CenterStage’s W;t Provides Platform to Discuss Cancer


For its next production in the already stellar 2013/14 season, CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center presents the Pulitzer Prize winning drama W;t, a  compassionate and clever examination of one woman’s journey with cancer. It runs February 13-23 in the Linker Auditorium.

True to CenterStage’s mission to “Open Minds, One Act at a Time,” the theatre is collaborating with local cancer support communities to build awareness and facilitate conversation about cancer and the emotional toll it takes on those living with it and their loved ones.

“I have a very personal piece coming up with W;t. Both of my parents have passed away with cancer within the past five years. I’ve come to a point where I think it’s going to be a cathartic piece for me, and I’m looking forward to delving into that subject matter that unfortunately I know too much about. We’re collaborating with Gilda’s Club Louisville and other cancer support organizations, and doing a lot of things with the production to hopefully help and be a part of the community,” said CenterStage Artistic Director John Leffert.

Exquisitely written, affecting and often humorous, W;t follows a brilliant and exacting poetry professor as she undergoes experimental treatment for cancer. A scholar who devoted her life to academia, she must now face the irony and injustice of becoming the subject of research.

W;t, a one-act play written by  Margaret Edson, an elementary school teacher, won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Edson used her work experience in a hospital as inspiration for the play. Cynthia Nixon starred in the 2012 Broadway premier to much acclaim and Emma Thompson played the lead role in a 2001 movie of the same name.

Members of Gilda’s Club Louisville are invited to an exclusive preview performance Feb. 12 and will have the opportunity to talk with performers after the show. There also will be a benefit performance Feb. 16 for Gilda’s Club. Tickets will be $35 and include a cocktail hour starting at 6 p.m.

Inspiration walls will be installed in the JCC lobby for the public to share hopeful messages and their personal experiences with cancer.

Donations will be accepted at performances for Gilda’s Club Louisville, Hosparus, Ovarian Awareness of Kentucky and Sharsheret, a Jewish community facing breast cancer and others. These organizations also will have a presence in the lobby for those who would like to learn more about them.

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