Freud's Last Session, a Barrington Hit, Extends to Sept. 6

News   Freud's Last Session, a Barrington Hit, Extends to Sept. 6
 
The world premiere of Freud's Last Session, Mark St. Germain's 70-minute play about a fictional encounter between professor C.S. Lewis — a robust man of faith — and Dr. Sigmund Freud — a sickly atheist — is stirring enough audience interest to get an added week in Pittsfield, MA.

Barrington Stage Company had a hit with the drama earlier this summer and brought it was back for two weeks (Aug. 14-30). The extra performances (announced Aug. 21) take the run to Sept. 6.

In recent days, theatre industry people from New York City have made the trek to the Berkshires of western Massachusetts to take a look at the well-reviewed show.

Performances play the intimate 100-seat BSC Stage 2 theatre (36 Linden Street, Pittsfield).

Featuring Mark H. Dold and Martin Rayner, under the direction of Tyler Marchant, Freud's Last Session played to sold out performances during its first heralded run June 11-July 3.

"Mark St. Germain's Freud's Last Session has become the longest running hit in BSC history," stated BSC artistic director Julianne Boyd. "It is a joy to produce such a provocative and entertaining work, especially one that has been embraced by audiences and critics alike." Dold is a BSC favorite known for Private Lives and The Importance of Being Earnest, Off-Broadway's Shockheaded Peter and NYSF's Seagull; Rayner, of the U.S. premiere of Gates of Gold, Broadway's Sixteen Wounded and Off-Broadway's Travels With My Aunt, makes his BSC debut with the new play.

According to BSC, Freud's Last Session "centers on legendary psychiatrist Dr. Sigmund Freud (Martin Rayner), who invites a young, little known professor, C.S. Lewis (Mark H. Dold), to his home in London. Lewis, expecting to be called on the carpet for satirizing Freud in a recent book, soon realizes Freud has a much more significant agenda. On the day England enters World War II, Freud and Lewis clash on the existence of God, love, sex and the meaning of life — only two weeks before Freud chooses to take his own."

Playwright St. Germain was intrigued by an account of Sigmund Freud's meeting with an unnamed Oxford don shortly before Freud committed suicide in 1939 to end his battle with oral cancer. In Freud's Last Session, the psychoanalyst's visitor is C.S. Lewis, author of "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "The Screwtape Letters." Freud, a staunch atheist, quizzes Lewis, a former atheist who converted to Christianity, about his views on God and more personal matters, according to BSC notes.

Barrington Stage has presented award-winning playwright Mark St. Germain's The God Committee, Ears on A Beatle and The Collyer Brothers at Home/Period Piece. He has also written Camping with Henry and Tom (Outer Critics Circle Award and Lucille Lortel Award), Forgiving Typhoid Mary, Out of Gas on Lovers Leap and more. His musicals include The Gifts of the Magi, co-written by Randy Courts, and Stand By Your Man - The Tammy Wynette Story.

Barrington Stage's production design team for Freud's Last Session includes Brian Prather (scenic design), Mark Mariani (costume design), Clifton Taylor (lighting design) and Beth Lake (sound design). Kate Cudworth is production stage manager.

Performances for Freud's Last Session through August 30 are Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 4 PM and 8 PM, Sunday at 7:30 PM.

Performances from Sept. 1-6 are: Sept. 1-4 at 7:30 PM; Sept. 5 at 8 PM and Sept. 6 at 3 PM. For ticket information, call (413) 236-8888. Tickets are $25 and $30 ($15 tickets are available for students age 21 and younger for all performances except Saturday evenings).

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Barrington Stage Company is under the leadership of Julianne Boyd and Richard M. Parison Jr.

Martin Rayner as Freud and Mark H. Dold as Lewis in BSC's 2009 run of <i>Freud's Last Session</i>.
Martin Rayner as Freud and Mark H. Dold as Lewis in BSC's 2009 run of Freud's Last Session. Photo by Kevin Sprague
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