The Empty Space presents a play of life, death and relationships with ‘Wit’

Jazmine Montoya, Reporter

The tragedy of death was brought to life on stage this weekend. Director Porter Jamison, along with his cast, put on Margaret Edson’s “Wit” at the local Empty Space Theater.

The story takes place in and near a university that is associated with a research hospital. It accounts for the final hours of Dr. Vivian Bearing’s life, an English professor of 17th century poetry, as she battles with terminal stage-four metastatic ovarian cancer. Throughout the play, Bearing, who is played by local actress Alissa Morrow, takes a look back on her life taking the audience back in time as to what lead her to her current self.

Morrow claimed that she didn’t know anything about the play beforehand. She read the script and was simply touched by the words. “I’m a word nerd myself; I found I have a lot in common with my character.” She explained that, although she hasn’t had any one in her family that has been through the same experience, her character has. This prompted Morrow to take on the role, “I knew it was important to do and it would touch a lot of people.”

Bearing shares her love of language and literature throughout the play and often recalls the wit in metaphoric poetry of John Donne. Coming from a family with no siblings and no family of her own, Bearing surprisingly discovers while going through the course of dying that she begins to prefer kindness rather than intelligence.

The cast included an array of talent including Claire Rock, who played Bearing’s oncology nurse who helps her through the last moments of her life. “I really hope a lot of people come out to see it because it’s a really powerful show, and I think it carries a great message,” Rock said.

She has been acting as long as she can remember and said being a part of “Wit” was a special experience for her.

Director Porter Jamison said everyone should come out and see the show. Jamison has wanted to direct “Wit” ever since he first read it.

He describes the play as a humorous text. One that speaks intelligently of the things a person begins to understand fully, only when facing death.

“I feel a lot of us lately have been faced with little deaths, not as big as cancer, but things such as having to drop out of college because you don’t have enough money, losing a job, a lover leaves you… I mean there are all these things that happen that we go through and we have to go through the concept of death, even though it’s not a big death,” he said.

“Wit” will be playing at the Empty Space March 15, 16, 22, and 23, at 8 p.m. Admission is free with a suggested donation of $15 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors.