Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA to stage student-directed 'Wit' in Downstage Theatre

October 25, 2013 - Robbie Goodrich
NACOGDOCHES - The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the student-directed full-length play "Wit" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

Written by American playwright Margaret Edson, "Wit" will be directed by Emory senior theatre major Vanessa Hendricks.

"'Wit' is an intellectually challenging, emotionally charged play about Dr. Vivian Bearing, a stern professor of literature, recently diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer," Hendricks explained. "During the course of her illness and treatment, Vivian reassess her work, her life and, ultimately, her death."

Wit" won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the "Best New Play" award the same year from the New York Drama Critics' Circle.

The student cast features Katy Rutherford, Richmond junior, as Dr. Vivian Bearing; Eric Gibson, Fairfield senior, as Jason Posner; Michael Spencer, Colleyville junior, in dual roles as Dr. Kelekian and Mr. Bearing; Anna Drake, Friendswood sophomore, as Susie Monahan; and Heather Abbott, Garland junior, as E.M. Ashford. Ensemble members include April Gore, Katy junior; Anna Goldberg, Brownsville junior; Lauren Bowler, Katy sophomore; and Pedro Dominguez, McAllen freshman.

The production crew includes Stephen Davis, Baytown sophomore, stage manager; Sloan Frierson, Center Point junior, assistant director; Landy Trapp, Crystal City senior, scenic designer; Chris Dawson, Marshall senior, costume designer; Amanda Warren, Nacogdoches junior, lighting designer; Ross Denison, Houston sophomore, sound designer; and Molly Brown, Galveston senior, makeup and hair designer.

Hendricks is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with teacher certification. She has directed "Eurydice" by Sarah Ruhl, "Tunnel of Love" by Jacquelyn Reingold, "Small World" and "The Tarantino Variation." She has been assistant director for "Adam and the Experts," "Animal Farm," "For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls" and "Medusa's Tale." She currently serves as assistant director for The Fredonia Players, a performance troupe in which she has previously acted. She was also props designer for the student-directed "Lone Star" earlier this year. She has acted in several Mainstage, Downstage and Upstage productions.

This play is recommended for mature audiences.

Admission is $5. The Downstage Theatre is located on the first floor of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407.