Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a play by Edward Albee that opened on Broadway on October 13, 1962. In the play, a Martha and George, a bitter erudite couple, invite a new professor and his wife to their house after a party and then continue drinking and engage in relentless, scathing verbal and sometimes physical abuse in front of them. Martha is the daughter of the president of the university where George works as a history professor; Nick is the biology professor whom Martha insists teaches math, and his brandy-abusing wife is simply referred to as "honey."
Nick and his wife are fascinated and embarrassed, and stay even when the abuse turns periodically towards them as well.
The play features only the four characters listed above; in the film, there are two other characters: the host of an inn who appears briefly and says a few lines, and his wife, who serves a tray of drinks and leaves silently. In the play, each scene takes place in Martha and George's house; in the film, a few scenes take place at the inn and outside the house.
A film version was directed by Mike Nichols, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Each of the four main actors were nominated for an Oscar; Taylor and Sandy Dennis (playing the mousy wife) won for Best Actress and Supporting Actress, respectively. The film also won for Black and White Cinematography and is consistently on the top 250 films list at the Internet Movie Database.
- George: "Martha, in my mind you are embedded in cement right up to the neck. No, up to the nose, it's much quieter."
- Martha: (talking about her husband) "I actually fell for him--it--that there."
- George: "Martha's a romantic at heart."