When: 7 p.m. Oct. 8-10 and 2 p.m. Oct. 11
Where: Chestatee High School Theater, 3005 Sardis Road, Gainesville
Students in the theater program at Chestatee High School are ready to draw back the curtain on a new season of plays, starting with “Wit.”
Called a straight play because it has very little equipment shifted around, Chestatee’s first play this fall has a unique theme. Written from the viewpoint of an English professor who discovered she has ovarian cancer, the play follows her journey through chemotherapy treatments and intense rounds of new and untested drugs.
“The play is very meaningful, and it keeps you on your toes,” Chestatee High School senior Natalie McNitt said. She warns: “Be prepared to cry.”
A small cast of 10 will perform “Wit” at 7 p.m. Oct. 8-10 and 2 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Chestatee High School Theater at 3005 Sardis Road.
Tickets are $7, and $2 of each ticket will benefit the Hospice of Northeast Georgia and the Partnership for Gynecological Support in Gainesville. Tickets for “Wit” can be bought at the box office.
Theater volunteers also sold blue ribbons for $1 to raise funds for the hospice, since September was Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.
“The hospice supports local women suffering from cancer,” said Jeff Kelly, director of the drama department at Chestatee.
Students who bought a ribbon in September were entered into a drawing for a free ticket to “Wit.” Sixty students supported the drama department by buying one or multiple ribbons. The winners were announced Monday, Oct. 5.
“We decided to draw one name for every 30 students,” Emily Hooper said, who actively sold tickets during her lunch throughout September.
The winners were Rachel Julian and Naomi Rosenberg.
They and other audience members will watch the play which emphasizes the theme of “treat others the way you want to be treated.” But “Wit” has a significant meaning for Chestatee High School junior Jordan Pruitt.
Pruitt portrays Susie, the nurse of the lead character, Vivienne Bearing. Pruitt also is a real-life intern at Northeast Georgia Hospital’s oncology unit.
“At the hospital, I take vitals, transport patients, clean wounds and make sure that they are comfortable,” Pruitt said.
She said the staging of “Wit” is “very accurate.”
“There is this one patient and he was acting exactly how Katie (Ivey) portrays Vivienne,” Pruitt said, explaining Vivienne is the professor afflicted with ovarian cancer.
“It’s the most challenging role I’ve ever had and to switch from being Elle Woods (in “Legally Blonde”) to playing 50-year-old Vivienne is very challenging, but it’s awesome,” Ivey said. “It’s a great learning experience.”
The main character has never shown compassion to her college students. She realizes she is all alone in the hospital where doctors are treating here as an experiment rather than as a person.
“We want the audience to see cancer, but also the human side of cancer treatment,” Kelly said. “We want them to have the opportunity to change their manner of interaction with others before it's too late.”