WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?


“It’s a shattering, but exhilarating evening, not to be missed. And it goes by in a flash.” – Liz Nicholls, Edmonton Journal

 “…do not miss this show. It is the Citadel Theatre at its best” – Graham Hicks, Hicks Biz Blog

“Citadel’s Virginia Woolf a must-see rendition of a classic” – Jenna Marynowski, After the House Lights

 

RUNS TO FEBRUARY 13, 2016 IN THE SHOCTOR THEATRE

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

BY EDWARD ALBEE
Directed by James MacDonald

An American theatre classic, Edward Albee’s scorching tale of an embittered marriage was the Citadel’s very first production in 1965.  This new 50th Anniversary production will star prominent Canadian actors, Brenda Robins and Tom Rooney.

RECOMMENDED FOR AGES 15+

This witty, trenchant, vastly enjoyable show is offensive, terrifying, and utterly engrossing.  And yes, it’ll make you better. – Globe and Mail

…though the play presents a picture of a desperate marriage, and is fuelled by prodigious quantities of alcohol, it is also wonderfully funny. – London Telegraph

…a drama that encompasses the whole relationship of man and woman; love and hate, tenderness and cruelty, sad and funny. – The Hollywood Reporter

 

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 “I swear…if you existed I’d divorce you.”
“Do you want me to go around all night braying at everybody, the way you do?”
“I’m loud, and I’m vulgar, and I wear the pants in this house because someone’s got to, but I am not a monster. I am not.”

 

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ENRICHMENT GUIDE

 

Cast and Creative Team

Director – James MacDonald

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For the Citadel, James has directed 15 productions over the past ten years, and performed in many others, including five years as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. As a dramaturge, director, and actor, James has been involved in the development of over 40 new Canadian plays, including directing the world premieres of Miss Shakespeare (Musical TheatreWorks); Vimy (Citadel – Sterling Award); With a Twist (Lunchbox Theatre); and The Myth of Summer (Alberta Theatre Projects). Other directing credits include Julius Caesar (Stratford Festival); The Old Ladies (Shaw Festival); and Fire (Canadian Stage – Dora Award). James is the founding Artistic Director of Edmonton’s Freewill Shakespeare Festival, a position he held for six years. He is the Program Director for the Citadel/Banff Centre Professional Theatre Program.

Assistant Director – Dave Horak

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For the Citadel, Dave has acted in Death of a Salesman and directed Young Company Productions of Measures, The Inspector General and Cloud Nine. He is the Artistic Director of Edmonton Actors Theatre which produced Burning Bluebeard this December. Recent directing work includes A Few Good Men (Keyano Theatre); Fatboy, The Wasteland and Bomb-itty of Errors (Edmonton Actors Theatre); Sartre’s Shorts and Act Without Words (Surreal SoReal Theatre). Upcoming, Dave will direct Curtains (MacEwan University) and The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (Teatro La Quindicina). Recent performances include theatre no. 6’s Proud, Passion Play (Wild Side Productions) and MOTE (Blarney Productions). Dave holds BFA (Acting) and MFA (Directing) degrees from the University of Alberta. He is pleased to be a participant in the 2016 Citadel/Banff Centre Professional Theatre Program.

Martha – Brenda Robins

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Brenda is excited to be returning to the Citadel and working on this extraordinary play. Citadel credits include August: Osage County, The Constant Wife (Sterling Award), and Present Laughter. Other credits include Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Belfry Theatre); Doubt: A Parable, Beauty Queen of Leenane (Centaur); Hedda Gabler, Death and the Maiden (Vancouver Playhouse); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Centaur, Grand Theatre, MTC); Cruel and Tender, Omnium Gatherum and Dancing at Lughnasa (Canadian Stage). Brenda lives in Toronto and is a regular member of the Soulpepper Theatre Company. Credits there include Home, Exit the King and King Lear. Brenda has been a member of the Stratford and Shaw Festival companies. She also co-adapted the award-winning play Parfumerie, which has just finished its fourth Toronto run. She is a graduate of Studio 58.

George – Tom Rooney

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Tom last appeared at the Citadel in Who Has Seen the Wind. Other credits include eight seasons with the Stratford Festival; Someone Else and The Seagull (Crows Theatre); Beckett: Feck It! (Canadian Stage/Queen of Pudding); My Mother’s Feet (Munich); Hairspray (Toronto and Broadway); Benevolence and Courageous (Tarragon Theatre); Homechild (Canadian Stage); Hamlet (National Arts Centre); Othello (Persephone); and Romeo et Juliette (Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan). Film and television credits include three seasons on CBC’s This Is Wonderland, The Gilda Radner Story, The Day After Tomorrow,
Everest ’82 (CBC miniseries) and Flash of Genius. He has won a Dora for Outstanding Performance (2014), a Jesse Award for Best Supporting Actor and two Gemini nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Tom will be returning to the Stratford Festival for the 2016 season.

Honey – Ava Jane Markus

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Ava is elated to be working with this incredible cast and crew at the Citadel. Working in theatre, dance, and music, Ava has performed internationally in New York (Brooklyn Academy of Music), Antwerp (DeSingel), Munich (Kammerspiele), Edinburgh and in theatres across Canada including Canadian Stage, Centaur Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, Vancouver Playhouse, Artcsclub, Globe Theatre, Mirvish Productions, The Summerworks Festival, Ghost River Theatre, Catalyst Theatre, Outside the March and Groundwater Productions. As a musician and singer, Ava has played Canadian Music Week, Sled Island, NXNE, CityTV and Breakfast Television, as well as independently in venues across Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

Nick – Jay Clift

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Jay is a Vancouver based theatre artist, born and raised in the Okanagan, he has called Vancouver home for the past seven years. Although primarily an actor, Jay has also worked professionally as a sound designer, lighting designer, carpenter and stage manager. He is thrilled to be playing the role of Nick in this iconic classic at the Citadel. Recent theatrical credits include Sgt. Trotter in The Mousetrap (Chemainus Theatre Festival) and the role of David in his theatre company’s inaugural production of The Four of Us (The Common Era). Jay also stars in the controversial crime thriller The Bleeding Edge hitting theatres in 2016. Jay is a three time Jessie nominated actor and was also the 2014 recipient of the Sam Payne award. Jay is a graduate of Studio 58.

Making of...

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is today regarded as one of the greatest plays of American theatre but it received a rather bumpy reception when Edward Albee revealed his first full-length play in early 1962. It opened on Broadway in October of that year and was immediately both acclaimed and reviled. It won both the 1963 Tony Award for Best Play and the 1962–63 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play. More notoriously, however, the Pulitzer jury recommended Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for the 1963 Pulitzer Drama Prize, only to have the Pulitzer board of directors overrule the nomination, deeming the play too sexually permissive and rough in its dialogue. The jury quit in protest.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? continued on Broadway for a year and a half with 5 previews and 664 performances. The controversial play toured America to packed houses and then became a blockbuster film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? had much to do with the early success of the Citadel Theatre. When the theatre first opened its doors in November, 1965, founder Joe Shoctor presented Albee’s play as the Citadel’s first offering. Shoctor knew the play would shock Edmonton audiences and, sure enough, the day after Opening Night Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was the talk of the town. Few Edmontonians could say they hadn’t heard of the city’s new professional theatre company and they came in droves to satisfy their curiosity as to what all the fuss was about.

On the 50th anniversary of that inaugural season, The Citadel Theatre and director James MacDonald are pleased to produce anew a modern presentation of a play that has lost none of its bark — or bite — over the years.

Previews and Reviews

No fear here: Citadel stages a timeless Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, REVIEW, Bruce Cinnamon, VUE Weekly – Feb 3, 2016

The Citadel Theatre at its best – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, REVIEW by GRAHAM HICKS, Hicks Biz Blog – January 30, 2016

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? back in superb form at Citadel, REVIEW by LIZ NICHOLLS, Edmonton Journal – January 29, 2016

Citadel’s Virginia Woolf a must-see rendition of a classic, REVIEW by JENNA MARYNOWSKI, After the House Lights – January 29, 2016

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is back at the Citadel after 50 years, PREVIEW by LIZ NICHOLLS, Edmonton Journal – January 27, 2016

Who’s afraid of volatile coupling? Virginia Woolf erupts at the Citadel, PREVIEW by PAUL BLINOV, VUE Weekly – January 28, 2016

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