Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Margaret Edson's Wit. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Wit: Plot Summary
Wit: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Wit: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Margaret Edson
Historical Context of Wit
Other Books Related to Wit
- Full Title: Wit (often spelled “W;t”)
- When Written: 1991
- Where Written: Washington, D.C.
- When Published: As a book, Wit was first published in 1999. However, it was first performed at South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, California in 1995. It was staged again at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT in 1997, and then at the Union Square Theatre in New York City in 1999. The text of the published play is based on that third, NYC performance.
- Literary Period: Contemporary American Theater
- Genre: Drama
- Setting: The oncology unit at a university hospital
- Climax: Vivian’s death
- Antagonist: Vivian’s own arrogance and lack of empathy, and her doctors’ narrow focus on their research over the value of her life
Extra Credit for Wit
Awards and adaptations. In 2001, the play was adapted into an HBO television film starring Emma Thompson, which went on to win an Emmy. A 2012 Broadway production of the play was nominated for two Tony awards.
Edson’s perseverance. Edson has reported that she sent Wit to sixty theatres across the country in the hopes that one of them would produce it. Certainly, her dedication mirrors that of her protagonist.