Monday, January 23, 2012

The Day That Changed My Life - Wit

We're so excited to see that Wit is coming to Broadway starring Tony and Emmy award winning actress Cynthia Nixon. This play was written by Margaret Edson and won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1999. It explores the journey of an English Professor Dr. Vivian Bearing who is diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer.

According to this synopsis, Vivian recalls undergoing tests by various medical technicians and being the subject of grand rounds. She remembers sharing a love of language and books with her father. She flashes back to her experiences as a student of Dr E. M. Ashford, an expert on John Donne. Bearing later finds herself under the care of Dr Jason Posner, an oncology research fellow who has taken her class on John Donne. At the hospital, she recognizes that doctors are interested in her for her research value and, like her, tend to ignore humanity in favor of knowledge. Gradually, she realizes that she would prefer kindness to intellectualism.
Vivian reaches the end stage in extreme pain as Susie Monahan, a nurse at the medical centre, offers Vivian compassion and discusses with her the option of exercising her final option, "do not resuscitate" (DNR), in case of a severe decline in her condition. Vivian decides to mark the DNR option. Dr Ashford, in town for her great-grandson's birthday, visits the hospital after learning of Vivian's cancer. She comforts her and offers to read a Donne sonnet, but Vivian, scarcely conscious, declines. Instead, Ashford reads from Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny, which she had bought for her great-grandson.
When Vivian flatlines, Jason tries to resuscitate her, and calls in a medical team to administer CPR. Susie tries to stop him, pointing out the DNR instruction. Jason eventually realizes his mistake and calls for the CPR team to stop. The play ends as Vivian, unclothed after her death, walks from her hospital bed "toward a little light".

As we prepare to return to the stage, we are most excited about Wit! Get your tickets, we are :-)

While each journey is unique, we all share a common theme - cancer changes our lives forever.

1 comment:

  1. We are going to see Wit this weekend. I love Cynthia Nixon from Sex and the City.