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New Edward Albee play postponed -- for the second time

Even Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights are prone to self-doubt.

Edward Albee, the Tony Award-winning writer of 1962's “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” was supposed to see his newest work, “Laying an Egg,” debut off-Broadway as the centerpiece of the Signature Theater's 2013-2014 season. However, the play has been postponed -- for the second time -- presumably because Albee doesn’t feel the work is ready for production, the New York Times reported.

The play is about a middle-aged woman on a quest to become pregnant, a journey that’s further complicated by her domineering mother and the parameters of her late father’s will.

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It was originally supposed to see its world premiere as part of the Signature Theater’s 2011-12 season, but the 85-year-old Albee, known to be critical of his own work, felt he needed more time with the play and withdrew it.

At the time, in 2012, Albee told the New York Times that he'd been “overcomplicating things.”

The slot that season was replaced by another, already-finished Albee play, “Lady From Dubuque.”

This time around, the Signature Theater will put up a new work by Horton Foote, the world premiere of “The Old Friends.” Michael Wilson is to direct the play, which explores family legacies, loyalty and the meaning of happiness through two longtime Texas farming families. The cast includes Tony winner Betty Buckley, as well as Tony nominees Lois Smith and Hallie Foote.  

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“We were hopeful when putting together the programming for next season that ‘Laying an Egg’ would be ready for production,” James Houghton, Signature Theater’s founding artistic director, told the Times. “But Edward let us know that he needs more time to work on the play.”

Previews for “The Old Friends” are to begin on Aug. 20; it's set to  open Sept. 12.

Albee is the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes for drama, 1967’s “A Delicate Balance,” 1975’s “Seascape,” and “Three Tall Women” in 1994. Among his many honors, he was given a lifetime achievement Tony Award in 2005.

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