Return to archive index Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
by Edward Albee
Directed by Keith Kavonic

Virginia Woolf poster

Angus and Stephanie Hepburn: George and Martha The Albee play marked the end of our first full season. Keith Kavonic had directed in South Africa and locally and had always wanted to direct Virgina Woolf. Stephanie and Angus Hepburn had always wanted to play Martha and George and so all three got their wish. Ariane Barron and C. D. Macauley played the roles of Honey and Nick.

The decision was made to stage the play completely in the round with the audience on raised seating. An acting area was defined using stained plywood sheets and two entrances set in two adjacent corners. Inevitably, not all four sides were equally good from the audience view, especially since the play needs a sofa and that immediately defines a 'back' to the focus and sets an asymmetry. Virginia Woolf cast From the acting point of view this meant that the cast had to be flexible and open up to the 'back' whenever possible. Lighting, usually a major expense, was simple. We used the track lighting already installed in the Paramount East. As a result we established a realistic room with the audience rather like flies on the walls, observing the action (an effect Albee always claimed he wanted). It did mean that, from the audience's point of view, there was nowhere to escape to! You were sucked into the play with an intimacy that most people were not used to. And Virginia Woolf is strong meat! Not to mention smashing wine bottles only a couple of feet from the audience. Martha, George and Honey - pic6a From the acting pont of view, having the audience on all sides drives the focus into the action. Sight-lines are not a problem as long as you don't stand in any one place for too long. But you can never relax - there is always someone looking at you at all times. Although the play was written in 1962 and contains some rather dated references, it is still very contemporary in terms of the core of the relationships it deals with and they are just as absorbing as they were when the play first appeared. The result worked, however, and the production was very well received. Well enough, in fact, that we were invited to take the production to the Emelin Theatre in Mamaronek. This required some re-staging since the setting at the Emelin was more traditional. George, Martha and Nick and Honey - pic5 One interesting feature of the Paramount East production that altered significantly was the balance between George and Martha. With Martha spending a significant amount of time lying on the sofa, with George prowling round her, when this plays in the round, George tends to become the focus. When you play the show in a more traditional proscenium arch format, Martha, center stage, take the focus. This provided, from the actors' point of view, an interesting contrast between the two productions.

This was also the last production of PRT with TAG. The success of the show resulted in PRT being invited to become the Theatre-in-Residence at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill.


Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
by Edward Albee
directed by Keith Kavonic

Cast in order of appearance
Martha......................................................
George.....................................................
Nick..........................................................
Honey.......................................................
Stephanie Hepburn
Angus Hepburn
C. D. Macauley
Ariane Barron

the setting
a small New England College town
Autumn - the present.

Act One: Fun and Games
Act Two: Walpurgisnacht
Act Three: The Exorcism



Production Crew

Director......................................
Producer....................................
Stage Manager...........................
Set Design.................................
Keith Kavonic
Ginny Mastromonaco
Sandra Kavonic
Howard Sponseller

Special thanks to: Jo-Ann Brody, Andrea Cook, Frank Angel and the Buildings and Grounds Staff of Peekskill City Schools, Ekizian Carpets, Clif and Kelly Gannon, Kevin J. Kearins, Ralph George Mastromonaco, P.E., Cathy Montaldo, Alex Morrow and Lone Star Graphics for printing the program and posters, Alan and Katherine Neidorf, Kim Sparling, Susan's Restaurant, Yonkers Special Effects, Ltd., Helen Zurhellen.

Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Plays Inc., NY.



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Updated: - 16th Street Graphics Copyright 2002