In this extraordinary play, Margaret Edson has created a work that is as intellectually challenging as it is emotionally immediate. At the start of Wit, Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English who has spent years studying and teaching the brilliantly difficult Holy Sonnets of the metaphysical poet John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Her approach to her illness is not unlike her approach to the study of Donne: aggressively probing and intensely rational. But during the course of her illness and her stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy program at a major teaching hospital Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humor that are transformative both for her and for the audience.
An original and urgent work of art . . . among the finest plays of the decade. -- The Wall Street Journal