Wit (play)

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By Mandy Webster

W;t. By Margaret Edson. New York, NY: Faber and Faber, Inc., 1999.

Just finished reading Wit, the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Margaret Edson, and I was simply blown away. Edson gives us a glimpse into the end of cancer patient, Vivian Bearing’s life in this startlingly funny story.

Vivian is a 50 year old professor of seventeenth-century poetry who believes herself a major asset to the academic world. Yet, when she finds she is suffering from stage 4 ovarian cancer, she becomes just another cancer patient in a robotic medical system.

I wish I had time to write a full review, but am pressed for time today. So I’m going to just share this trailer from the movie of the same title, starring Emma Thompson. My only complaint with this trailer is, it only shows the heartbreaking side of the story… the trailer completely misses out on the main theme of the play, which is apparent from it’s title, Wit.

Both heartrending and humorous, Wit left me asking some hard questions about how we treat our fellow humans within our health care system.

Anyway, I would absolutely recommend reading this play and hope I have a chance to see it on stage someday. It’s a quick read (I finished it in around an hour’s time,) and is really “witty.” Although, you wouldn’t know it from this clip!

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