Counting the Ways & Listening


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Edward Albee

Published by Dramatists Play Service

1 Male 3 Female

Counting the Ways In a series of blackout sketches, "He" and "She" probe into the nature of their love for one another Long married, but aware that time has wrought changes in their relationship, the two spar and thrust at each other in exchanges and reminiscences which are sometimes lighthearted, sometimes poignant, sometimes almost brutal

In the end a mosaic of experience is constructed, illuminating the nature of human love and pointing up the gathering indifference which can beset those who have been perhaps too long and too closely aligned in the sharing of years (M1,F1)

Masterfully constructed, and glinting with humor and insight, this brilliant short play explores the changing relationship between two people long married but no longer sure of each other's love

" sharply chiseled phrases and stabs of poignancy" ~ NY Daily News

" a very brilliant piece of miniature painting" ~ Plays and Players (London)

" full of that particular Albee prescription of fun and menace" ~ NY Times

Listening ~ Constructed with the precision of a musical composition, and described by Clive Barnes as "a chamber opera and a symbolic poem about communication," the play juxtaposes three characters - The Man, The Woman, and The Girl - and sifts through the tangled relationship they have evidently shared

The Man is amiable but distant; The Woman acerbic and bitter; The Girl is perhaps mad - a catatonic who has destroyed her own child. Elliptical in form and redolent with evocative overtones, the play weaves together its strands of conversation and soliloquy into a meaningful pattern of events - underscoring the inescapable fact that while we may listen we do not always hear, and our lives, for better or worse, are shaped accordingly (M1,F2)

Originally conceived for radio, this resonant, hauntingly beautiful play is equally effective as a stage piece

"There is a fantastic reverberation of words here. The beauty of Mr Albee's writing has never been more evident. He takes commonplace phrases and transmutes them into a different form of life, which is the entire secret of poetry" ~ NY Times

" a gifted, intelligent, scrupulous writer" ~ Village Voice

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