Tuesday, April 16, 2019

What If C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Met Each Other? Find Out in Mark St. Germain's Play Freud's Last Session

Posted By on Tue, Apr 16, 2019 at 7:47 AM

click to enlarge THE PUBLIC THEATER OF SAN ANTONIO
  • The Public Theater of San Antonio
Though they lived contemporaneously, C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud purportedly never met one another. However, in the late ’60s, Harvard professor Armand Nicholi began teaching a seminar called “The Question of God” using the two men’s divergent viewpoints on theology as a frame for the discussion of Christianity and secularism. These lectures struck a chord, eventually leading Nicholi to write a book on the subject. Playwright Mark St. Germain took Nicholi’s conceit to the next level, premiering the play Freud’s Last Session off Broadway in 2010.

Drawing from Nicholi’s materials as well as the writings of Freud and Lewis, St. Germain imagines a poignant meeting between the two men on the cusp not only of Britain’s entry into World War II, but also of Freud’s demise. While this premise could have easily devolved into schlock, St. Germain’s deft handling of the subject matter has made for a popular production, which is a perfect, small-scale show for the Public’s Cellar Theater that will still leave audiences with a lot to think about. The Public’s production stars Wesley Deitrick as Sigmund Freud and John Stillwaggon as C.S. Lewis.

$10-$35, 7:30pm Thu-Sat, 2pm Sun through May 12, the Public Theater of San Antonio, Cellar Theater, 800 W. Ashby Pl., (210) 733-7258, thepublicsa.org.

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