The Facts on File Companion to American Drama (Companion to by Jackson R. Bryer, Mary C. Hartig

By Jackson R. Bryer, Mary C. Hartig

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Anderson’s career reached a pinnacle with the intense media scrutiny accompanying United States Part 2 in 1980. In 1981, Anderson began recording her compositions, releasing the single O Superman. The song, with its electronically altered vocals, became a surprise hit in Great Britain, reaching number two on pop charts and prompting Warner Brothers Records to sign her to a long-term contract. Big Science, her first album, was released in 1982. With newfound fame and increased financial backing, Anderson’s pieces became ever more elaborate; her eight-hour opus, United States I–IV (1983), secured her position as a premier solo performance artist.

Praeger, 2004. , only to be abandoned by his natural parents. Edward and Frances Albee of Larchmont, New York, adopted him two weeks later, naming him for his adoptive grandfather. Albee found himself taken in by an enormously wealthy family (the family traveled to Florida in their private train car and the young Albee rode around in a Rolls Royce) with theatrical roots (his grandfather at one time owned one of the most profitable vaudeville theater chains in the country). As a young man, Albee also had the chance to meet such writers as Thornton Wilder and W.

American Dream, The Edward Albee (1961) In a preface to The American Dream, the fifth, longest, and last of his early one-acts, A lbee describes the play as “an attack on the substitution of artificial for real values in our society, a condemnation of complacency, cruelty, emasculation and vacuity; it is a stand against the fiction that everything in this sleeping land of ours is peachy-keen” (8). The American Dream illustrates the vapidity and destructive power of American family life through its depiction of a couple who, although childless, call themselves Mommy and Daddy, and Mommy’s mother, Grandma, who lives with them.

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