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February 27, 2013 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-02-27

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6A - Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

'Wit' to question
issues of life, death

Commanding
play confronts
challenging roles
By PAIGE PFLEGER
Daily Arts Writer
Pulitzer Prize-winning play
"Wit" centers on the life of Viv-
ian Bearing, a poetry professor
diagnosed with
stage IV meta- it
static ovar-
ian cancer. It Thursday and
follows her Friday at 7
through the and11 p.m.
years of her life Basement Arts
in flashbacks
and memo- Free
ries. The play,
selected by
director and LSA senior Billy
Jackson, portrays an extremely
powerful plot and delves into
how the importance of a person's
life is measured posthumously.
"I was drawn to this show in
particular because I didn't really
understand it right away," Jack-
son explained. "It was something
I really struggled to understand,
and I thought it was really aim-
ing for something greater than
some of the experiences I've had
so far. It's an incredibly moving
show, and the emotional arc of it.
is really awesome."
School of Music, Theatre &
Dance senior Jane Bruce was
cast in the lead role as Vivian.
The part is challenging due to the
extreme presence needed to por-

tray such an emotional character.
"She's on stage nonstop, no
scene or act breaks, just acting
for two hours straight," Jack-
son said. "She is there the whole
time, engaged in it, which I think
is crazy. She is such a talented
individual, and she's really doing
everything possible to do this
role justice."
As a senior preparing for
graduation, Bruce relates to the
element of change in the show
- the idea that everything even-
tually draws to a close - and
like Vivian Bearing, Bruce isn't
entirely sure what lies beyond
this ending.
"Vivian is a woman who has
always relied on her intelligence
and her quest for perfection as
a means of being satisfied with
her life," Bruce said. "But when
she is faced with her death and
forced to accept the fact that
she will die, she works through
what exactly her life has meant
as a means of trying to find some
final meaning. In doing so, she
makes a discovery about life that
she didn't see before."
Another challenge facing
Bruce is that Vivian has to deal
with the breakdown of barriers a
person deals with when close to
death.
"I think what I like about Viv-
ian is her ability to find the irony
in life, find the humor, find the
wit," Bruce said. "She tries to
be tough as a teacher and with
her intellect and also in going
through the therapy. ... But slow-
ly her layers and her walls come

down, and she is forced to accept
what is on the inside."
The ages of the characters in
the show also pose a challenge
for this student production
because the majority of the cen-
tral characters are 50 or older.
Bruce is challenged not only by
playing an older woman, but also
by the intrinsically intellectual
nature of Vivian.
"I like the challenge," Bruce
said. "It's taught me to see
myself differently, see the world
differently and see life and death
differently. It's not that I person-
ally have all the answers. I am
seeing through a different set of
lenses, and it's a very thought-
provoking process."
Jackson, who is majoring
in Screen Arts and Culture, is
excited to see how the show
and his directing come to frui-
tion. Grateful for a hardworking
cast and crew, both Jackson and
Bruce feel fortunate to be end-
ing their undergraduate careers
with this show in particular.
"It's good drama, good the-
ater, good storytelling," Jackson
said. "It's a very human show
that isn't about single moments.
It's about the sum total of a wom-
an's life being revealed before
our eyes, and how she reaches
a conclusion - what does she
add up to? What is the sum total
of her life? Whether we're 50
years away or five days, what
we are doing here is defined by
an end boundary. And 'Wit' is
what happens when a woman is
pushed right up to that point."

Fries.
Jennifer Lawrence's
unparalleled coolness.

HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS?
WE DO, TOO.
JOIN DAILY ARTS AND CRY WITH US.
E-mail arts@michigandaily.com to request an application!

By ANNA SADOVSKAYA
SeniorArts Editor
"What went through my
mind when I fell down?" Jenni-
fer Lawrence, recent Academy
Award-winner for Best Actress,
isn't afraid to be honest. "A bad
word that I can't say that starts
with 'F.'
Though her fall and Oscar-
worthy recovery have been a hot
topic these past few days, J-Law
has been rocking the chill, no-
fucks-given attitude a long time
before her run in with the stairs.
As the second-youngest
recipient of an Academy Award
for Best Actress, a question was
posed to Lawrence at the post-
Oscars press interviews:
"Do you think you've peaked
too early?"
J-Law fearlessly held her
own, answering that she hadn't
even worried about it, and now
she's bound to, earning laughs

from the crowd. This is the rea-
son people want to be her best
friend - she's the type of girl
you'd want to roadtrip with,
have at your party to crack
jokes and laugh at stupid things
with. And though the question
is clumsy, it's the way Lawrence
handled it that makes her relat-
able: She's honest in a way many
famous people aren't.
Celebrities are mostly broken
into two categories: Those that
are poised, humbled by their
successes and keep their per-
sonal life and thoughts private,
and those that are anti-fame,
critical of the mainstream
success and feel awkward on
the red carpet. And while it's
always fun to watch someone
bash on the glamour and glitz of
Hollywood, it's a lot more inter-
esting to see someone genuinely
working through the details of
stardom.
As an actress, Lawrence

! aCall:#'
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ACROSS
1 Not interesting
7 Real heel
10 German exports
14 Beaucoup
15 Eight-time Noris
Trophy winner
16 Bit attachment
17 *Largest port in
NWAfrica
19 "BlackBeauty"
author Sewell
20 Metric distances:
Abbr.
21 Athos, to Porthos
22 Word with dark or
gray
24 *Warrior'scry
27 Hersey novel
satting
30 Rob Roy's refusal
31 Four-time
Grammy winner
Lovett
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35 23-Down's div.
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41 t. Worth campus
42 *Knocking sound
46 Astralian six-
tooters
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50 "SNL"alum Mike
51 'Delighted
54 Animalsawho like
to teat on their
back
55 Female hare
56 "Hardly!"
59 Violin holder
60e'lsland naton in
the Indian Ocean
64A sweatshirtmay
have one
65 Reeker Rove
66 Sedative
67 Oversight lodging
choices
68 Lowagrade
61 Incursions ... or,
phonetically, what
the anwemto
starred clues
contain
DOWN
1 With 2-Down,
"Rio Lobo" actor
2 See 1-Down

4 ctinlr inrnneo 00 Thine tolren fnr 1",1 RAinh

3 __ stckc: incense
4 Hagen often
mentioned on
"Inside the Actors
Studio"
5 Head, slangily
6 Key of
Beethoven's
"Emperor'
concerto
7 Funnel-shaped
8 Compass-aided
curve
9 Pulitzer category
10 Like a spoiled kid,
often
11 Unwritten
reminder
12 Cab storage site
13 Hunted Carroll
creature
18 Microwave
maker
23 Braves, on
scoreboards
24 Against
25 Exactly
2e Mauna_
27'Whosodiggeth
_ shall fall
therein": Proverbs
28 Fundraierwith
steps?

29 Thring taKen Tor
granted
33 California's Big -
34 Not dis?
36 Chow
39 Avatar of Vishnu
40 Wd. derivation
43 Some Duracells
44 Silly talk
4.q Fnil maker

5i _minn
52 Comparable to a
March hare
53 Words with lamb
or mutton
56 School sportsaorg
57 Like Cheerios
58 Half of seis
61 Fire truck item
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started out on TBS "The Bill
Engvall Show," for which she
received a Young Artist Award.
She went on to guest star in
various TV shows and star in
independently acclaimed films"
until her role as Ree Dolly in
"Winter's Bone." Nominated
for an Academy Award for Best
Actress, J-Law went on to star
in "X-Men: First Class," "The
Hunger Games" and "Silver
Linings Playbook," among oth-
ers.
As someone with years of liv-
ing experience, I can guarantee
you there are days all I want
to do is sit around, watch bad
TV and eat. And I'd prefer to
do it pants-less. And I'm pretty
sure J-Law would be down for
the same kind of day; she's an
actress because that's her career
of choice, and so far, it doesn't
seem to be hindering her ability
to be herself in interviews, press
conferences and movie pre-
mieres. She's just J-Law, rocking
out, every day.
And while 22 is quite young
to receive an Academy Award, *
it's not underserved. While it's
true some actors and actresses
get by on reputation and per-
sona, J-Law is a solid performer
that also happens to like eating
McDonald's. A lot.
We all just
want to hang
out with J-Law
without pants.
Ultimately, my obsession
with her stems from her real-
ness; I don't find her fake, phony,
rehearsed or produced. I believe
her when she says in order to
get ready for a premiere she ate
French fries and laid in bed until
three. I laughed when she talked
about being followed by paparaz-
zi only to realize she wasn't. I
watch her interviews and under-
stand why she makes funny faces
because there's no way I'd be
able to sit and answer questions
for hours on end without some
kind of entertainment. She's not
refined, but she's real. And that's
cool, I dig it. It's endearing to
hear her talk about how nervous
and fan-girl she gets when talk-
ing to famous actors and actress-
es. She's living out her life any
20-year-old girl would if she was
thrust into fame.
When asked about her down-
to-earth personality at the
world premiere of "The Hunger
Games," J-Law responded with,
"I'm just dumb and blurt every-
thing out! It's not - that's not
what it is at all. Everybody tries
to think it's a positive thing but
it's not. It's not."
And even though it might not
be on purpose, it's pretty awe-
some to hear someone talking
about how excited they are to
sleep rather than jump right into
another movie.

q
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{c)2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

02/27/13

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