Written a year ago…
This post is a tribute to Edward Albee, in the wake of his death, and to Ron Perrier, who was my Professor of Theatre at University of Wisconsin at River Falls, in 1974. The two converge in my life. The course I studied with Ron, was related to the American Theatre. We read the greats, like Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, and Eugene O’Neil, and yes, Edward Albee, who was just coming out as a very controversial playwright in the ’70’s. Mr. Albee was famous for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf”, “Zoo Story”, “A Delicate Balance” and many more. Ron directed “A Delicate Balance”, (now one of my favorite plays), for the RF summer theatre that same year.
Dr. Perrier opened my eyes to many facets of the world of the stage, but something very memorable was when he brought Edward Albee, en persona, as artist in residence, to River Falls, the same year I took the American Theatre course. We were to have read all of Albee’s current works, and to be ready to respond, when our visiting artist came to our very small class to speak. For me, as a small town 19 year old, Albee was pretty Avant-garde, and even though I participated in a limited way, I was aware something very important in the Arts, was going on.
Now that Albee is gone, Ron remains, as an emeritus professor at the university in St. Cloud, Minnesota, writing books, loving his students, and still involved in the theatre, as I understand it. I’m sure he’s touched many lives and opened the eyes of many students, other than myself. I’d like to remember him here, and show how cosmic the world really is, when memory is jogged, and to give credit to two very accomplished men.
May Edward Albee Rest in Peace.