Wouldn't it be interesting to go back in time and to witness the meeting of influential scholars of a particular time period? That is exactly what playwright Mark St. Germain was contemplating when he decided to have a dying Sigmund Freud meet with the young professor, C. S. Lewis in ”Freud's Last Session.”
This fictional meeting of these great minds happened at the beginning of World War II on September 3, 1939 in Dr. Freud's study in his London home. Being that Freud whose mother was Jewish, had just recently left his native Austria due to the invasion by the Germans and their Nazi government, he relocated to London while battling the final stages of oral cancer.
He had been through a multitude of surgeries removing parts of his jaw and palette. Unfortunately, the cancer continued to grow while Freud attempted to live with prosthesis parts in his mouth that were limiting and painful.
C. S. Lewis was a professor and author who still carried the memories of fighting in the trenches during the First World War. While a close friend of J. R.Tolkien, Lewis developed his lectures and stories on his personal beliefs in Christianity.
As Sigmund Freud, Bernie Clark perfectly became this opinionated psychoanalyst who had many strong viewpoints. As C. S. Lewis, Nick Zadina truly became his character, matching Freud at every step while still showing respect for Freud's opinion and concern for his declining health.
"Freud's Last Session" is literally a portal to the past. The set perfectly portrayed a British study of the 1939 even with the radio relaying the latest development with the German invasion of Poland. The clothing was also outstanding in showing a different time, especially Nick Zadina's shoes.
The intended audience for this play is for those who have some background and knowledge about these two. C. S. Lewis had published by this time but had not yet written his well-known “Chronicles of Narnia”. Freud's works were known throughout the world as well as his thoughts about Darwin and evolution and proclaiming to be an atheist.
The play last about ninety minutes with no intermission but also having about twenty minutes after the show for a discussion with the actors.
"Freud's Last Session" will continue at the Howard Drew Theater. The Omaha Community Playhouse located at 6915 Howard St. in Omaha through November 17th with showtime at 7:30 pm. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 pm. on Sundays. Tickets are $ 35 for adults and $ 21 for students with special discounts for groups of twelve or more. To purchase tickets, contact The Omaha Playhouse online at OmahaPlayhouse.org, TicketOmaha.com, or by calling (402) 553-0800.
For a window to the past with an unusual pair of intellectuals, spend a night with "Freud's Last Session."