Freud's Last Session, a Barrington Hit, Returns for Two Weeks in MA

News   Freud's Last Session, a Barrington Hit, Returns for Two Weeks in MA Once you're exposed to Freud, it's hard to shake him. That's the case at Barrington Stage Company, which brings back its early-summer world-premiere hit, Freud's Last Session, on Aug. 14.

The Mark St. Germain play about a meeting between Dr. Freud and C.S. Lewis — shortly before Freud's death — will play to Aug. 30 at BSC's Stage 2 in Pittsfield, MA.

Featuring Mark H. Dold and Martin Rayner, under the direction of Tyler Marchant, Freud's Last Session played sold-out performances June 11-July 3. 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 are Tuesday-Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 4 PM and 8 PM, Sundays at 7:30 PM (no 4 PM performance Aug. 15).

For ticket information call (413) 236-8888. Tickets are $25 and $30 (Sat. eve.); $15 tickets are available for students age 21 and younger for all performances except Saturday evenings. Senior citizen tickets are $20 on Saturday matinees only. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or by calling (413) 236-8888.

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The next BSC Musical Theatre Lab presentation will be a staged reading of Mother Is the Memory of All Wisdom by Zach Redler and Sara Cooper, directed by Joe Calarco, Sept. 5-6.

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

The BSC mainstage currently features A Streetcar Named Desire starring Marin Mazzie.

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