Danielle Calderone Female Understudy
Christopher ‘Maxx‘ Jaranda Student
Jordon Loring Student
Erica Simpson Student
Jessie Savilla Student
Erinn Botz Student
Greg Weiderecht Student
Keegan Lee Student
Karla Hartley* Production Stage Manager
Timon Brown Technical Director
Robert Creedon Master Carpenter
Jerid Fox Props Master
American Stage's 'Wit' is good medicine
by John Fleming, Times performing Arts Critic, (Excerpted)
ST. PETERSBURG — Just about everyone can relate to Wit. Because of an experience with cancer, or a stay in the hospital, or just trying to negotiate the health care system, most people will find the dire predicament of Vivian Bearing, Ph.D. in Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play all too familiar.
As for the play's other preoccupation — Vivian's study of John Donne's Holy Sonnets — it may at first seem arcane and daunting. But in the end, this 50-year-old classics professor with stage-four metastatic ovarian cancer renders 17th century metaphysical poetry utterly relevant in a searing indictment of the invasion and abuse of the body that modern medicine can be, tempered by her profound, and often very funny, investigation into the meaning of life, death and God.
Kim Crow, who enters with a red ball cap on her bald head, grasping an IV pole, barefoot and wearing a hospital gown, is Vivian in the American Stage production, which is being performed at the Palladium Theater. Crow is playing the role for the fourth time over the past decade or so, and her Vivian is not the formidable monster of the intellect that Edson's script will certainly support. Instead, she is girlishly vulnerable and eager to please, delivering droll zingers like a Borscht Belt comedian. "I just hold still and look cancerous," Vivian says of her demeanor during Friday morning Grand Rounds, when she is examined by a crowd of doctors and interns.
Creative Loafing Tampa Bay "Best of the Bay"
Best Play 'Wit'
American Stage’s inspired production of Margaret Edson’s play reminded us poignantly that there’s no human virtue more important than kindness. As Dr. Vivian Bearing, an expert on John Donne’s Holy Sonnets, faced a punishing series of treatments for her ovarian cancer, she learned and we learned with her what matters most when everything is at stake. Todd Olson’s direction gave equal attention to heart and mind, and Kim Crow’s performance as Bearing was simply, heart-rendingly perfect.
Tags: Arts & Entertainment, American Stage, best of the bay 2013, Wit, American Stage Theatre Company, Staff Pick
Wit is beyond words
Life’s brevity is the soul of Wit, and American Stage conveys its brilliance.
by MARK E. LEIB
TO DIE FOR: Kim Crow deftly conveys the demanding complexities of cancer patient Vivian Bearing.
Wit is a moving, harrowing, revelatory play about life and death, God and science, compassion and cruelty. As we watch English professor Dr. Vivian Bearing confront a painful cancer and its even more painful treatment, we are drawn to reflect on our own lives, uncertain as they are, and the edifices we have built against time and tragedy. Though the play is too complex to be reduced to a single meaning, its most central teaching seems to be that there is nothing more essential than human kindness, no quality more urgent, no acquirement more indispensable ... If great art is the art that combines beauty and depth, Wit is great art. The American Stage production at The Palladium does it justice. Kim Crow as Vivian Bearing is strong and sarcastic when the going is good, stunned and less caustic when the going gets rough, and then terribly needy as death approaches and her pain reaches levels she never thought possible. Crow is also very funny from time to time, and even arrogant when the subject is her appreciation of Donne... This is drama that can change, or at least redirect, your life. As Donne elsewhere remarks, this bell tolls for all of us. If an inspired work of art can remind us of that fact, we need it in our repertoire. Few plays are as important. See it if you can. Critic’s Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Sarasota star in American Stage's 'Wit' has been there before (Click title to read more.)
Florida Repertory Theatre bravely takes on difficult issues
'Wow.' That was all this reviewer could say after picking her mouth up off the floor following the stunning conclusion of 'Wit' Friday by the Florida Repertory Theatre at the historic Arcade Theatre in downtown Fort Myers.
Hats off to Kim Crow, who portrays college professor Vivian Bearing, an intimidatingly intelligent and quick-witted woman who is in the final stages of ovarian cancer. Crow is remarkable as she lives out Bearing's last two hours of life after being admitted to a hospital in the 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which is being presented for the first time on a Southwest Florida stage.
To simply recite the eloquent, rhythmical dialogue full of huge words would be a feat. To commit volumes of that dialogue to mind and memory so one can pour oneself into acting takes incredible skill and talent, and Crow does it with flourish. Her transitions are smooth and effective as she shifts easily between narrating events to the audience and interacting with other actors during every scene of the nearly two-hour play, which runs without intermission.
Crow's powerful performance ...as Bearing uses Donne's 17th century Holy Sonnets to parallel her experience and to spit in the face of death itself. As she lays on an examining table with her feet in stirrups, her soul naked, death knocking on her door, she battles back by reciting angrily to the ceiling: 'Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe . . .'
Her diction is clear; her sentiments strong and distinct throughout the play as she fluctuates from anger, to humor, to intellectual snobbery, to submission, to disgust, to fear, and back again.
At play's open, Crow's Bearing tells the audience how the show will end. We know she will die. We just don't know how incredible and revealing the end will be.'
Beth Francis, Naples Daily News, (Excerpted)
'Wit' finds hope amid woman's final hours of life
Kim Crow calls Margaret Edson's Wit 'the most brilliant modern script I've ever come across.'
Crow so loved the role of Vivian Bearing, a brilliant but emotionally brittle professor of 17th century poetry who is dying of cancer, that as soon as she finished playing Bearing in the Florida Repertory Theatre's production of Wit in Fort Myers, she came to Jacksonville to repeat the experience, shaved head and all.
Playing Vivian Bearing has been 'the most gratifying, incredible experience of my career . . . a privileged and passionate pilgrimage,' Kim Crow said.
Charlie Patton, Times-Union staff writer (excerpted)
'Wit' Not to Be Missed'
This skillfull...stunning production has elevated the theatre to the highest level of artistic excellence...not to be missed...world-class... first-rate...with an astonishing cast of fine actors. BRAVO!
Kim Crow as Dr. Bearing is a transcendent artist and consummate performer. She gives a performance of such power and depth, it takes your breath away. This is a role that demands 100-percent-plus from any actress who tackles it--from the red baseball cap that covers her hairless head to the hospital gowns that cover her naked body. And anyone playing this role is laid emotionally bare as well.
The incomparable Crow brings this kind of commitment to the part, revealing the very essence of her being as she shares her inner self with the audience. She plays the audience's emotions like an instrument. taking us exactly where she wants us, making us feel precisely what she wants us to feel. We believe her, we share her wit, her pain, her courage and, eventually her death. This is a gut-wrenching performance for both the actor and the audience -- an evening you will never forget.' Center Stage, Marsha Wagner, The Islander(Excerpted)
'Play seeks 'Wit' in cancer, finds beauty, insight...evolves into breathtaking journey...achingly human, deeply felt'
Bearing (played by an intense Kim Crow) narrates the play with caustic humor and a growing warmth. 'It's not my intent to give away the plot,' she says to her constant confidante, the audience, at the beginning of the play, 'but I think I die at the end. They've given me less than two hours. ... Then, curtain.'
Crow is lightning in a bottle from start to finish...She speaks in grand sweeps of sentences with a sly smile and an arrogant, almost aristocratic lilt to her voice. Crow's tour de force performance as a waning cancer patient from initial denial to wracking dry heaves to cowering moans of fear are all too believable. By the end of the show, I felt myself deeply attached to this flawed yet human character...When the curtain drops, both Bearing and the audience are left permanently changed.' Charles Runnells, gulfcoasting.com The News-Press, Fort Myers, Florida, (Excerpted)
Florida Rep's 'Wit' is witty and compelling
A gem such as this has not hit Southeast Florida stages in recent memory... toeing lines where few dare to tread. In other words, 'Wit' is brilliant ... Pamela Hunt has created a sophisticated masterpiece with impeccable performances. Kim Crow and cast accomplish a mesmerizing performance where audience members must occasionally remind themselves to breathe. Vivian Mc Mahon, Fort Myers Beach Observer
'Wit is a Hit'
...As a veteran theatre-goer, I sat in amazement as Kim Crow brought to life and subsequent death, the character of Vivian Bearing, Ph. D. college professor, wordsmith, Donne-revelator and lastly ovarian cancer victim ... I cannot personally recall ever seeing a more convincing display of tragedic honesty in acting ... Hopewell is honored to have an actress of the giant skills of Kim Crow to prove that "Death, indeed can be proud' as witnessed in her portrayal of life and death on the Beacon stage. Review by Jerrell Sober (excerpted)
To date I have played in 5 productions of 'Wit. For more info including letters from the audience, kindly see my blog.
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