Emily Mann on Me, Myself & I
Edward Albee’s brilliance has earned him a place in the pantheon of the world’s great modern playwrights. For the past half century, his work has challenged, stimulated and entertained audiences, garnering him three Pulitzer Prizes, numerous Tony awards (including a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement) and The National Medal of Arts. As the world celebrates Edward Albee’s 80th birthday, it is a great honor for me and for McCarter Theater that Edward penned his newest work, Me, Myself & I, specifically for us. I also consider myself very privileged that he has asked me to direct.
Like all of Edward Albee’s plays, Me, Myself & I is a stunning and challenging piece of theatrical literature. On the surface, it is a very funny story of a pair of twin brothers and their family, but on a deeper level the play addresses core questions of our modern society. How do we shape our identities and sense of self in a world that seems to inscribe culture upon us? In an increasingly virtual era, does the very meaning of existence change? In an age of molecular biology, how do we distinguish ourselves from our DNA? What is the meaning of family in a fractured world? And what does it mean to define oneself as an American? Me, Myself & I examines key themes that have become central to Albee’s work: the idealization of the absent parent; the way we construct our families; and the fine line between imagination and reality.
Me, Myself & I entertains on every level. Edward’s unique brand of irony and sardonic, wry humor pervades the piece, and even after reading it countless times, I still laugh out loud when I pick up the script. Yet—and this is the play’s genius—it also moves me and makes me think, all at the same time. Without question, Albee has written another major play to add to his already extraordinary body of work.
Tony-Award and six-time Emmy-Award winner Tyne Daly (Cagney and Lacey, Judging Amy) and Albee veteran Brian Murray (three time Tony-Award nominee for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Little Foxes and The dCrucible.) lead what will undoubtedly be a spectacular cast. I have also assembled a team of first-class designers and collaborators to bring Albee’s modern masterpiece to life. This world premiere promises to be a national event, and at McCarter, you’ll be able to see it first.