Gregory Boyd, Artistic Director
Paul R. Tetreault, Managing Director

The American Premiere of His New Play


GIRL………………………..Rebecca Harris
BOY…………………………David Burtka
MAN………………………… Earle Hyman
WOMAN…………………….Marian Seldes



In an extraordinary coup, the Alley Theatre will produce the U.S. Premiere of a major new work by America's preeminent playwright, Edward Albee. The Play about the baby is a terrifying, funny and enigmatic play - the first since his 1994 Pulitzer Prize - winning Three Tall Women. Part puzzle play, part vaudeville, THE PLAY ABOUT THE BABY will be directed by the playwright and will feature Tony Award-winner Marian Seldes (now in Off Broadway's The Torch Bearers) and Tony nominee Earle Hyrnan (Off Broadway's Driving Miss Daisy) in a new production.

WHEN: April 7 - May 6, 2000

WHERE: Alley Theatre, Large Stage at 615 Texas Avenue

TICKETS: Tickets to THE PLAY ABOUT THE BABY can be purchased at the Alley Theatre Box Office, 615 Texas Avenue, or by calling 713-228-8421. Tickets to preview performances are $19 - 35; tickets to performances on or after April 12 range from $32 - 49. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets at a discounted rate by calling 713-228-9341, ext. 350.



By Rhonda Lanclos and Theresa Hyde
April, 2000

“TIME’S UP. Ladies and gentlemen, see what we have here…..the Baby Bundle, the ol’ Bundle of Baby, ol’ Bundle of Joy.” -----THE MAN

What more can we say about the great EDWARD ALBEE? He is ONLY the three-time Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright, not to mention the Theater Wing of the University of Houston. Should we expect less from a man who brought Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton together in the most dramatic and challenging roles of their lives in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

And in THE PLAY ABOUT THE BABY, Mr. Albee promises to deliver and he does not let us down. He can, as THE MAN would say of THE WOMAN, “Spin a Splendid Yarn.” And he does just that in this Alley Theatre production in the most simplistic, and artistic manner. What could possibly be his motive?

“To hurt us, to injure us beyond salvation” -----THE GIRL

Abstract. Minimalist. Sybolic. Words to describe a man whose set consist of two chairs in the middle of the stage. The two older people, THE MAN and THE WOMAN, represent what they should: Experience, Life Lessons, Pain, Injury to our Soul and our Heart. They symbolize all our fears, the inevitable reality, the impending doom, THE CRASH, our destiny.

“Who are you really?” -----THE BOY
“I am your Destination.”-----THE MAN

Earle Hyman as THE MAN. Mr. Hyman, who received an Emmy nomination for and is well known as the father of Bill Cosby in the popular TV show THE COSBY SHOW, Russell Huxtable. THE MAN represents Wisdom, perhaps the wisdom of Edward Albee. He is quite interesting in so many ways. There is much layering of thought, provocative taste, and beautiful comedic relief.


“Cigarette Smoking, subsidized murder.”

“Always be precise. Saves Time. Saves Paper.”

“TIME – the great leveler”

Marian Seldes as THE WOMAN. Recently seen as Vanessa Redgrave’s friend in HBO’s If These Walls Could Talk 2 (with Sharon Stone and Ellen Degeneres). THE WOMAN floats onstage symbolizing the embodiment of femininity. Marian Seldes demonstrates grace and beauty as she performs her role with lithesome fluidity in a flowing lavender dress, adorned with a pretty pink parasol and a string of pearls. Every word she utters is so incredibly intriguing.

“My breasts
The dimple of my belly
My milk pink hips
My burning bush” ----- THE WOMAN

The two young adults, THE BOY and THE GIRL symbolized Freshness. In the middle of all of Life’s Pleasures, the smell of youth and beauty, the joy and laughter, the sensuousness of constant lovemaking. The Suckling of the Breast, the extreme cornucopia of pleasure, where the art of sex is enduring and inventive.

“THE BABY, Treasure of treasures, Light of our Lives.” -----THE MAN.

THE FOOD, our staple subsistence of existence, of course, is for THE BABY. THE BABY is only there to serve as an intermission from the frequent lovemaking. Sort of a reprieve, the one that allows them to rest from their continual and incessant sexual pleasures. THE BOY and THE GIRL represent a time in our lives of Fresh Youth and Naivete. The beginning of all our wants and desires. Exactly, what is it that we want?

“Eternal Life, Great Health, Easy Money, Enough Self-Deception to make us feel we are worth it…….A bigger dick, a more muscular vagina….”
-----THE MAN

You realize the young players could not get beyond the ONLY Pain they had experienced, Unconsciousness? Or is it being one without Conscience? Is that when she conceived THE BABY?

“I’ve never seen so much blood!” -----THE BOY

His broken arm, lost when he can suckle and return to the womb? Their immense pleasure was destined to ruin as it was escalating flawlessly. Life is not this way. As you sit there and watch them enjoy life’s simple pleasures, you can’t help but anticipate THE CRASH, their inevitable reality. There must be A CRASH, and this one came in the way of reality biting in a dream? Dream - state, a scary story about gypsies, a very childish story, I think I have heard this story…..gypsies…..I’m falling.

“Break your arms? Naaahhh. Your heart, perhaps. Without the wound of the Broken Heart, how do you know you’re alive?” -----THE MAN

THE PLAY ABOUT THE BABY is a thought provoking delight, a vaudeville show. A dramatic escape from this horrid and sometimes seriously evil world of ours. A wonderful liberation from our disappointing sorrows and day - to - day grind.

“Tears, Tears, Tears, Tears. Without wounds, what are you? If you have no broken heart?” -----THE MAN

Whether we are the Lynn Wyatts, the Gregoy Boyds, the Earle Hymans or the Marian Seldes of the world, the most beautiful and most powerful of our society. Whether we like it or not, as we marvel at this superb production, we all become students of the mighty and noble Edward Albee. All cast under the umbrella of his omnipotent spell. And to the great Edward Albee, we say, “You are undoubtedly THE MAN.”

“What BABY? Who’s to say you didn’t invent it? Fashioned out of NEED?” -----THE MAN.


Three Time Pulitzer Prize-winning Author
Will Direct Marian Seldes and Earle Hyman in New Production--
April 7 through May 6, 2000
Opening Night Wednesday, April 12, 2000 at 8 PM

HOUSTON, Texas--In an extraordinary coup, the Alley Theatre will produce the U.S.
premiere of a major new work by America's preeminent playwright, Edward Albee. Directed by Mr. Albee and featuring Marian Seldes (recent Tony nominee for Ring Round the Moon, Tony Award for Albee's A Delicate Balance) and Earle Hyrnan (Off Broadway's Driving Miss Daisy), The Play About the Baby follows a young couple who appear to have just had a child. When an older man and woman enter, the stage is set for an unpredictable turn of events. Part puzzle play, part vaudeville, The Play About the Baby begins preview performances Friday, April 7, 2000 opens Wednesday, April 12 and plays through May 6, 2000.

In his 40-year career, Mr. Albee has received three Pulitzer Prizes (A Delicate Balance,
1966; Seascape, 1975; and Three Tall Women, 1994) and has written more than 25 plays ranging from the existential The Zoo Story and the brilliant Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, to the stunningly introspective Three Tall Women. His repertoire of plays--dealing with timeless themes and experimental forms-has startled critics and theatre patrons alike while changing the landscape of American theatre.

"We are fortunate that Mr. Albee has entrusted his new play to us," says Alley Artistic
Director Gregory Boyd. "It's an incredible artistic opportunity as we continue our long relationship with him." Mr. Albee directed last season's double bill of The American Dream and The Zoo Story.

London's Almeida Theatre presented the world premiere of The Play About the Baby on
September 1, 1998. In that production's program notes, Mr. Albee wrote "people who have read The Play About the Baby report to me that the play is 'terrifying,' 'very funny,' 'complex' and 'perfectly clear.' Well, I found it all of the above as I was writing it."

Marian Seldes is an award-winning actress who recently appeared in Noel Coward's Sail
Away at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. She received a Tony Award for her work in Mr. Albee's A Delicate Balance and Obie Awards for her roles in The Ginger Man and lsadora Duncan. Her New York stage credits include Three Tall Women (Connecticut Critics Award, Ovation Award, Helen Hayes Nomination), Medea, Tower Beyond Tragedy, The High Ground, Crime and Punishment, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Any More, Tiny Alice, Father's Day (Tony Nomination, Drama Desk Award), A Delicate Balance (Tony Award), Equus, The Merchant, Deathtrap, Ivanov (Drama Desk Award Nomination), and most recently, Ring Round the Moon for which she received a Drama Desk and Tony Award nomination. In addition to her expansive theatre credits, Ms. Seldes has also been seen in many primetime television series such as Law & Order, Sex in the City, Murphy Brown, Wings, and Murder She Wrote. Her film credits
include 1998's Celebrity and Affliction, as well as 1999's Duets, The Haunting and the upcoming Town & Country with Warren Beatty. She was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1996.

Also a veteran stage actor, Earle Hyman received a Tony nomination for his performance in The Lady from Dubuque. He appeared in several other Broadway shows including Execution of Justice, The Master Builder and the American Negro Theatre hit Anna Lucasta (1944), which played both on Broadway and in London. He has studied with the Actors Studio in New York and has performed in a number of classic roles, first playing Hamlet in 195 1, Othello in several productions outside of the United States and appearing in ten other roles with the American Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford, Conn. Mr. Hyman's New York stage credits also include Mr. Johnson (1956), Driving Miss Daisy (1989) and Pygmalion (1991). He has spent many years acting in Europe-particularly in Norway, Sweden and Denmark-and received the State Award in
Oslo for his portrayal of Emperor Jones (1965). He is mostly recognized for his role as "Russell Huxtable," Bill Cosby's television father on The Bill Cosby Show, for which he received an Emmy nomination.


The Alley has revised the remainder of its 1999-2000 season to accommodate this American premiere. The Play About the Baby (April 7-May 6) will fill the time slot originally scheduled for Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, which will now perform May 19 through June 18, the time slot originally scheduled for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The production of Romeo and Juliet will be rescheduled for a future season. Because the performance dates remain the same, there will be no need for Alley Theatre subscribers to exchange their tickets. Any patrons holding single tickets to Romeo and Juliet should contact the Alley Theatre box office at 713-228-8421 to exchange their tickets.
In 1989, Mr. Albee was named an Alley Theatre Associate Artist in recognition for his
ongoing contribution to the Theatre. No other playwright--except William Shakespeare-has had more plays produced by the Alley.

A 1996 Kennedy Center honoree, Mr. Albee has a long, rich relationship with the Alley,
which has staged productions of some of his most well-known and acclaimed works. His association with the Alley began in 1967 with a production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Delicate Balance, a production that opened the Theatre's 21st season at its previous Berry Street location. Everything in the Garden, the first play by Mr. Albee to be staged at the Alley's current Texas Avenue location, followed in 1969 in the Alley's intimate Neuhaus Arena. Mr. Albee's All Over followed in 1973 and Tiny Alice in 1976, both on the Neuhaus Arena Stage. The Death of Bessie Smith and Counting the Ways opened on the Large Stage in 1986.

The Alley's 1990 production of the Tony Award-winning Who's Afraid of Virginia
Woolf, directed by the playwright, toured 50 cities throughout 26 states and went to Lithuania and St. Petersburg. Mr. Albee directed two plays in 1991 on the Alley's Neuhaus Arena Stage by Samuel Beckett: Ohio Impromptu and Krapp's Last Tape. His Marriage Play received its U.S. premiere at the Alley in 1992. The Alley's 1995 production of Three Tall Women, for which the playwright received his third Pulitzer Prize, marked the first American production to be staged outside of New York. And, last season, in honor of the 40th anniversary of his career, Mr. Albee directed a double bill of The American Dream and The Zoo Story.

In addition to his contributions to the Alley, Mr. Albee is a distinguished professor at the
University of Houston, where he teaches aspiring playwrights.


Tickets to The Play About the Baby can be purchased at the Alley Theatre Box Office, 615 Texas Avenue, by calling 713-228-8421 or 1-800-259-ALLE. Tickets to preview performances are $19-35; tickets to performances on or after April 12 opening range from $32-49. Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets at a discounted rate by calling 713-228-9341, ext. 350. Patrons with low hearing may call (TTY) 713-220-5710 to purchase tickets.
615 Texas Avenue Houston, Texas 77002-2795 - Adrninistrative Offices: 713-228-9341, Fax: 713-222-6542; Box Office: 713-228-8421 - TTY-. 713-220-5710
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