Join Stage Coach Players (SCP) in July when they present the classic drama, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, by Edward Albee. The award-winning play, which runs for two weekends in August, examines the complexities of a middle-aged married couple with razor-sharp wit and shrewdness.
The play is directed by Bernie Schuneman, with Jan Booth as assistant director. The action of the play takes place at the home of a small-town college professor and his wife. Events have turned George and Martha’s marriage into a nasty battleground between two disenchanted, cynical enemies. This battle plays out while they entertain guests at two o’clock in the morning. The new, opportunistic professor, Nick, and his naïve wife, Honey, have issues of their own that intertwine with the older couple’s warfare.
Excessive alcohol consumption, attempted seduction, mind games and scathing verbal banter are the order of the evening. As events unfold, it is clear that each couple cares for each other, even if in twisted fashions. While an undercurrent of tragedy persists, each couple tries to move forward in their own sometimes unfathomable ways.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opened on Broadway at the Billy Rose Theatre on October 13, 1962 running for five previews and 664 performances. The original cast featured Uta Hagen as Martha, Arthur Hill as George, Melinda Dillon as Honey and George Grizzard as Nick. It won both the 1963 Tony Award for Best Play while Hagen and Hill won best actress and actor for their roles. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? also won the 1962–63 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play and initially won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama until the award’s advisory board objected to its profanity and sexual themes, and overruled the jury, awarding no Pulitzer Prize in 1963.
In 1966, a film version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was released starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor won the award for best actress. In 2020, a Broadway revival was scheduled to premiere on April 9, 2020, in a production featuring Laurie Metcalf and Rupert Everett. It was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic after nine preview performances, without officially opening.
Performances for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? are August 12 – 14, 2021 and August 20 – 21, 2021 with a curtain time of 7:30 p.m. along with Sunday matinees on August 15 and 22, 2021 with a curtain time of 2:00. Tickets are $15 each or $13 for seniors and children aged 13 and under. Tickets are currently on sale through the box office phone at 815-758-1940. Tickets will be available to purchase online in August.
Thank you again for being patient as SCP navigates through its summer shows. SCP has updated seating mitigation requirements based on the State of Illinois “Restore Illinois” COVID-19 Mitigation Guidelines and CDC recommendations. Currently we are allowed to be at full seating capacity following the CDC recommendation that unvaccinated people continue to wear masks, including children. We will have concessions and expect to operate as ‘normal’.
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