsal. You solve all those problems. Sometimes it's because the actor doesn't understand the character. Then you fire the actor and get another one who will understand what's going on. There may be lots of questions that anybody--an actor or a director or anybody--can ask about a character in a play of mine that are not answered in the play, but if it's a question that I don't think is relevant, I don't bother about it. There's no reason to ask it.

EDWARD ALBEE, interview, The Believer

3 likes

Tags: theatre, actors


If Attila the Hun were alive today, he'd be a drama critic.

EDWARD ALBEE, Theater Week, 1988

3 likes

Tags: criticism


I was twenty-nine years old and I wasn't a very good poet and I wasn't a very good novelist, [so] I thought I would try writing a play, which seems to have worked out a little better.

EDWARD ALBEE, Paris Review, Fall 1966

2 likes

Tags: playwriting


There are lots of young vital playwrights who are experimenting, and these are the plays that people who are interested in the theatre should see. They should go off Broadway. They should go to the cafe theatres and see the experiments that are being made.

EDWARD ALBEE, WNBC TV interview, Jan. 9, 1966

2 likes

Tags: playwriting, theatre


There's nobody doesn't want something.

EDWARD ALBEE, Three Tall Women

2 likes

Tags: desire


One must let the play happen to one; one must let the mind loose to respond as it will, to receive impressions, to sense rather than know, to gather rather than immediately understand.

EDWARD ALBEE, National Observer, Apr. 5, 1965

2 likes

Tags: theatre