Sat. Jul 2nd, 2022

The theatre’s production of “Wit,” directed by Michael D. Durkin, brought the screenplay to life with inspiring acting and stage usage. “Wit” was shown throughout the last weekend of September. The screenplay was awarded the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.The play was named “Wit” for the word’s definition. Wit is the clever, intelligent power to reason ; also it is amusing sayings and writings. The cast was sure to include all aspects to make it enjoyable and real to the audience.

The plot entails Dr. Vivian Bearing being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was in the fourth and last stage of the disease. She had to give up teaching as a professor of seventeenth century poems. One of her former students and some other doctors treated Bearing.

They acted like she was just another patient, and most forgot about her job title. Only one nurse really cared to be there for her as a person, not just as a patient.

Bearing became known as research as the doctors studied her cancer. The doctors were studying how the cancer was working at that final stage and how the treatment doses were going. They used her to train new doctors.

A nurse asked Bearing what she wanted to happen when her heart stopped. Did she want the doctors to resuscitate or not to resuscitate her? She decided that when the time came she would have had enough; she chose not to.

The play has a sense of sarcasm from Bearing. It became easier for her to hide behind the truth of what was really happening to her.

The language in the beginning of the play was made to be humorous. This also included serious parts when Bearing was getting sicker and how she reacted to the staff that looked after her during her stay in the hospital. The dialogue was serious throughout the rest of the play, but was taken more seriously as the Bearing’s cancer worsened.

The play consisted of many flashbacks to various times and places in Bearing’s life. The use of the lighting would change time back and forth.

The stage crew would add a stage prop to emphasize the conversation and the point of the flashback. Some of the flashbacks were her as a little girl. The other memories were about her teaching her poetry class to college students.

The lighting crew was the most important part of the stage crew, as it was used to change emotions and focus on characters or events.

One of the lighting effects was a depressing moment from Bearing, not only as she acted it, but her body was covered with blue light. It completely changed the mood for the audience, going from happiness to sadness and sympathy.

The use of lights also emphasized a character as they talked by making the character light brighter or dimmer. This happened when two character dialogues overlapped each other. A doctor explained how the cancer was working, and as his light got dimmer, Bearing’s light got brighter as she talked over him to the audience about how she felt about the cancer.

There was usage of the whole stage as three different rooms in the hospital were presented, which included the hospital bed, an exam room and an office with a desk. The hospital bed was propped up on a wooden block that was in the shape of a coffin. Bearing was told how long she had to live. At first she seemed like she could handle it and she did until that time got closer and closer.

The overall acting was so impressive that it did not appear to be just a play. It appeared that the audience saw someone really dying of ovarian cancer. Bearing’s character made it real to the audience that she was a cancer patient. She looked sick and even weak. She lost her hair after one of the treatments. She breathed heavy when she was tired or felt excruciating pain. Bearing also had to be helped into her bed.

“Wit” was a play that was so engrossing that it left the audience members in tears at the end. It is based on a screenplay by Margaret Edison. These actors and actresses brought “Wit” to life.

Ginger Rae is a fisrt-year student at West Chester University majoring in English. She can be reached at

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