A Tribute to Edward Albee
Tappan Wilder’s tribute to Edward Albee
With the death of Edward Albee, those of us involved as fans, scholars, students and designated managers of Thornton Wilder’s plays have lost a notable champion for our cause, as well as a playwright whose works we revere.
Mr. Albee loved to tell the story of how Thornton, in a lake-side session at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, fueled by lots of the Good Stuff, helped the young Edward shift his focus from poetry to drama. It was a favor he more than returned–on panels, in writing, once even as an actor in one of Wilder’s 3-minute plays.
When he wielded his pen it was always to remind the public that Wilder, often overlooked when lists are drawn, deserved to be remembered as one of this country’s great playwrights.
Edward always said that the moment Emily’s father comes down the stairs saying, “Where’s my girl? Where’s my birthday girl?” always brought him to tears. Our Town made him cry, not because, he wrote, “it is cute and touching and greeting card time, but because it is so tough and so sad.”
We were fortunate to have known Edward Albee both on and off the stage—and we miss him.
Tappan Wilder, Wilder Family
Jackson R. Bryer, Thornton Wilder Society