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Friday, June 12, 2009


(Pic: Clare Mortimer as Vivian Bearing)

KickstArt presents Margaret Edson’s multi-award winning play in Grahamstown, Durban and Hilton.

KickstArt presents Pulitzer Prize winner Margaret Edson’s multi-award winning play, Wit, which opens in Grahamstown at the National Arts Festival, before coming to the Playhouse Loft in July for a short season and to the Hilton Festival in September for one performance only.

Wit is that rare beast: art that engages both the heart and the mind. Margaret Edson delves into timeless questions with no final answers: How should we live our lives knowing that we will die?

The playwright will be at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, courtesy of the US Embassy, where she will appear on Think!Fest on July 7 at 17h00 alongside fellow playwrights Mike van Graan and Fatima Dike. The subject of the open panel discussion will be Engaging with Space in Theatres and the playwrights will discuss effective ways of exploring and engaging with personal and public spaces through their writings.

An American playwright and kindergarten teacher, Margaret Edson considers herself first an educator and then a playwright, although her play has won many prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1999. She will be attending the premiere of KickstArt’s production of Wit which appears on the main festival programme on July 9.

“We are extremely honoured and very motivated!” says director Steven Stead. “We are well into preparation for what we hope will be our most exciting drama production to date.”

Wit stars the hugely talented Clare Mortimer, along with a multi-award winning supporting cast including Neil Coppen, Liv Borgen, Alison Cassels and Jimmy Lithgow. The two KZN stagings mark the first time this drama is being presented in KZN.

The play begins with Vivian Bearing (Clare Mortimer), a renowned professor of English saying, "It is not my intention to give away the plot, but I think I die at the end. They've given me less than two hours." Vivian has late-stage ovarian cancer. But to say that Wit is about cancer is misleading; it is really about finding a balance between head and heart. The play isn't a tearful lecture on how to die; it's a dry-eyed lesson on how to live. It is a play about language and ideas, philosophy and religion. It is at once funny, sad, tragic and life-affirming, complex and simple. The New York Times critic called Wit, "the kind of theatrical experience of which legends are made."

Wit will be staged at the Grahamstown Festival from July 9 to 11; at the Playhouse Loft Theatre from July 21 to 26 and at the Hilton Arts Festival on September 20.

Wit is supported by the Grahamstown National Arts Festival and the National Arts Council. Book at Computicket nationwide