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Wit Brings Grit to Stage

by Rae McKee, Public Relations Writer

As the final production of its 2015-16 season, Cedarville University’s theatre program will present “Wit,” the award-winning play by Margaret Edson. The production opens on Thursday, March 31, in the DeVries Theatre.

The winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, “Wit” tells the fictional story of Dr. Vivian Bearing, an English professor who learns that she is dying of cancer. During her stay in a research hospital, Bearing experiences painful experimental treatment, which causes her to examine her life.

“Wit is a medical drama rooted in realism,” said Diane Conrad Merchant, Ph.D., professor of theater and the play’s director. “It gives an honest look into a woman’s life as she experiences life with cancer in a research hospital.” 

During her treatment, Bearing realizes that the doctors view her as nothing more than an experiment used for research value. This realization causes her to reevaluate her own life, and she recognizes that she also valued intellectualism and knowledge more than kindness during her life. She begins to understand the beauty in the gentleness of life. 

“This play is gritty and real,” said Megan Howell, a senior theatre major from Allison Park, Pennsylvania, who is the stage manager and scenic designer. “It challenges you to think about the dehumanizing and even the humanizing aspects of how many people go about life. We like to do entertaining plays, but this play provides a unique ethical dilemma that challenges the audience.”

Throughout the play, Bearing develops a greater appreciation for humanity and concludes that she prefers kindness to intellectualism. The story pushes the audience to consider the beauty in life.

A special talk back session for the audience will be held following the 8 p.m. performance on Friday, April 8, which will focus on the ethical issues that Wit presents.

For complete performance information, including ways to purchase tickets, visit or call 937-766-4491.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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