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For 15 years, Edward Albee brought out the best in the University of Houston's student playwrights. Through classes and workshops, the award winning author shared his creative insights with young writers eager to transplant their stories from the page to the stage. This spring, Albee will return to the university for an encore.
Albee will serve as a UH distinguished professor of playwriting for the spring 2010 semester.
"I enjoy the learning experience of teaching, as well as the enthusiasm and intuition of the students," Albee said.
Albee, the wordsmith behind classic plays such as "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"will teach Playwriting III for UH's School of Theatre & Dance. The curriculum is designed for graduate theater and creative writing students, who will be handpicked by Albee himself.
Albee first joined the UH School of Theatre & Dance faculty in 1989. He oversaw the school's annual playwriting workshop until 2003 when personal obligations took him back to his home in New York full time. He officially left the university in 2006.
"Edward Albee is arguably the pre-eminent playwright in the English-speaking world," said Steven Wallace, director of UH's School of Theatre & Dance. "His interest in Houston and UH speaks to the emotional connection that he has with our program."
Albee's plays have long engaged theater-goers with what he's described as their "examination of the American scene." His gift for writing provocative dialogues and creating memorable characters has long been revered in the world of professional theater.
He is a three-time Pulitzer Prize recipient (for "A Delicate Balance" in 1967, "Seascape" in 1975 and "Three Tall Women" in 1994) and a Tony Award winner (for 2002's "The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?"). In 2005, he received a special Lifetime Achievement Tony Award.
Albee recently attended the UH production of his play "At Home at the Zoo." The play was directed by professor emeritus Sidney Berger, who recruited Albee to the university in 1989.
Albee will rejoin the UH School of Theatre & Dance but will have several new colleagues. Among them is Tony winner and Oscar nominee Mark Medoff, Tony Award-winning producer Stuart Ostrow and veteran dramaturg Mark Bly.
The UH School of Theatre & Dance offers bachelor's and master's degrees in theatre, and a bachelor's degree in dance. Each fall and spring, the school produces four plays performed in the Wortham Theatre and the Jose Quintero Theatre, two dance concerts, four graduate directing projects and two Theatre for Young Audiences plays. The Houston Shakespeare Festival is provided each summer. In addition to Edward Albee, the school has benefitted from notable star faculty such as Lanford Wilson, Sir Peter Hall and Jose Quintero. For details on UH's School of Theatre & Dance, visit www.theatredance.uh.edu.