Jay Crutchley, Assistant Director on Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, continues to bring us his thoughts from the rehearsal room as preparations for the production’s opening week shift up a notch.

    Jay Crutchley, RTYDS Resident Assistant Director

    So rehearsals are now in full swing for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and what a week it has been! One of the beautiful by-products of working on a play like this is how much you learn, not just in regards to theatre and directing but about all the social, political and historical context that surrounds the world of the play.

    I thought I’d share three things that I’ve learnt so far from this rehearsal process. In no particular order.

    1. This play is about the Cold War!

    On the surface, Edward Albee’s play is essentially about people. However, as we have been unpicking the text and Albee’s writing in rehearsals, I’m realising how it’s about so much more than that. I had to do a lot of research into the late 50’s/early 60’s era and it’s been fascinating to learn about the huge shift that was happening in the US at that time at the onset of the Cold War. I never would have thought a play about four people in a room at a party that goes disastrously wrong would actually become symbolic of the political climate of the time! Granted, people often read things into plays after the fact, but in this case it really does seem as though Albee wrote symbolism into his text with specific and obscure references.

    1. Human beings are weird…

    The more we look into the psychology of Albee’s characters and the games they play with each other subconsciously and then consciously, the more I learn about what makes people tick. It’s got to the point that I’m now looking at people around me and thinking, ‘what’s your game?!’ – whilst also being super reflective of my own behaviour!

    1. Theatre is cool.

    Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? runs at Tobacco Factory Theatres from Wed 19 February – Sat 21 March. Visit the main show page for more info about the production and to book.

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