by Sandi Huddleston-Edwards

DAVIDSON – True to its vision to engage, entertain, enrich and educate the community through live theater, the Davidson Community Players is producing “Wit,” the 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by American playwright Margaret Edson.

“Our late February/March slots are filled with plays that have dramatic challenges, with the potential to stretch both cast and audience; this does. It’s not a comedy or musical but a memory play, whose protagonist is a female professor of poetry,” said Matt Merrell, the players’ executive director. “As a teacher and intellect all of her life, she has become a little arrogant over the years. When stricken with ovarian cancer, she realizes she has no support network. The play’s true messages are to value the people around you and your connections with the world.”

The show was first performed in the mid-1990s and received many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for drama and a Tony Award nomination. It was revived earlier this year on Broadway, starring Cynthia Nixon, of “Sex and the City.”

“Because this story is set in a college town, it’s great to produce it in a college town,” Merrell said. “Our community is highly educated, so we can identify easily with the character’s slavish devotion to academia and her specialty, with a recurring theme to a John Donne poem.”

Melissa Ohlman-Roberge, who has been involved with Davidson Community Players for nearly 20 years, will direct “Wit.” She and DCP have won numerous awards for their highly acclaimed productions, including “Ragtime,” “Oklahoma,” and “Crazy for You.” And this time, Merrell has a surprise for Melissa. When he invited Edson (currently a middle school English teacher in Atlanta) to attend a performance, she accepted.

“It is exciting to work with such a well-written piece and a Pulitzer Prize winner,” Ohlman-Roberge said. “In ways, it can be scary because I hope that I’m being true to the playwright and her intentions. And with Edson planning to attend, I want to ensure the production is as good as she intended it to be.”

Regarding cancer, the director has lost several people to the disease and understands the importance of spreading awareness.

“We’ve had interest from several cancer-focused organizations who would like to partner with us. In addition, this small cast play is an opportunity for me to look for new and different experiences for the audience, as well as to look for ways to stretch the limitations of our space and configurations for the theater. I try to find ways to challenge the cast and myself as the director – and with this piece being weighty, it lends itself to presenting those challenges.”

“Wit” will be performed Feb. 28-March 17, 2013.

Auditions will take place at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 3-4 at Armour Street Theatre, 307 Armour St., Davidson.

Want to know more?

For more information about roles, audition dates and times, rehearsals and the play, call Davidson Community Players at 704-892-7953, or visit www.davidson