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'Virginia Woolf' Author
Is Spring Lecturer

Edward Albee, three time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and recipient of the 1996 National Medal of Arts, will speak at Sam Houston State University February 22.

Albee's Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation is scheduled for 8 p.m. in the Beto Criminal Justice Center Killinger Auditorium. A reception and book-signing is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. in the foyer just outside the auditorium. The program is open to all and free of admission charge.

His lecture will be on "The Playwright vs. The Theater," a discussion of the state of American theater, its problems, its strengths and its future.

Now 71 and a distinguished professor of theatre at the University of Houston, Albee was adopted at the age of two weeks by a millionaire family and exposed early to his grandfather's world of plays and theatre people.

He showed promise as a writer, but left college after a year and a half to write in New York City, originally in the areas of poetry and fiction. With encouragement from Thornton Wilder, he produced a "breakthrough" play, "The Zoo Story," in 1958.

Albee was at first appreciated more internationally than in his own country, but is credited with eventually establishing the American version of absurdist theatre.

Though best known for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", he achieved his greatest international acclaim for three Pulitzer-winning efforts--"A Delicate Balance" (1966), "Seascape" (1975) and "Three Tall Women" (1994).

His other plays include "The Death of Bessie Smith," "Fam and Yam," "The American Dream," "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe," "Tiny Alice," "Malcolm," "Everything in the Garden," "Box and Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung," "All Over," "Listening," "Counting the Ways," "The Lady from Dubuque," "Lolita," "The Man Who Had Three Arms," "Finding the Sun," "Walking," "Marriage Play," "The Lorca Play," and "Fragments--A Concerto Grosso."

Sam Houston State University's Distinguished Lecturer Series was established in 1980. Speakers have included Ashley Montague, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Zbigniew Brzezinski, John Kenneth Galbraith, Alvin Toffler, Richard Leakey, George Gallup, Jr., Larry McMurtry, David Halberstam, Lech Walesa, George Bush, and others.

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SHSU Media Contact:Frank Krystyniak
January 7, 2000
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