Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance
Directed by Craig Joseph
Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance is a dark comedy in which the carefully controlled existence of two complacent suburbanites is forever shattered by their family and friends over the course of one eventful weekend.
Molly McGinnis plays Claire and
Richard Worswick plays Tobias
in Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance.
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Describing his play 30 years after its first production, the playwright Edward Albee wrote in 1996 that it concerns “the rigidity and ultimate paralysis which afflicts those who settle in too easily, waking up one day to discover that all of the choices they have avoided no longer give them any freedom of choice, and that what choices they do have left are beside the point.”
When the play begins, we meet Agnes and Tobias, a perfectly normal, upper middle-class married couple. With a cushion of wealth to protect them, they would appear to have the best of everything: a beautifully furnished home, the finest china and the most tasteful furniture.But the underpinnings of such a comfortable life have begun to come loose. Live-in sister-in-law Claire drinks too much and delights in trading caustic remarks with Agnes and Tobias. And Julia, Agnes and Tobias’s 36-year-old daughter, has returned home after her fourth failed marriage, a lost child seeking the comfort of hearth and home.
The sudden appearance of Harry and Edna, the neighbors and best friends of Agnes and Tobias, further threatens the rigidly restrained order of suburban splendor. Harry and Edna insist that they cannot return to their own home, due to an undefined “terror” that has gripped them. With their equilibrium thus upended, can Agnes and Tobias continue to maintain their “delicate balance?”
A drama packed with psychological complexity, Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance takes audiences on a careening ride from domestic superficiality to a jolting confrontation with life’s most existential questions.
Content advisory: due its adult language and themes, the play is best enjoyed by audiences ages 16 and older.
About the Play's Production History
The original Broadway production of Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York City on Sept. 22, 1966. The production ran for 132 performances and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1967. There have been two Broadway revivals: in 1996 (with Elaine Stritch playing Claire) and in 2014 (featuring John Lithgow as Tobias and Glenn Close as Agnes). A film adaptation, released in 1973, was directed by Tony Richardson and starred Katharine Hepburn, Paul Scofield, Lee Remick, Joseph Cotten and Kate Reid. Weathervane Playhouse first produced Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance in 1968; the production was directed by Robert Belfance.
► Read The Akron Beacon Journal's review of the play
► Read The West Side Leader's review of the play
* Member of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional stage actors and stage managers.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Assistant Stage Manager
JASEN J. SMITH
Assistant Technical Director