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February 23, 1979 - Image 6

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-02-23

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Page 6-Friday, February 23, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Albee to writers: Interpret life

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By NINA SHISHKOFF
Aspiring writers were impressed by
Edward Albee's lack of bitterness as he
talked to them at an informal workshop
held in the basement of the Modern
Language Building, Wednesday
evening. Albee has long had the image
of the "angry man" of the American
theatre. However, Albee himself rejec-
ts this. "You can't write in a rage. Rage
and anger have no form." Albee ac-
* Join,
the
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tually seemed amused as he related an
anecdote of an indignity in his early
career. His play, The Zoo Story, was
first produced in West Berlin, Albee ex-
plained, in German - a language he
doesn't understand.
The audience also liked his approach
to the workshop; an introduction to
survival for writers. Albee had begun
by defining what makes a writer. "It's
how the brain works," and a desire to
share an interpretation of life with
others. He said there was a time when
an individual discovers that he is a
writer. Later, he discovers what kind of
writer he is going to be. Albee began to
write poems at six, and novels in his
teens, but it wasn't until he was twenty-
nine that he realized his calling. "I
discovered I was a playwright; not
what I wanted to do, but what I was."
THE BIG question to the young
writer is "Am I any good?" Albee
doesn't think that matters. At least, it
doesn't seem to stop very many people.
"Per square yard, there are more
terrible wriWrs than anything else."
In America, he said, what's good isn't
popular, and what's popular is
automatically assumed to be good. Fur-
thermore, when a talented author tries
to write trash, for the money or the
fame, he can't do it.
"At some point in his career, a writer
may begin to think he's crazy"-Albee
called this an occupational hazard.
"Most writers are controlled
schizophrenics - schizophrenic in a
good sense of the word," he explained,
in the sense of being inside a situation,
feeling it, and outside, observing it.
Even in having the slightly fanciful
delusion that one's characters have a
life of their own is somewhat, well,
illogical. Albee dismissed it as nonsen-
se, then went on to describe how one of
the characters in A Delicate Balance

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'At some point in his career, a writer may begin to think he's
crazy ... Most writers are controlled schizophrenics - schizophrenic in a '
good sense of the word.'
-Edward Albee

YOU'LL 1ELIEVE
A MAN CAN FLY
SUPERMAN
MARLON BRANDO
GENE HACKMAN
SHOWTIMES
MON.-FRI. SAT. & SUN.
7:00-9:45 1:30 7:00
Tickets on Sole 30 Minutes 4:15 9:45
Prior to Showime

tried to take the play away from him,
and how Albee outsmarted her by
taking her offstage every time she tried
to make a speech.
ALBEE SPOKE mainly about plays
and playwriting - quietly, and not as
an oracle. He cast no pearls any larger

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The word's out on c$MPUS
If you wont to be in the know, you should
be reading The Daily
. . . the latest in news, sports, les affaires
academiques, and entertainment ...
CALL 764-0558 to order your subscription today

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STARTS TODAY

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than, "The proper length of a play is it's
proper length." He explained how he
works; he almost never writes notes or
plans the structure of his plays,
because he values spontaneity.
Although he always knows how his
plays will end, he can be surprised by
how that end is reached. He said he
keeps a play in his head, "moving from
the conscious to the unconscious until it
becomes clear" from six months to ten
years before writing it down. Albee
calls this period being "with play" or
being "knocked up intellectually." He
trusts his unconscious. Often, he says,;
he is cleverer than he thinks he is being.
Although he directs his plays himself to
keep his ideas intact, (ironically: "lots
of people out there, feel terribly
creative"), he is open to suggestion. He
concludes that if the innovations are
very good, they must be appropriate to
what he wrote - therefore, they must
have been there to begin with, and he
can take full credit for them. One
listener asked him how many times he
had taken outside suggestions. Never,
he explained - just as he had said. It
was always there to begin with.
There was the 1inevitable question
from the audience - how does one
break, into.-thertheater?--Cionnections?
Albee admitted he has known,'many
people in the theater, but that they are
of very little help to him. He doesn't
even read his latest works to theme-
he'd rather have a poet's or a-,
musician's opinion. He told listeners he
doesn't see any problems for new
playwrights. "There are people dying
for new plays." Any halfway decent
play in this country-will get, produced,
says Albee. It's only a matter of
knowing who wants what kind of play.
His definition of a good play? "I don't
think anything is any good if it leaves
you where you were."

Mediatrics
Presents:

v
Starring Robert DeNiro
Fri. 1:00, 8:00 pmn
Sat. & Sun.:1:00, 4:30, 8:00 pm
Rated R .

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VILLAG
MAPLE VILLAGE SHOPPING6-ENTE0
"A film of great courage and overwhelming emotional power.
A fiercely roving embrace of life."-Jack Kroll, Newsweek.
"The great American film of the year."-Arthur Knight, Holly-
wood Reporter.
STARRING
ROBERT E NIRO
A MICHAEL CIMINO FILM
Co-starring John Cazale, John Savage & Christopher Walken

BA HIA
A robust merry and musical panorama involving the lives, loves and folk
religion of shantytown inhabitants is presented in "Bahia," the diverting
new work by Marcel Comus, who directed the prize-winning "Black Orpheus"
20 years ago.
Fri., Feb. 23 Nat. Sci. Aud. 7:00,19:00
-and-
DRIVE-IN
(Rod Amateau, 1978) A fun movie that is likeable, fast-moving entertainment.
it's a movie-within-a-movie, DISASTER 1976, showing at the Alamo theatre
on the wildest Friday night of the, year. While a mid-air collision, a tidal
wave, a blazing skyscraper and a beserk shark compete for attention on the
big screen, there's even more fun and action in the audience.
Sat., Feb. 24 Nat. Scl. Aud. 7:00. 8:30, 10:00

A4
When in Southern California visit AL STUDIOS TOUR
ANCAEYOMINAIO
7 C D1Y WDNOMINATIONS.,

BEST ACTRESSI

BEST SCREENPLAY
(Based on material from another mediurm) .
BEST SONG
The Mirisch Corporation presents
Ellen Alda {i. ;s
Burstyn Alan
"same MmeNextiear"

ELLEN BURSTYN and ALAN ALDA in"SAME TIMENEXT YEAR"
A Walter Mirisch/Robert Mulligan Production
Screenplay by BERNARD SLADE - Based on the stage play by BERNARD SLADE
Produred on the stage by MORTON GOTTLIEB - Music by MARVIN HAMLISCH
Produced by WALTER MIRISCH and MORTON GOTTLIEB -Directed by ROBERT MULLIGAN
A Universal Picture - Technicolor" Now a DELL Book

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