Sunday, February 19, 2012

A New Work

I too hope Wit author Margaret Edson writes another play. In the meantime she seems to have found a calling that's just as meaningful to her, and in its own way maybe even harder. (NYT, photo by Joan Marcus of Cynthia Nixon in the current NY production of Wit)
Lynne Meadow, the artistic director of the Manhattan Theater Club and the director of the current production, was one of those who passed on “Wit” in the ’90s. “It was for personal reasons,” she said the other day, explaining that at the time she had just undergone cancer treatment herself. A year ago her colleagues asked her to reread it, and this time around, she said, “I felt the play chose me.” She began talking with Ms. Edson on the phone and then met her for the first time in December, when Ms. Edson came to New York to see a rehearsal. “Maggie is one of the most extraordinary people I’ve ever met,” she said. “She’s enormously intelligent and articulate, but intelligence alone doesn’t write a play like this, which is so emotionally accessible as well as intellectually fulfilling.” She added that she wished Ms. Edson would write another, and quoting a line from “Wit,” spoken by a young doctor who is a bit of a know-it-all, she said, “ ‘ I have a few ideas.’ There are some thoughts I’d like to share with her. But it will only happen when she’s ready.” Explaining why she had no urge to repeat her success, Ms. Edson said, “If it had happened right away — if I’d written the play in ’91 and then won the Pulitzer in ’92 — that might have created a different trajectory.”

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