We chose to perform an excerpt from the beginning act of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. In this scene, George and Martha are arguing after coming home from a party. Albee bases the play in realism, then slowly breaks down the realistic elements of the character’s world to reveal absurdism. We chose this specific scene because it is one of the most realistic in the play, but we were also interested in how realism functioned in the entire play. Though Martha herself is a very extreme, emotional, and, for lack of a better word, extra character, her dialogue with George is believable and realistic. It seems like a natural conversation between a bickering couple with an extreme personality.
In order to act this, it was necessary that both of us had actually read the play beforehand to know the characters fully through all of the decisions that they made. Because we were both familiar with the play and had analyzed it previously in different classes, we had pretty clear ideas of the intentions, motivations, and emotional states of the characters, so we could afford to skip the character analysis that I consider necessary before performing a role. We then chose our characters by thinking of who’s natural personality leant to performing which roles. This is very important in realism especially, because the goal is to make the scene reflect real life as closely as possible. After we cast ourselves, we read through the scene and chose a specific cut that we felt showed the realism in the scene well. Then we recorded.