Margaret Edson's 1999 Pulitzer Prize winning Wit, well on its way to having appeared in every major American city in 1999-2000, gets a staging at Portland, OR's Artists Repertory Theatre, May 16-June 25. A.R.T.'s producing artistic director Allen Nause directs.
Much awarded for its 1998-2000 run Off-Broadway, Wit traces the cancerous disintegration of literature professor Vivian Bearing's body, even as she comes to understand mortality, human kindness and dependence on others. The often comic drama is punctuated by the poetry of John Donne, Bearing's specialty, which revels in intellectual and literary wit. Wit is the first play for Edson, a Georgia kindergarten teacher.
JoAnn Johnson stars as Bearing. Johnson's credits include Elspeth in Empty Space's world premiere The Empress of Eden and A.R.T.'s A Perfect Ganesh, The Sea, A Delicate Balance and Indiscretions.
Also in the cast are John Adams Morrison (Dr. Harvey Kelekian/Mr. Bearing), John Jankow (Dr. Jason Posner), Kimberly Howard (Nurse Susie Monahan), Vanna O'Brien (E.M. Ashford), Bridie Harrington, Matthew Kern, Lori Sue Lakey and Nasir Najieb.
The design team for Wit is Amahl Lovato (sets), Wanda Walden (costumes), Jeff Forbes (lighting) and Martin John Gallagher (sound). Stephanie Mulligan is the stage manager. For tickets ($25-$13.50) call (503) 241-1ART. Artists Repertory Theatre is on the web at http://www.artistsrep.org.
-- By Christine Ehren