What: The Department of Theater Arts and the School of Fine and Performing Arts present The Zoo Story by Edward Albee and Mountain Language by Harold Pinter
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13 through Saturday, Jan. 15 and Thursday, Jan. 20 through Saturday, Jan. 22;
2 p.m Sunday, Jan. 16
Where: Lincoln Studio Theatre, 1620 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97201
Tickets: $5 at the door or the PSU Box Office, $4 for students. Free preview Jan. 13.
These one-act plays bookend the careers of two of the 20th century's greatest English language playwrights, American Edward Albee and Briton Harold Pinter. Albee penned The Zoo Story at the beginning of his career (1928- ) and Mountain Language premiered at the zenith of Pinter's career (1930-2008). Albee has won three Pulitzer Prizes and three Tony Awards. Pinter is the recipient of the Cohen Prize, the Olivier Award, the Légion d'honneur and the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature.
THE ZOO STORY: A park bench, two strangers and a mysterious trip to the zoo. This classic tale of two men is class warfare at its most personal and primal. The Zoo Story displays ironic humor, unrelenting suspense, and savage intensity in a gripping Central Park encounter between a well-to-do business man and a disturbed vagrant.
On his thirtieth birthday in 1958, Edward Albee quit his job with Western Union and wrote The Zoo Story in three weeks. After being rejected by several New York producers, the play had its premiere in Berlin on September 28, 1959. Four months later it was paired with Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape at the Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village, and won Albee recognition as a formidable talent. Albee's first major hit was Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and more recently The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, a play about a man who is having an affair with a goat, won Best Play at the 2002 Tony Awards. (theatrezone.org)
MOUNTAIN LANGUAGE: A brief but truly powerful study of totalitarian repression by one of the master playwrights of the English-speaking theatre. Successfully produced in both London and New York, the play evokes, in four short scenes, a shocking awareness of the terror, brutality and inhumanity which can occur when the rights of the individual have been usurped by an all-powerful and oppressive state. "His new play Mountain Language, is only 20 minutes long, but it effortlessly encapsulates a world." —London Sunday Times. "Mountain Language is an atom bomb: brief, brutal and utterly devastating." —BackStage. "With exquisite economy and controlled rage, the author has fashioned a pulverizing drama of man's inhumanity that subtly but surely conveys the immemorial lesson that the brutalizing of victims also brutalizes the aggressors and the uncaring." —Variety.
The Zoo Story is directed by Lorraine Bahr and Mountain Language is directed by Edwin Collier.