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Behind the Curtain of Wit

Nov 27, 2011 05:03PM ● By Anonymous
Topics such as life and death, as a distinguished medical professional battles a devastating disease. This month, the Bay Theatre Company (BTC), debuts Wit starring Helen Hayes-award-winning actress Rena Cherry Brown playing the lead character of Vivian.

“I want to honor the author’s intent,” says director Richard Pilcher. (The author of Wit is American-playwright Margaret Edson, who used her work experience in a hospital as inspiration.) “This play is for anyone who has, or will have to face the possibility of imminent death, [so] everyone.” Audience members can expect a realistic set complete with professional lighting, wardrobe, and authentic medical equipment that Anne Arundel Medical Center generously let BTC borrow.

The BTC itself is an intimate space, so Pilcher is taking advantage of that and choosing the most effective way to showcase each scene. “Vivian exists at times in the present and the past, often simultaneously, and she even speaks directly to the audience. She is stepping in and out of time in the midst of her most private and painful moments,” explains Pilcher. Assisting in production is Ken Sheats, who expertly planned and designed each set allowing for fluidity in the show.

Considered a post-modernist play, partly because it’s performed as a continuous act, Wit features a cast of nine; Rena Cherry Brown (Vivian Bearing), James Laster (Harvey Kelekian), Mundy Spears (Susie Monahan), Matt Bassett (Jason Posner), Jean Miller (E.M. Ashford), Kelly Armstrong, Amy Kellett, James Poole, and Ryan Brown (Interns/Technicians).

Artistic Director of BTC, Janet Luby, has dedicated this production to her late father, Dr. Tom Luby, a compassionate person and physician who felt every medical professional should be required to see this play before practicing medicine.

Can’t fit Wit into your schedule? Consider seeing BTC’s next production of Becky’s New Car, running December 2nd through January 8th—a play that highlights the midlife woes of a woman who decides to tempt fate to liven up her life.

For more information, visit or call 410-268-1333.