Pulitzer Prize-winning play to be performed

“Wit,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the final days of a literature professor suffering from cancer, will be on stage in Northwestern College’s Allen Theatre Friday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 13, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Set in the hospital room of Dr. Vivian Bearing, who is in her 60s and dying of ovarian cancer, “Wit” details Bearing’s interactions and thoughts during the final days of her life, some of which she spends reflecting on the poetry of John Donne, particularly his Holy Sonnet X “Death Be Not Proud.” It also explores Bearing’s experience hoping and losing hope as a participant in an experimental cancer treatment and the various styles of bedside manner—from coldly clinical to warmly relational—among her nurses and medical team.

“Wit” is being ensemble-directed and performed by members of Eastcheap Theatre Collection. The cast includes Northwestern theatre professors Karen and Jeff Barker; Karen will play cancer patient Dr. Vivian Bearing, and Jeff will play roles as her physician and her father. Northwestern alumni and students also are characters in the production: Brady Greer Huffman, Redlands, Calif., plays Dr. Jason Posner, Bearing’s former student and now a member of her oncology medical team, and Lindsay Bauer, Orange City, plays Bearing’s nurse. Marly Wooster, who is currently on the faculty at Miami University in Ohio, is designing lighting for the production.

Northwestern students Warren Duncan, Becky Ochoa and Becca Stoscher will play medical residents under Posner’s instruction, and former Dordt College professor Jeri Schelhaas has a role as Bearing’s former professor and mentor.

Tickets for “Wit” are $12 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens. They are available at the door or can be reserved in advance by emailing eastcheaptheatre@gmail.com or by calling 712-441-6038.