"Dr. Freud" Collapses On Stage, But Returns for One Last Session

News   "Dr. Freud" Collapses On Stage, But Returns for One Last Session The popular Off-Broadway play Freud's Last Session had some unexpected drama in its final weekend. At the Saturday Nov. 27 matinee, the actor playing psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud collapsed 30 minutes into the performance.

Martin Rayner and Mark H. Dold
Martin Rayner and Mark H. Dold Photo by Kevin Sprague

Martin Rayner, who created the role in the 2009 Massachusetts world premiere and traveled with Mark H. Dold (as writer C.S. Lewis) to play this 2010 New York City premiere, was taken to the hospital and the performance was canceled. The audience at the matinee thought Freud falling to his knees was part of the play, until Dold called for the stage manager — and for "a doctor in the house."

Rayner was alert and active during the incident at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater on West 64th Street, but was later diagnosed with dehydration. He missed the Saturday evening performance, but played the final show of the run on Sunday. Due to a previous booking in the venue, Freud's Last Session ended on schedule Nov. 28. The production played 147 performances plus 15 previews.

Tuck Milligan, the understudy for both Rayner and Dold, went on for the Saturday evening performance — his first since the run began in July.

Directed by Tyler Marchant, Freud's Last Session, a fictional meeting between the atheist Freud and the Christian Lewis, on the eve of World War II, had its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company (MA) in June 2009, where it was extended twice and brought back by popular demand for two subsequent encore engagements. It holds the record as the longest-running show in Barrington Stage's history.

Mark St. Germain's new play was suggested by the bestselling book "The Question of God" by Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr.

[AUDIO-LEFT] The Off-Broadway production was presented by Carolyn Rossi Copeland, Robert Stillman and Jack Thomas. A separate production begins Dec. 17 at Palm Beach's Dramaworks in Florida.

For more information, visit www.FreudsLastSession.com.

Mark H. Dold as Lewis and Martin Rayner as Freud in <i>Freud's Last Session</i>
Mark H. Dold as Lewis and Martin Rayner as Freud in Freud's Last Session Photo by Kevin Sprague
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