Seascape is a play by American playwright Edward Albee. It won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
With Seascape, Albee won his second Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Albee himself directed the original Broadway production, which opened on January 26, 1975, at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre, starring Deborah Kerr, Barry Nelson, and (in his Broadway debut) Frank Langella. The play was revived in 2005 by Lincoln Center Theater at the Booth Theatre on Broadway, in a production directed by Mark Lamos and starring George Grizzard, Frances Sternhagen, Elizabeth Marvel, and Frederick Weller.
Like many of Albee's plays, Seascape focuses on communication in interpersonal relationships, in this case between couples. Albee's first successful play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), and his first Pulitzer Prize-winning play, A Delicate Balance (1966), also concerned this topic. Seascape is different from these dramas on several counts. Seascape is not strictly a drama but, according to various critics, has elements of comedy, fantasy, satire, and/or absurdism.
In Seascape, Nancy and Charlie, an American couple on the verge of the major life change of retirement, are having problems in their relationship. They are discussing these matters on the beach when another couple appears, two human-sized lizards named Leslie and Sarah who speak and act like people. The lizards have evolved to such a degree that they no longer feel at home in the sea and are compelled to seek life on the land. What the lizards experience with Nancy and Charlie nearly drives them back to the sea, but with an offer of help from the human couple, they decide to stay.
This relatively happy ending is not common in many of Albee's previous plays, and some critics find it refreshing. Before Albee won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for Seascape, however, many critics reacted negatively to the first production. Only a few had generally positive responses. One was Clive Barnes of The New York Times who writes, "What Mr. Albee has given us here is a play of great density, with many interesting emotional and intellectual reverberations." The Nation's Harold Clurman places Seascape in a positive context in terms of Albee's development as a playwright. He believes, "It is his most relaxed play, a 'philosophical' whimsy."