“I love this play because, first of all, it’s a really challenging role – one of those once-in-a-lifetime roles for actresses,” Trotter says. “But I really love the play because I’m an academic, and this play raises profound questions about the scholarly life, the pursuit of excellence at the cost of one’s humanity, the balance between work and relationships and the choices we make about how to spend these ‘wild and precious lives’– to quote poet Mary Oliver.”
In the play, Bearing has dedicated her life to research, specifically on John Donne’s poetry, and when she is diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, she becomes the one being studied. She maintains her witty edge as she undergoes treatment, and she must assess her life when presented with her own mortality. Edson’s Wit won the Pulitzer Prize in 1999.
Trotter, who joined the Whitworth faculty in 1994, says that this play is a valuable experience not just for her, but also for her students.
“It gives me a chance to re-experience what they are going through and to refine what I am teaching them about how to audition, what is expected of them at rehearsals, how to memorize and shape a role and how to interact with a director. It is great for them to witness me ‘practicing what I preach,’” Trotter says.
For tickets to Wit, starring Diana Trotter, call Lake City Playhouse box office at (208) 667-1323.
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.