Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy

Edward Albee at 85


Happy Birthday to Edward Albee!

Here are some great quotes from his plays and interviews.

“If you have no wounds, how can you know if you’re alive?” — The Play About the Baby

“Sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly.” — The Zoo Story

“A play is fiction — and fiction is fact distilled into truth.” — In The New York Times, September 18, 1966

“I survive almost any onslaught with a shrug, which must appear as arrogance, but really isn’t because I’m not an arrogant person. When you write a play, you make a set of assumptions — that you have something to say, that you know how to say it, that it’s worth saying, and that maybe someone will come along for the ride. That’s all. And then you go about your business, assuming you’d be the first to know if your talent has collapsed.” — As quoted in Conversations with Edward Albee, 1988 by Philip C. Kolin

“I have been both overpraised and underpraised. I assume by the time I finish writing — and I plan to go on writing until I’m 90 or gaga — it will all equal itself out… You can’t involve yourself with the vicissitudes of fashion or critical response. I’m fairly confident that my work is going to be around for a while. I am pleased and reassured by the fact that a lot of younger playwrights seem to pay me some attention and gain some nourishment from what I do.” — As quoted in Conversations with Edward Albee by Philip C. Kolin, 1988

“The gods too are fond of a joke.” — Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

“What I mean by an educated taste is someone who has the same tastes that I have.”

“Try to get into your own mind a little bit. Figure out what it is you want to do with your life, what you really want to do, who you really are. Don’t waste your life doing something that you’re going to end up being bored with, or feel was futile or a waste of time. It’s your life, live it as fully and as usefully as you possibly can. “Useful” being the most important thing there. Life must be lived usefully, not selfishly. And a usefully lived life is probably going to be, ultimately, more satisfying.” — In an interview with the Academy of Achievement, 2005

Read more quotes at


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