Vivian Bearing is 50 and in her prime. She has dedicated her life to deciphering and interpreting the metaphysical poetry of John Donne and is a highly respected Professor at the height of her career as an English literary scholar. But she’s just found out she’s dying.
This powerfully imagined play is cuttingly funny and beautifully poignant. It is not primarily a play about cancer, nor about the wit of John Donne – it is a play about the value of human warmth, the balance between head and heart; a play about life, not death. Twenty years after winning the Pulitzer Prize, Wit is as powerful and relevant as ever – to all of us.
“Every once in a while a play comes along that bonds people together in extraordinary ways. The play isn’t a tearful lecture on how to die; it’s a dry-eyed lesson on how to live–with simplicity and kindness.” The Boston Globe
“….a genuinely life-enhancing play about death.” The Guardian UK
“A one-of-a-kind experience: wise, thoughtful, witty and wrenching.” Vincent Canby, The New York Times Year in Review
Playwright Margaret Edson
Director Helen Tonkin
Set and Lighting Designer Victor Kalka
Music and Sound Designer Adam Jones
Costume and Properties Designer Kaitlyn Symons
Stage Manager Maddison Huber
Poster Image Daniel Regan Photography
Cheryl Ward as Vivian Bearing
Chantelle Jamieson as Dr Jessica (Jason) Posner
Yannick Lawry as Harvey Kelekian/Mr Bearing
Hailey McQueen as Susie Monahan
Jan Langford- Penny as E.M. Ashford
Matt Abotomy as Lab Technician/Clinical Fellow/Student
Clock and Spiel Productions welcome school audiences to Wit! As part of the English Advanced Syllabus this production remains faithful to Edson’s text and allows students to extend and deepen their ability to hear and process language in subtle, nuanced, inventive and complex ways as the ideas, themes and emotions of the text are brought to life in a theatre known for its unparalleled repertoire of dramatised works for school-aged students.
- Develop and enrich their understanding of the dynamic relationship between language, texts and meaning.
- Take part in a Q&A with actors and select panel directly after the school performance allowing them to critically and discerningly respond to the show.
About the play:
Meet Vivian Bearing: she’s 50, in the prime of her life; highly respected and at the height of a stellar academic career. She’s a fiercely rational academic with a passion for poetry. And she’s found out she only has weeks to live.
Wherever we might be on our own road, Vivian asks us: ‘what really matters when the end of that road comes into view?’
Winner of the Pulitzer prize for Drama, Wit is not primarily a play about cancer, nor about the wit of John Donne – it is a play about the balance between head and heart; a play about life, death and the significance of a semicolon.
Suitable for all high school aged students Years 7 – 12 (Stage 4 – 6 HSC)