Best Production (2000)


Margaret Edson just might be the only kindergarten teacher in the country who can list the Pulitzer Prize on her résumé. But Edson is no ordinary teacher -- or writer, for that matter. It was just a couple of years ago that the unassuming teacher won the award for her stunning play, Wit. All about an erudite college professor who learns her greatest lessons while dealing with the ravages of stage-four ovarian cancer, the script is a knife blade of intelligence that cuts right into the guts of living and exposes some of the most foolish and destructive masks we live behind. The story, which ruminates on the artifice of university life and the obfuscating capacity of language, was rendered gorgeous and ultimately heartbreaking on the Alley stage under the direction of Martin Benson. Actor Megan Cole snapped professor Vivian Bearing to life and found her grieving heart underneath all the bombastic irony and wicked wit that had kept the iron-fisted English professor going throughout her life. Finely intimate and huge in its lessons about life, the production was the sort that lingers long into the dark night.


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