Freud’s Last Session

Freud’s Last Session is written by Mark St. Germain, and suggested by The Question of God by Dr. Armand M. Nicholi Jr. It is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York. 

ABOUT THE PLAY

Winner of the “2011 Off-Broadway Best Play”, Freud’s Last Session centers on legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud who invites the young, rising Oxford Don C.S. Lewis to his home in London. On the day England enters World War Two, Freud and Lewis clash about love, sex, the existence of God, and the meaning of life, just weeks before Freud took his own life. Freud’s Last Session is a deeply touching play filled with humour and exploring the minds, hearts and souls of two brilliant men addressing the greatest questions of all time.

MEDIA & SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS

Listen to the RADIO PROMOTION or watch the SHOW TRAILER for 9th Hour’s production of Freud’s Last Session.

Barbara Popel reviewing the show on behalf of Apartment 613 says: “Freud’s Last Session is a thought-provoking and stimulating play.”   |   “It was easy to suspend disbelief and imagine we were eavesdropping on a pair of jousting passionate intellectuals.”   |   “This is a very worthwhile play to go to, especially if you enjoy intellectual stimulation.” 

Watch the PBS documentary that chronicles and compares the lives and beliefs of C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud, which includes a contemporary round table discussion about questions of faith with intellectuals of multiple different perspectives and world views. The documentary is based on the book, “The Question of God” by Dr. Armand M. Nicholi Jr., from which the play is inspired. PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4

Visit the PBS WEBSITE and read the DISCUSSION GUIDE on “The Question of God”.

On the same day in history on which the play Freud’s Last Session is set (September 3, 1939), King George VI delivered a speech, upon which the Oscar winning movie “The King’s Speech” (2010) is inspired. Listen to a recording of the famous speech: THE KING’S SPEECH

The invasion of Poland in September of 1939 commenced just days before the day on which the play Freud’s Last Session is set, being September 3, 1939. Watch archival footage of the 1939 invasion of Poland: PART 1 | PART 2

2013 TOURING PERFORMANCES

MAY 3-5 – St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Nepean | MAY 11 – The Gathering House, Chesterville | MAY 16 – Redeemer Christian High School, Ottawa | MAY 30 – The Metropolitan Bible Church, Ottawa | MAY 31 – West Ottawa Community Church, Carp | JUNE 6 – Dominion-Chalmers United Church, Ottawa | AUGUST 22 – Bethel Pentecostal Church, Nepean | OCTOBER 5 – St. Alban’s Church, Ottawa | OCTOBER 18 – The Gathering House, Chesterville | OCTOBER 20 – Community Pentecostal Church, Orleans | OCTOBER 23 – Kailash Mital Theatre, Carleton University | NOVEMBER 1 – Calvary Baptist Church, Ottawa | NOVEMBER 2 – Resurrection Lutheran Church, Orleans | NOVEMBER 8 – River of Life Christian Fellowship, Arnprior | NOVEMBER 15 – Kanata Baptist Church, Kanata | NOVEMBER 16 – Ecclesiax, Ottawa

PAST PRODUCTIONS

Originally produced at Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield, MA, Julianne Boyd, Artistic Director; Richard M. Parison, Jr., Producing Director. Off-Broadway Production produced by Carolyn Rossi Copeland, Robert Stillman and Jack Thomas.

For more information about other productions of Freud’s Last Sessionincluding production photos and reviews, visit: freudslastsession.com.

AUDIENCE RESPONSE

“[The actors] did a marvelous job… [We] were very impressed.  We especially appreciated how honest the portrayal of Freud and Lewis came across. [The actors] gave the audience permission to genuinely wrestle with the ideas the characters were sharing.” 

“That play was brain candy.”   |   “Freud’s Last Session was witty, relevant, and intriguing. Highly recommend seeing it if you’re in the Ottawa area.”

“I saw Freud’s Last Session with my teenage children last evening. We found it thought-provoking, edifying and moving.”   |   “…both characters were well balanced, so clear and believable.”

“For ninety minutes, I laughed and I cried, and I was so intensely involved in the play that the time flew by…. Thank you for a wonderful and satisfying evening.”

“There were some parts of the dialogue which were so deep that I felt that I would like to have pushed a freeze-frame button to stop the play for time to digest the script and collect my thoughts.”

THE ARTISTS

GEORGE DUTCH (Cast – Sigmund Freud) | CLAUDE HACHÉ (Production Photographer) | JONATHAN HARRIS (Cast – C.S. Lewis) | BETH LAKE (Original Sound Designer) | SUSAN MARRINER (Graphic Designer) | LOGAN MILLER (Stage Manager) | MEGAN PIERCEY MONAFU (Artistic Consultant) | ED VOPNI (Set Builder) | PATTI VOPNI (Production Designer, Associate Stage Manager) | RACHEL-DAWN WALLACE (Production Stage Manager)

THE VOLUNTEERS

BRENDA BLANDFORD (Sewing) | SARAH NIEMAN (Assistant Stage Manager) | SALMAN SHAFI (Audio Visual) | SAM SMITH (Prosthetist) | CLAUDE HACHÉ, BETSY JOHNSON, BEN MACMILLAN, MATT MCKECHNIE, BRUCE NARBAITZ, MARK TURCOTTE, ED VOPNI, DANIEL VOPNI, JULIA VOPNI, PATTI VOPNI (Set Transportation) | LAURA BARKLEY, CHRYSTAL CANN, DALE COBURN, COLLEEN EDWARDS, TIM EDWARDS, KATE GOVER, BETSY JOHNSON, EVELYN JOST, KAREN LEYENAAR, PETER LEYENAAR, ANDREW MCDOUGALL, BRUCE NARBAITZ, DAVE SMITH, MARK TURCOTTE, ED VOPNI, LAURIE WALLACE, RACHEL-DAWN WALLACE (Front of House)

SIGMUND FREUD

Born Sigismund Schlomo Freud on May 6, 1856, Dr. Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist who became known as the founding father of psychoanalysis. Freud was born the first of eight children to Jewish parents in the Moravian town of Pribor (Austrian Empire), now part of the Czech Republic. His father, Jacob Freud, was a wool merchant and Sigmund’s family were Hassidic Jews. His parents apparently favored him over his siblings, and despite their poverty, supported his education. As a result of the Panic of 1857, his father lost his business, and the Freud family moved to Leipzig, before settling in Vienna. Freud loved literature and was proficient in German, French, Italian, Spanish, English, Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, and read William Shakespeare in English throughout his life. He entered the University of Vienna at age 17 and had planned to study law, but joined the medical faculty at the University, where his studies included philosophy, physiology, and zoology. In 1886, Freud married Martha Bernays, and the couple had six children. Freud began smoking tobacco at age 24, and eventually suffered from oral cancer. In January 1933, the Nazis took control of Germany, and Freud’s books were prominent among those they burned and destroyed. By 1938, Freud had fled to live in London, where he eventually died. By mid-September 1939, Freud’s cancer of the oral cavity was causing him increasingly severe pain and had been declared to be inoperable. His daughter, Anna, wanted to postpone his death, but his doctor convinced her it was pointless to keep him alive, and so he administered a series of morphine doses that resulted in Freud’s death on September 23, 1939.

C.S. LEWIS

Born Clive Staples Lewis on November 19, 1898, but was commonly called C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as “Jack”. He was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland. He held academic positions at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. He is best known both for his fictional work, especially The Screwtape LettersThe Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere ChristianityMiracles, and The Problem of Pain. Lewis’s works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends and both active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the “Inklings”. According to his memoir Surprised by Joy, Lewis had been baptised in the Church of Ireland (part of the Anglican Communion) at birth, but fell away from his faith during his adolescence. Owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, at the age of 32 Lewis returned to the Anglican Communion. His faith had a profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim. In 1956, he married the American writer Joy Davidman, 17 years his junior, who died four years later of cancer at the age of 45. Lewis died three years after his wife, from kidney failure. Media coverage of his death was minimal as he died on November 22, 1963, the same day that U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and the same day another famous author, Aldous Huxley, died. 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Lewis’ death.

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VISIT THE SHOW PAGE

Director JONATHAN HARRIS and Ensemble Cast member and Dramaturge GEORGE DUTCH discuss the play with RABBI BULKA on “Sunday Night Live With Rabbi Bulka”, July 12, 2015 on 580 CFRA radio. LISTEN TO THE FULL DISCUSSION

Message from the Director JONATHAN HARRIS on the Great Canadian Theatre Company’s website about staging the play. READ THE BLOG

Review of the play by Rajka Stefanovska for the Capital Critics Circle. READ THE REVIEW

Ottawa Magazine’s article by Amy Allen and Matt Harrison about the play, featured in the Weekender of “6 things to do on the weekend”. READ THE ARTICLE

Ottawa Life Magazine’s article by Kate Tenenhouse about the play “9th Hour Brings Comedy and Conflict to the Stage” READ THE ARTICLE

Review of the play by Jennifer Hartley for Ottawa Life Magazine. READ THE REVIEW

Review of the play by Jennifer Cavanagh for Apartment 613. READ THE REVIEW

Review by Daniel Bezalel Richardsen for Herd Magazine. READ THE REVIEW

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