The Doctor Is Out! NYC Run of Freud's Last Session Ends July 22
By Kenneth Jones
The Off-Broadway production of Freud's Last Session, Mark St. Germain's imagined encounter between atheist psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and Christian writer C.S. Lewis, closes at New World Stages on July 22 following 775 performances and eight previews.
The close date marks the show's two-year anniversary in Manhattan following its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company's Stage 2 (now called the St. Germain Stage after the play's author) in Pittsfield, MA.
In New York, the play inaugurated a newly renovated stage, the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater at the Upper West Side YMCA, and then moved to New World Stages in midtown's theatre district. Mark H. Dold and Martin Rayner created the roles of Lewis and Freud, respectively, in Massachusetts and Off-Broadway (and in a spin-off at the Mercury Theatre in Chicago, which is still running with other actors). Dold's final performance was July 16, at which time St. Germain appeared on stage with champagne at the curtain call to surprise the audience with news that it was Rayner and Dold's last night together. They raised a glass to their run. (Dold had a prearranged vacation planned. Understudy Tuck Milligan played the final week of performances as Lewis, opposite Rayner). Tyler Marchant Dold and Rayner's engagements. Some regional productions have surfaced, and international productions are sprouting.
The 80-minute play set in Freud's consulting room in London in 1939.
The play "centers on legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud, who invites the young, rising academic star C. S. Lewis 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," according to production notes. "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. Not just a powerful debate, this is a profound and deeply touching play about two men who boldly addressed the greatest questions of all time."
St. Germain's play was suggested by the bestselling book "The Question of God" by Harvard's Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr.
Freud's Last Session is produced Off-Broadway by Carolyn Rossi Copeland, Robert Stillman and Jack Thomas.
The performance schedule is Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings at 8 PM; Saturdays at 2 & 8 PM; and Sundays at 3 & 7 PM.
Tickets are $66.50 and are available at Telecharge.com or at (212) 239-6200 or through FreudsLastSession.com. A limited number of $23 Student Rush tickets (cash only, with valid student ID) are available at the box office day of performance.
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