NEPA Scene Staff

Pulitzer-winning cancer drama ‘Wit’ comes to Providence Playhouse in Scranton July 12-22

Pulitzer-winning cancer drama ‘Wit’ comes to Providence Playhouse in Scranton July 12-22
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From a press release:

Community theatre group Actors Circle will present the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Wit” by Margaret Edson at the Providence Playhouse in Scranton on Thursday, July 12 through Sunday, July 22.

Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., an esteemed scholar of the 17th century poetry, uses her command and love of language to dramatize her experiences as an inpatient receiving experimental chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. As she looks back at her accomplished life, Vivian rediscovers the humor and wit necessary in confronting the looming battle before her: the battle between irony and fate, kindness and research, and life and death.

The play received its world premiere at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California in 1995 and won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. “Wit” also received the Best New Play award in 1999 from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle. In 2001, it was adapted into an Emmy Award-winning HBO film directed by Mike Nichols, with Emma Thompson playing Vivian.

Directed by Casey Thomas, the show’s cast members include Patricia Purcell as Vivian Bearing with Darla Germeroth, Kelly Ann Walsh, Warren Cox, Christopher Alu, Nunzio Caccamo, Celine Carlier, and Susan Parrick.

Cathy Rist Strauch and Jeff Ginsberg serve as producers. Thomas is also designing the set and lighting and is the master builder, along with Art Walsh. Jacob Conrad is also assisting with the show; Kimmie Leff and Thomas are photographers.

“Wit” runs at the Providence Playhouse (1256 Providence Rd., Scranton) on Thursdays though Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. on July 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, and 22. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors, and $8 for students, with the exception of Thursday, July 12, when tickets are $8 for general admission and seniors and $6 for students.

For reservations, call 570-342-9707 or e-mail All reservations are held up until 10 minutes to showtime.

Actors Circle was formed in 1982. A group of actors was sitting in a circle on the floor of the University of Scranton auditorium and decided on the name for their organization before performing their first production, “The Crucible.” Originally, the group was known as the Jefferson Hall Players, but the University asked them to change the name because there was already a small theater group at the University with that same name.

Over the years, Actors Circle has also performed at other venues, such as the Scranton Cultural Center, the Century Club, the Jewish Community Center, Nay Aug Park, the Everhart Museum, the Lackawanna Children’s Library, the Lackawanna County Courthouse, and the Tripp House.

In 1984, Providence Playhouse became home to Actors Circle. In this small intimate theater, productions such as comedies, dramas, classics, musicals, plays from well-known authors, and obscure, but important playwrights have been performed. Actors Circle has also commissioned original works, such as the adaptation of “Frankenstein” by Scranton native Ted LoRusso and an original play by John McInerney. Other theatrical organizations have also been welcomed to perform in the home of Actors Circle, such as DGM Productions, Inc.

The founders’ mission was to keep live theatre accessible to the general public, as well as to educate and enlighten not only audiences, but actors, directors, technical crew, and stage managers as well. Actors Circle continues to strive to fulfill this goal by providing the community with laughter and thought-provoking performances.