Letter to the Editor – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
In the coming weeks the Barron Spotlighters will be putting on performances of the play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” written by Edward Albee. This play was controversial when it was written and first performed back in 1962, and this controversy remains today. From the harsh/crude language that is used to the relationship issues displayed by the actors, this is a play that sets out to challenge assumptions about what a play could and should be.
The board of directors for the Barron Spotlighters wants to let everyone know that we are fully aware what this play entails and how it might be perceived by some in the community. We had several meetings where we discussed this play at length, the positives and the negatives associated with the play, and just how it would be perceived by both those in attendance as well as the general public. This is NOT a play that we entered into lightly, and we will not be shying away from any publicity for it.
There may be members of the community that find this sort of play an abomination to the stage, where such things as crude language don’t belong. The fact is that before there were movies, before television, before radio, there was theater. Theater isn’t only for the feel-good stories, it’s for shining a light onto the human condition and showcasing it all – the good AND the bad. Real life isn’t packaged up with a neat bow and theater doesn’t have to always be that way either.
When the movie was made starring Elizabeth Taylor, it was nominated for EVERY eligible category and won 5 Academy Awards, plus more then a dozen other awards. The play itself won the Tony award for best play in 1963. When a play and a movie based on the play win that many awards, it is one that needs to be noticed and seen.
If you are a person who doesn’t like to hear off-color language, who thinks on-stage relationships should always be romantic, and vices just don’t exist, then this play is one you should skip seeing. We understand that this play is not for everyone, and definitely not for children under 18 without a parent or guardian. For those who do come, we hope that we do the play justice with all of the hard work that our actors and actresses have put in, not to mention the set builders and all of the other volunteers that have spent countless hours getting ready to put on a great series of performances. For those who choose not to come, we look forward to seeing you at one of our future performances including “All Shook Up” that features the music of Elvis Presley.