In The Time Of Seascape

Authored by Tori Burrell

Image of a scene from Edward Albee's Seascape

A scene from Edward Albee’s Seascape. This derives from Collection 7, The Anderman Papers, located at Marymount Manhattan College.

 

Remembering lines and breathing life into sometimes fictional characters, is what is expected of those who have embraced the theater enough to be part of it. Having a career in theater is not always easy due to the questionable consistency of work, and the many instances in which one must step outside of their comfort zone and put their best foot forward. Although neither of these instances are ideal, with Broadway audiences capping off at fourteen million people per season in the United States,[1] the show must go on.

Maureen Anderman is an actress whose body of work included many on and off Broadway plays. Some of these included “Moonchildren” (1972), “Seascape” (1975), “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (1976) and “The Lady from Dubuque” (1980) -which earned her a Tony Award for “Featured Actress In A Play.” [2] Appearing in at least four of Edward Albee’s plays, Anderman considered herself and the playwright to be good friends with history. While she had an understanding of his characters on the page, Albee would only give Anderman the part if she were right for the specific role at the time.[3]

“Seascape” – written by Edward Albee in 1975 – is a play about a human couple contemplating retirement and a lizard couple considering continuing life on land. Not only did this earn Albee a second Pulitzer Prize, but it also presented Anderman with a nomination from the Drama Desk for “Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play” for her role as Sarah.[4] To the eye, the bizarre costumes and makeup of the play seem daunting, however Albee encouraged show goers to look beyond the surface and give their attention to the evolution theme of the piece.[5]

During my time at Marymount Manhattan College I had the honor of assisting their archives with a collection that was donated by Maureen Anderman. In her recent move to a new home she discovered some of her personal papers and photos from her acting years and she did not think they should go to waste. Doing some research, she discovered Marymount Manhattan College and was pleased to donate her lifetime on and off Broadway to the institution. Anderman’s generous donation embodies St. John’s Vincentian mission as the collection provides education for all and “fosters a world view and furthers efforts toward global harmony and development.” [6]

 

 

 

Footnotes

[1] Courtney Tucci, “Topic: Theatre & Broadway in the U.S.,” www.statista.com, accessed March 06, 2017, https://www.statista.com/topics/1299/theatre-and-broadway/

[2] “Maureen Anderman Broadway Credits,” Playbill, 2017,accessed March 08, 2017, http://www.playbill.com/personrolespage/person-role-page?person=00000150-ac80-d16d-a550-ecbeb83c0000

[3] “BWW Interviews: Maureen Anderman Talks THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING & Getting Into A New Habit,” interview by Sherry Shameer Cohen, BroadwayWorld.com, June 4, 2012, accessed March 8, 2017, http://www.westportplayhouse.org/media/Press/BroadwayWorld.com%206.4.12.pdf

[4] “Seascape Broadway at Sam S. Shubert Theatre – Tickets and Discounts,” Playbill, accessed March 06, 2017, http://www.playbill.com/production/seascape-shubert-theatre-vault-0000010471.

[5] Mel Gussow, “Recalling Evolution of ‘Seascape’ Play, Albee Sees Tale Not of Lizard, but of Life,” The New York Times, January 21, 1975, accessed March 08, 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/08/15/specials/albee-evolution.html

[6] “Our Mission,” Our Mission | St. John’s University, accessed March 08, 2017, http://www.stjohns.edu/about/our-mission.

 

 

 

 

References

  1. “BWW Interviews: Maureen Anderman Talks THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING & Getting Into ANew Habit.” Interview by Sherry Shameer Cohen. BroadwayWorld.com. June 4, 2012. Accessed March 8, 2017. http://www.westportplayhouse.org/media/Press/BroadwayWorld.com%206.4.12.pdf.
  2. Gussow, Mel. “Recalling Evolution of ‘Seascape’ Play, Albee Sees Tale Not of Lizard, but of Life.” The New York Times. January 21, 1975. Accessed March 08, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/08/15/specials/albee-evolution.html.
  3. “Maureen Anderman Broadway Credits.” Playbill. 2017. Accessed March 08, 2017. http://www.playbill.com/personrolespage/person-role-page?person=00000150-ac80-d16d-a550-ecbeb83c0000.
  4. “Our Mission.” Our Mission | St. John’s University. Accessed March 08, 2017. http://www.stjohns.edu/about/our-mission.
  5. “Seascape Broadway at Sam S. Shubert Theatre – Tickets and Discounts.” Playbill. Accessed March06, 2017. http://www.playbill.com/production/seascape-shubert-theatre-vault-0000010471.
  6. Tucci, Courtney. “Topic: Theatre & Broadway in the U.S.” www.statista.com. Accessed March 06, 2017. https://www.statista.com/topics/1299/theatre-and-broadway/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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