Albee on Winnipeg boards

Fest ranges from professional to high school perfs

WINNIPEG — The fourth annual Winnipeg Master Playwright Fest, which began its 18-day run Thursday, this year features 15 works by Edward Albee.

The AlbeeFest ranges from a professional production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at the Manitoba Theater Center to Westwood Collegiate High School’s performance of the lesser-known “Malcolm,” Albee’s 1965 adaptation of James Purdy’s novel about an orphan boy. The Black Hole Theater Company at the U. of Manitoba is presenting “The Ballad of the Sad Cafe,” a play that requires 17 performers.

This year’s AlbeeFest also features a visitor’s weekend pass, which packs in 10 plays over two days and three nights.

“For C$59 ($45) and a plane ticket, you can come see it all,” trumpeted Nick Kowalchuk, executive director of the fest. “The winter’s not that cold. It’s a dry cold. All the productions are indoors.”

Auds have increased every year. BeckettFest, the first event in 2001, drew 10,260 to the plays, lectures and screenings; last year PinterFest attracted 19,004.

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