The St. Louis Repertory production of Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize winning play, Wit, opens Oct. 22 at the Grandel Theatre in St. Louis.
As reported earlier, St. Louis Rep anticipates a large audience forWit and is staging the drama not in its 125-seat studio space, but at the Grand Center's 400-seat Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square, Oct. 21-Nov. 7.
"Ticket sales have definitely been up," a theatre spokesperson told Playbill On-Line, "more so than they would have been in our small studio theatre. It looks like it's doing good."
The studio season, which runs parallel to the mainstage season, was almost fully subscribed, and interest is high for the area premiere of Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a poetry professor dying of ovarian cancer. The expected surge of ticketbuyers merited the venue change.
"We didn't want to disappoint so many people," Rep artistic director Steven Woolf said of the Grandel booking. "[At our studio space] we simply wouldn't be able to accommodate the number of people who will want to see this play." Rep associate artistic director Susan Gregg will direct Wit, which stars Alison Edwards as Vivian Bearing, Jason Fisher as Jason Posner, Ken Kliban as Harvey Kelekian, Mary Fogarty as the teacher, E.M. Ashford and Mari-Esther Magaloni as registered nurse Susie Monohan. Also appearing in Wit are Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts students Shani Alexander, Meghan Brown, David DeBrot and Matthew Erickson.
Wit's artistic staff includes set designer Dunsi Dai, costume designer J. Bruce Summers, lighting designer M. L. Geiger, sound designer Tom Mardikes and stage manager Champe Leery.
For regional theatre fans who are interested in how the popular play was mounted, St. Louis Post Dispatch writer Judith Newmark will review the show Oct. 22. Her review is expected to run Oct. 24, along with a larger companion article that covers the development of the show from its first day of rehearsal. The larger piece may run as late as Oct. 25 - 26.
The Grandel, a former Congregational Church built in 1884 and renovated in 1992, is shared by a number of performance groups, including St. Louis Black Repertory Company, the Grandel Theatre Cabaret and the St. Louis Shakespeare Company.
For tickets call The Rep Box Office at (314) 968-4925.
-- By Murdoch McBride