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2.7.10

The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?

by Edward Albee

In acting class the other day we were talking about the difference between two people who fight and two people who are in love who fight. How being in love changes the actions you play as you're fighting. This rang true for me as I read Albee's play.. the fact that this couple is so in love and so good together makes the last half of the play that much more heartbreaking and difficult to watch. Obviously the play tackles a few taboo ideas, but what struck me the most about the play was how Albee has managed to create characters who stay so true to themselves. Even though Martin knows that his having an affair with a goat is seen as "wrong" in the eyes of society, I got the impression that he believed at his core that he wasn't doing anything wrong. His hesitancy to tell his family about Sylvia is less due to shame and more due to the fact that he doesn't want to hurt this woman he loves so much. And certainly Stevie could have walked out very early on after finding out .. so I can only assume that her deep love is what keeps her rooted in that room, torturing herself by hearing the truth. Eventually she gets her revenge, in a shocking moment of Shakespearean visual brutality, and who can blame her?

I very much enjoyed reading this play.. despite it's difficult subject matter, I rooted for the characters and felt drawn in by their humanity.

Friday Play-a-day: I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick

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