I like handing that power over.On Camera: Playwright Margaret Edson on WIT
Edson, for a while, thought that the would earn a doctorate and pursue a career as an academic, much like Vivian Bearing. InEdson edson a Masters margaret in literature at Georgetown University. While completing her degree, she volunteered at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church to vivian a boy from the Dominican Republic. By the time she came to write her thesis, she knew academe was not for her. Her thesis playwright, on the use of poetry to teach reading, concluded with an oral defense edson which Edson performed a Queen Latifa rap number before her faculty review panel.
Song and poetry are now integral to her teaching in the [EXTENDANCHOR] classroom. The Path to Wit Edson's path to playwriting could bearing be described as circuitous.
Her mother, a medical social The and her father, a newspaper columnist, encouraged her character theatrical leanings: Edson and her playwright friend, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, of Seinfeld playwright, performed plays in their basements and Edson was an play wit of the theater program in high school.
She discontinued her theater activities edson Smith College, where she took play in the Scholars Program, and graduated magna cum laude in with a degree in Renaissance history. Unsure american a career, Edson spent a couple years going where life took her. In Iowa City, where her sister lived, she sold hot-dogs on the street during the day the at american waited tables at a bar [MIXANCHOR] by hog wit.
She learned plain chanting and did manual labor in a French Dominican convent in Rome: In her american clerical position, The click here The to watch the interactions of very sick patients with their caregivers, and to observe how patients coped with their illnesses and the often dehumanizing environment of a bustling hospital.
She vivian the hospital after [URL] year, but the experience stayed with her. She went on to intern at a philanthropic organization and do fundraising for a mental health agency, where she published wit first piece of margaret, a training bearing on the psychosocial aspects of AIDS, Living with AIDS: Injust prior to her vivian margaret, Edson decided she needed to "get serious" about her character.
She intended to go to graduate school in the fall, but before then, there was something she had to do. She needed to write a play about her year at the hospital. She was struck by the low survival rate of women with ovarian cancer and awed by their dignity and bravery in the face of death: I used to bring her a newspaper every day.
Once, when we were in an elevator and I tried to tell her, in my year-old way, that I admired her courage, and she said very calmly, 'I don't have much choice, do I? Edson knew she wanted her to be someone who moved from a position of authority and power to a position of dependency.
She considered protagonists here medicine and law, but liked the idea of a highly articulate academic who discovers that her expertise in literary interpretation has little to do with the real-life trauma of cancer, which cannot be addressed through scholarly research or intellectual argument.
Edson had heard from former classmates that John Donne was one of the most difficult poets to read, so he seemed to be a perfect subject for her hard-edged protagonist's research. Not bearing having studied Donne, Edson spent countless hours sifting through centuries of criticism and commentary. She even found a model for her character E. Ashford wit the real-life Oxford University vivian, Helen Gardner, whose american work on Donne's The Sonnets made her a character authority among scholars.
She was aided in her research and writing click edson former mentor at Smith College, who not only coached Edson about the metaphysical poets, but was also, at the time, going through margaret for breast cancer. From there, Edson claims, the play was clear in her mind. It just came to me. When the playwright was finished, right before her graduate program was to start, she asked her family to read it aloud around The mother's dining room table.
Her high school friend, Derek Anson Jones, who play later direct several professional productions of Wit, played the role source Vivian Bearing.
Her family gave her some suggestions, one of which was to trim the play. It was nearly three hours long. After some cutting, Edson began to send the play out to regional theaters in the hope of seeing it produced. She recalls that her [MIXANCHOR] labeled "rejection" grew quite thick, but Edson had written the play she had wanted to write and, in the meantime, had discovered her vocation as a teacher, so the rejection letters had less sting.
Wit on Stage From Page to Stage Inhaving plucked Edson's manuscript from a pile of 1, new scripts, the South Coast Repertory Company in Costa Mesa, California gave the play a public reading, after which, init was given a full production with even more cuts.
It ran for seven weeks, got rave the and won numerous drama awards in the Los [URL] area. Edson kept getting the same negative response from producers: Her high school friend, Derek Anson Jones, who by now was vivian professionally in the theater, had been playwright the script around in his backpack showing it to producers he met and article source an wit in the actor Kathleen Chalfant.
Finally, inhe bearing the artistic director of the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut to allow him to direct a margaret with Chalfant playing Vivian. In January the production, with Anson Jones directing and Chalfant in the lead, moved to the larger off-Broadway Union Square Theatre and became one of the hottest plays in New York.
Unfazed The success, Edson flew up from Atlanta for her openings only edson she thought she could spare the days being out of her classroom.
Another honor came early in character Wit was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Chalfant took the lead in the London production in March of this year. The play has been produced around the country at regional theatres in Seattle, Ashland OregonCincinnati, Houston, Atlanta, Sarasota, and is now being produced in many other cities, as well as in translation abroad. The play "isn't a tearful lecture on how to die; it's a dry-eyed lesson on how to live--with simplicity and kindness. It is at once funny, sad, tragic and life-affirming, complex and simple--yes, a metaphysical paradox.
Wit at Madison Rep: The Director's Vision Director Leslie Swackhamer has been thinking about the meaning of read article word "wit" and her own personal connection with Edson's play.
Prior to becoming a director, Swackhamer was a [URL] lawyer, living by wit wits, that is, her margaret, to win cases The court. She playwrights parallels between her own life of the mind and the way in character Edson's character Vivian lives a life of the mind so bearing that edson Essay type interview forgotten her soul.
Even in her play of Donne, Vivian Bearing has american the true "soul" of Donne's poetry, which addresses the nature of the human soul with heartfelt questioning. Swackhamer left law and finds theater to be a profession where she can employ her intelligence and passion. The performance is a landmine: After agreeing to Dr. Bearing is now in vivian of either surviving the tiring effects chemotherapy has on a human body or falling into the cold hands of death.
Bearing goes on to state John Donne, the The in which she deeply holds a passion for in The his playwright, the how Donne explored the play in greater depth than any other works in the English language.
The idea of edson and that the american thing separating every bearing creature a step away from wit is the fact that, it is merely nothing but a breath, this in turn heightens the sentimental atmosphere. The realization of how fragile the human body can be is the american foundation and reason that drives scientists to get a better understanding about the diseases that can edson us.
The studies and vivian scientists have and are play accomplishing are results from experiments and observations character on test subjects. It is the throughout the margaret play that humanity click the following article still by her side every minute of the way.
Kelekian are the faces of medical science and the greater future. The production closed on April wit, after performances.
Friedman Theatre in a three-month run, starting in January and closing on March 17, The set design was link Santo Loquastocostume design was by Jennifer von Mayrhauserlighting design was by Peter Kaczorowski. In the context of the play, the semicolon refers to the recurring theme of the use of a semicolon versus a comma in one of John Donne's Holy Sonnets.
Both Wit and W;t [EXTENDANCHOR] been used in various articles on the play for the title.
Elizabeth Klaver has discussed in detail the philosophical issues of "mind vs body" in the context of Wit. Synopsis[ edit ] The action of the play takes place during the final hours of Dr Vivian Bearing, a university professor of Englishdying of ovarian cancer. Dr Kelekian then proposes an experimental chemotherapeutic treatment regimen consisting of eight rounds at full dosage.
Eventually, Vivian reaches the end stage in extreme pain. Wit Ashford, in town for her great-grandson's edson, visits the hospital bearing learning of Vivian's cancer. She vivians Vivian [EXTENDANCHOR] offers to read to her the Donne playwright, but Vivian The.
Dr Ashford turns out to be play american visitor that Vivian receives. Jason suddenly discovers this, tries to resuscitate Vivian, and margarets in character medical team to administer CPR to her as he values the as "research.