Arguably the most universally-acclaimed play of the last several years, Wit will end its Off-Broadway run April 9. However, the show continues to build a post-New York afterlife, with a recent run in Los Angeles and upcoming stints in London and Philadelphia. The show is also receiving a mounting at Alliance Theatre Company of Atlanta, GA, the current hometown of dramatist Margaret Edson. Performances begin March 25 and Edson will speak and partake in a pre-show Q&A on Monday, March 27, 6 PM.
Edson’s drama, about a punctilious English professor laid low by fourth stage ovarian cancer, won the Pulitzer Prize, with original New York lead actress Kathleen Chalfant garnering almost every award and plaudit for playing Dr. Vivian Bearing. Chalfant went on to do Wit in Los Angeles (Jan. 18-March 5) and will also bring the show to London, March 27 for an opening April 3.
Wit, now starring English actress Lisa Harrow in New York, originally played at Off-Broadway’s Manhattan Class Company Sept. 17 Dec. 13, 1998 and then moved to OB’s Union Square Theatre Jan. 7, 1999. According to the show's press office, Wit has become MCC's biggest success.
Wit is Edson's first play, based in part on her experiences working at the AIDS Inpatient Unit of the National Institutes of Health. Today Edson teaches kindergarten in Atlanta. Her free talk, titled “Not Wit: An Evening with Margaret Edson,” will be accompanied by sales of the Wit text, with a percentage of proceeds from the autographed copies to benefit the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance.
Wit's original director, Derek Anson Jones, died Jan. 17, one day before the play began its L.A. run. For reservations to the Edson evening (404) 733-4650. For information on Alliance’s mounting of Wit call (404) 733-5000. Alliance is located at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta.
-- By David Lefkowitz