W;t (also as Wit) by Margaret Edson, won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and opened Off-Broadway on September 19, 1998, at the MCC Theater (MCC). Produced by Long Wharf Theatre, MCC with Executive Producer Robert G. Bartner
This production starred Kathleen Chalfant in the lead role of Vivian Bearing. Chalfant received strong praise for her performance at the MCC. She also incorporated her own life experience into her work on the play, including the final illness and death of her brother Alan Palmer from cancer.
Directed by Derek Anson Jones. Set design by Myung Hee Cho, Costume design by Ilona Somogyi, Lighting design by Michael Chybowski, with Sound design, original music by David Van Tieghem and Wig Design by Paul Huntley.
After its successful initial run at the MCC, the play transferred to the Off-Broadway Union Square Theater to open on October 6, 1998. The production closed on April 9, 2000 after 545 performances.
Produced by Robert G. Bartner; Stanley Kaufelt; Long Wharf Theatre; MCC and Daryl Roth
This production initially stared Kathleen Chalfant, when in 1999, Judith Light took over the lead role of Vivian Bearing, and also earned strong reviews and later reprised the role for the national tour. Light shaved her head for the role.
Also added to the cast when Light came on board were William Cain, Sally Parrish and Grant Show joining Paula Pizzi, Brian J. Carter, Daniel Sarnelli, Alli Steinberg and Lisa Tharps.
The producers of the 2nd Off-Broadway run — MCC Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, Daryl Roth, Stanley Shopkorn, Robert G. Bartner, Stanley Kaufelt and associate producer Lorie Cowen Levy Produced the tour.
Kathleen Chalfant took the lead in the London production at the Vaudeville Theatre from April 3 until May 13, 2000.
The play swept nearly every drama award given for an off-Broadway play, including the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, The Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, two Drama League awards and the Outer Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Play. Another honor came early in 1999 when Wit was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.