The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Edward Albee on "Our Town"

Washington, DC

Produced by Josephine Reed. Posted by Adam Kampe.


Playwright Edward Albee.

Thornton Wilder?s novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, is a Big Read selection. But we also wanted to explore Wilder?s influence as a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Who better to discuss this with than another multiple Pulitzer winner, dramatist Edward Albee? Albee is known as an iconoclast whose work is dark, often cynical, and populated by the disaffected. Thornton Wilder, on the other hand, was endlessly enthusiastic, drinking in life to the fullest. But as we found out, the author of Who?s Afraid of Virginia Woolf ? has a deep admiration for the writer of Our Town. NEA media producer Josephine Reed sat down with Albee and opened the conversation by asking him about the first time he saw what he considers to be the best play ever written. Take a listen.

[audio:http://bigreadblog.arts.gov//audio/AlbeeOT.mp3]

[transcript]

If you'd like to learn more about Thornton Wilder and The Bridge of San Luis Rey, please check out the half-hour audio guide on The Big Read site. Actor Sam Waterston reads excerpts from the novella which also features Thornton's nephew, Tappan Wilder, writer Russell Banks, poet J.D. McClatchy, and actress Marian Seldes, who actually knew Wilder. For even more information about Wilder, check out this site dedicated to the man himself.

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