Review: W;T at TAFE: Theatre Arts For Everyone

TAFE: Theatre Arts for Everyone is celebrating Women’s History Month with the production of “W;t” from March 1st to 3rd under the direction of Vicki Schneider.

By: Mar. 02, 2024
Review: W;T at TAFE: Theatre Arts For Everyone
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TAFE: Theatre Arts for Everyone is celebrating Women’s History Month with the production of “W;t” from March 1st to 3rd under the direction of Vicki Schneider.  Written by the American playwright, Margaret Edson, “W;t” chronicles the main character’s emotional battle with ovarian cancer.  The play originally premiered at the South Coast Repertory in 1995 and received a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and "Best New Play" award from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle in 1999.

Erica Collison played the literature professor, Vivian Bearing.  She tackled the daunting task of walking the audience through the life of a cancer patient receiving experimental treatment for stage 4 ovarian cancer.  She was able to emotionally connect with the audience by breaking the 4th wall.  “W;t” is much like a monologue, and Erica was flawless in her performance as our tour guide through Vivian’s emotions, regrets, and acceptance of her last few hours of life.

Vivian’s doctors were played by Kevin Alvarnaz and Sebastian Williams, and her nurse was played by Theresa Strange.  These 3 characters demonstrated the contrasting level of care and humanity experienced in the hospital setting.  Vivian’s grad school professor and mentor was played by Deb Volker.  The ensemble included Jess Haag, Nancy Orf-Keith, Ira Schneider, and Bryn Walker.

“W;t” is heartbreaking, honest, and funny.  The cast did an excellent job portraying the raw emotional and physical damage caused by cancer.  If you are interested in learning more about ovarian cancer, there are two speakers following the Saturday, March 2nd matinee performance.  April Bupp, an ovarian cancer survivor and advocate, and Julie Justice, a Nurse Practitioner at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, will share information regarding ovarian cancer.  I do not recommend bringing young children to this show.  Check out the link to buy tickets to the show and/or make a donation for ovarian cancer research.




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