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Zoo Story or almost
by Edward Albee


Staging intent and summary


Loneliness is the fruit of modern times.
Gone are the days of the Family, of the Group, of the Corporation, of Solidarity.
We no longer receive the “ancestor” at home.
No one rescues the drowning man...we have other things to do, too scared for ourselves. We do not condemn him, but "he probably could have done otherwise".
“Let him get away with it himself. Better to leave it “free”.

He tried, but we don't want him. We don't want it anymore.
Formerly the Pariah was designated, excluded for a reason X and known to all... a form of social position.

JERRY isn't even an outcast, we don't know him. We are unaware of his distress and it does not interest anyone.
He lives worse than poverty: he has no friends.
He is alone.

But loneliness is deadly.
It feeds mental disorders.
It creates a number of candidates for “assisted death” and causes heart attacks and strokes.

When in 1959 Edward ALBEE wrote ZOO - STORY in the USA, in Europe we can recognize ourselves in PETER... but JERRY is still a kind of UFO.

“Unfortunately, we know of the destitute, of course, but that... In America perhaps, there are young and dissociated men, but it is hardly conceivable here.”

JERRY is poor but not miserable, involuntarily cut off from society, idle, alone.
No interlocutor, no friend.
He must provoke conversation with others to come out of the deep silence.

Edward ALBEE said of his plays that they were "a representation of our time".
And not only from "his time", because JERRYs appeared among us, young, sometimes idle, poor, poorly housed.

Today we don't even notice them.
Students or young workers living in “roommates” are no longer distinguishable at first sight from the JERRY of 1959.
They do "odd jobs", they have become commonplace, organized among themselves.
Times have changed, the Society continues to evolve.

But Edward ALBEE is still current.

The Pariah of today, the one we don't even know anymore, who we haven't designated but who we've simply forgotten, who slipped all alone towards loneliness, will often have taken longer, will have taken more years, will have tried even harder to save themselves, to hang on.

But he lost. Lost everything: His job. Didn't find any. As the years passed, he lost his contacts, his relations, his friends, his courage.

JERRY gets up in the morning with the only horizon of going to bed at night.
It is likely that social assistance will allow him to survive.
Everything is confused in this void. He is about sixty years old, but the chronology of his life has stopped.
His relationship with his parents, his daily solitude, his philosophical relationship with his caretaker's dog, everything is in the present.

Time stopped when the Society left him. He wanted to remain dignified, he is intelligent, cultured; what's the point ?
It really is “too much”. He chooses his “assisted death”.

PETER cries and doesn't understand. JERRY is dead, relieved, grateful. The birds in the park are singing.
Nobody cares.

Francois Landolt - 2017


by Edward Albee


Matthew Galey



Francois Landolt



Paola Landolt


Edmond Vullioud

Lionel Brady


Adrien Gardel


Scilla Ilardo


Estrée Foundation

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