FREUD'S LAST SESSION Play by Mark St. Germain
Suggested by "The Question of God?" by Dr. Armand M. Nicholi Jr.
Directed by: Tyler Marchant. Set, Brian Prather. Lights, Clifton Taylor. Costumes, Mark Mariani. Sound, Beth Lake.
Presented by: Barrington Stage Company.
At: BSC Stage 2, VFW Hall, Pittsfield, MA, through July 3rd. Tickets, $15-30, 413-236-8888, www.barringtonstageco.org
Here is a review of the play from the Boston Globe:
Mark St. Germain has constructed an entire one-act play out of one simple “what if’’: What if Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis had met?Read the full review here.
St. Germain got the idea from a book by Dr. Armand M. Nicholi Jr., “The Question of God’’ - a question to which, in the simplest terms, Lewis answered Yes and Freud No. But that exchange wouldn’t take more than a minute, so in “Freud’s Last Session’’ St. Germain embellishes it with a host of arguments, witticisms, and further questions, many of them drawn from the written work of the two men themselves.
The good news is that the talk is often lively, intelligent, and engaging - perhaps even more so for those audience members who have not read widely in either Freud or Lewis. (And it’s hard to imagine many people outside of academe who’ve read deeply in both.) Freud questions Lewis bluntly about his conversion from atheism to Christianity at 33 (about eight years before this encounter would have taken place); Lewis pushes back with equal vigor, refusing to concede that faith and reason cannot coexist.