Discipline: Theater, playwright

Edward Albee

Discipline: Theater, playwright
Region: Greenwich Village, NY

Edward MacDowell Medalist: 2011

American playwright Edward Franklin Albee III (1928-2016) is known for works such as The Zoo Story (1958), The Sandbox (1959), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), and A Delicate Balance (1966). Three of his plays won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (A Delicate Balance in 1967, Seascape in 1975, and Three Tall Women in 1994) and two of his other works won the Tony Award for Best Play (Seascape in 1975 and The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? In 2002).

Albee was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1972. In 1985, he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. In 1999, Albee received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a Master American Dramatist. He received a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement (2005); the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1980); as well as the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts (both in 1996). In 2009, Albee received honorary degree from the Bulgarian National Academy of Theater and Film Arts (NATFA), a member of the Global Alliance of Theater Schools.

His works are often considered frank examinations of the modern condition. His early works reflect a mastery and Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd that found its peak in works by European playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, and Jean Genet. According to the New York Times, Albee was "widely considered to be the foremost American playwright of his generation."