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Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Margaret Edson
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 68
Pub. Date: 1999
ISBN-10: 082221704X
ISBN-13: 9780822217046
Cast Size: 3 women, 3 men and 4+ men or women

About the Play:

Winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, and the Oppenheimer Award.

Wit is a full-length drama by Margaret Edson. In this extraordinary first play, Margaret Edson questions what we value most when our days are numbered. This forceful and funny piece examines relationships, compassion and finding the essential balance between science and art, head and heart. With no right or wrong answers, this provocative and profoundly moving play allows each of us to consider how to live, who to live for, and what we value most when there is little time left. Wit asks us all the question: What do you do when you learn you are about to die?

Wit tells the story of Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned scholar and professor of English who has spent years studying and teaching the brilliant and difficult metaphysical sonnets of John Donne, as she journeys through a reflection on her life and work after being diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Her approach to the study of Donne: aggressively probing, intensely rational. But during the course of her illness – and her stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy program at a major teaching hospital – Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humour that are transformative both for her and the audience. No longer about silence on these women's health issues, it remains a candid story about a terminal diagnosis. The play illuminates the familiar, surreal feeling we experience when devastating events occur or medical examinations and hospital stays happen, to which all audience members, female and male, can relate.

Wit premiered in 1995 at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California. Wit had its New York premiere in 1998 receiving universal acclaim and ran Off-Broadway for over 500 performances. It was the most honoured play of the season garnering the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was named Best Play by the New York Drama Critic Circle, the Drama Desk Awards, the Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Awards. The play is regularly performed in regional, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 3 female, 3 male and 4+ men or women (flexible casting)

What people say:

"Among the finest plays of the decade … An original and urgent work of art." — The Wall Street Journal

"[A] brutally human and beautifully layered new play … you feel both enlightened and, in a strange way, enormously comforted." — New York Times

"A dazzling and humane new play that you will remember till your dying day." — New York Magazine

"A one-of-a-kind experience: wise, thoughtful, witty and wrenching." — The New York Times Year in Review

"A thrilling, exciting evening in the theater … [Wit is] an extraordinary and most moving play." — New York Post

"Wit is exquisite … an exhilarating and harrowing 90-minute revelation." — New York Post

"Edson writes superbly … [A] moving, enthralling and challenging experience that reminds you what theater is for." — New York Daily News

About the Playwright:

Margaret Edson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright and educator who is best known for Wit, a play about a literary scholar diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. She wrote Wit in 1991, after a period spent working as a clerk in the oncology/AIDS department of a Washington hospital in 1985. Although Edson considers herself first an educator and then a playwright, her play has won many prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1999. Now fully dedicated to teaching elementary school in her adopted town of Atlanta, she does not intend to write another play.