Looking for a thought-provoking story and a good cry? Then you should see “Wit,” the theater department’s mainstage production, debuting 8p.m. Friday.“Wit” follows the story of Vivian Bearing, a professor of 17th century poetry. In her studies, her focus is on the holy sonnets of John Donne, a 16th century poet who founded the Metaphysical Poets. Unmarried with no living relatives, Vivian is diagnosed with advanced metastatic ovarian cancer. Vivian is played by Lauren Treiber, a senior.
While most drama productions observe what is known as “the fourth wall,” “Wit” intentionally breaks this regularity by including the audience in the show.
Said Treiber, “There is still separation, but the audience is a character to be spoken to and interacted with. [Vivian] thinks out loud, bringing the audience into her head.”
A portion of the script is internal monologue that Vivian has with herself, allowing the audience to experience her thoughts through the journey of diagnosis and treatment.
Another oddity about this show is the author, Margaret Edson. Edson is not a playwright by trade, but an elementary school teacher. She earned degrees in history and literature, and worked with AIDS and cancer research in a hospital, which lead to the writing of “Wit.”
Through the duration of the show, the audience will experience Vivian’s emotional journey through her cancer experience, her interactions with others and her self-discovery that occurs.
“[It will be] more in depth with Vivian’s change and how she’s actually handling the diagnosis and treatment,” said Treiber. “You watch her go through it, and get to know her really intimately. She never leaves the stage.”
“Wit” will be performed November 8, 15 and 16 at 8p.m., and November 10 and 17 at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Welcome Center or at the door before the performance, costing $10 for general admission, and $5 for students, seniors and GC employees. The show will run 90-120 minutes with no intermission.