Literary Liaisons

A blog about writing and all things story…

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Apparently, I am.

Many, many years ago, sometime in the early 1980’s I had a date with a guy who made the unfortunate decision of taking me to a

Clark and Me at the Benson Hotel Lobby, Christmas Day. Happy New Year!

Brother Clark and Me at the Benson Hotel Lobby, Christmas Day. Happy New Year!

play. Unfortunate, because the play he chose was Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. He paid a hefty price for our seats and was excited to take me out. Why was that unfortunate? The interpretation (and there are many) of the play, her life and her relationships was brutal in its constant barrage of venomous arguments. It was so close to what I grew up with and so close to how my parents hated one another for all my life, that I grew dizzy and nauseous sitting there in those expensive 3rd row seats with my date who I barely knew.

During one scene I couldn’t take any more shouting. I jumped up and rushed out of the theater to the lobby where a nice waiter in a white jacket handed me a glass of wine.  I downed it. He handed me another and said, “It’s a bit much, isn’t it.”

I nodded, yes.

“My parents fought like that.” He said.

I spent the next half hour talking with him about our childhoods and listening to the muffled arguments of the actors inside the theater, from that safe distance. My date finally came out, angry, and found me drinking wine and chatting with the handsome waiter. It was our last date.

The waiter and I became good friends and met for coffee and movies on and off for many years. He was gay, and me; not his type.

So what’s my point?

WELL, Bill Johnson, author of A Story is a Promise, one of my favorite craft books has done a Virginia Woolf video-thingie (thatvirginia being my technical term for when I’m not sure what to call something) titled,      To The River. It’s lovely. Author Lizzy Shannon does the voice over and makes it seem as if we’re hearing from Ms. Woolf, herself. I loved it. I guess I no longer need to be afraid of Virginia Woolf. Check it out HERE 

And check out Bills blog piece on Virginia Woolf, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The Power of Ambiguity – and so much more, on his blog, HERE.

Happy New Year!

8 comments on “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Apparently, I am.

  1. scottsblog13
    January 3, 2014

    I saw the movie version starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and found it fascinating how they could lacerate each other yet love and protect each other. Theirs was an ennobling and destructive love, in a highly condensed form, albeit. I never experienced anything like it, hence, no doubt, my fascination.

  2. M.C. Easton
    January 2, 2014

    I just watched The River, Mindy, and loved it! I’m a big Virginia Woolf fan, and the nuance and quiet honesty do more justice to her work than overwrought drama. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mindy
      January 2, 2014

      I so agree. The way Bill and Lizzy portrayed VW is tender. Glad you enjoyed. See you at L’s. Happy New Year.

  3. Behind the Story
    January 1, 2014

    I have the opposite reason for the same response to plays where the actors shout at each other. My parents never fought in my presence. I wasn’t used to shouting. I can handle such plays, but they’re upsetting. Movies are easier to take; the actors aren’t as real.

    • Mindy
      January 1, 2014

      Yes, that’s true, movies don’t bother me. But a 3rd row, in my face performance pushed me off a ledge. Oh well….live and learn.

  4. Jack Remick
    January 1, 2014

    Good insights, Mindy. How was the wine?
    J

    • Mindy
      January 1, 2014

      If I recall correctly, it was a nice Vouvrey.

  5. pamelahobartcarter
    January 1, 2014

    Not afraid of VW–afraid of Who’s Afraid…Does credit powerful playwriting. Often pains us. Thanks for sharing, Mindy.

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