'Freud's Last Session' opens at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota

Acclaimed drama involves a meeting between Freud and C.S. Lewis

March 13, 2014 

From left, George Crowley (Freud) and Jeffrey Plunkett (C.S. Lewis) in "Freud's Last Session." Brian Braun/PUBLICITY PHOTO

Sigmund Freud is at the end of his life, and he's curious about something.

Why, he wonders, do so many intelligent and intellectual men and woman believe in God?

For the answer, he turns to C.S. Lewis, the author and academic who had converted from atheism to Christianity.

Their meeting is the basis for "Freud's Last Session," which opens Friday for a limited run at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota.

"It is absolutely not historically accurate," said George Tynan Crowley, who plays Freud.

There's no evidence Freud and Lewis met, he said, but it's not much of a literary stretch. Freud and Lewis were contemporaries, and Freud did, in his last days, seek out intellectual theists.

"He wanted to know why people thought God was real," Crowley said.

Playwright Mark St. Germain, perhaps best known to theater audiences for "Camping With Henry and Tom," won the Best Play Award from the Off-Broadway Alliance for "Freud's Last Session" in 2011. It has become a popular choice for theaters around the country in just a few years.

The interplay in the meeting between Freud and Lewis, played by Jeffrey Plunkett, is a heady conversation that veers from the existence of God to love, sex and death -- all favorite topics for Freud.

Details: March 12-23 in the Keating Theatre at Florida Studio Theatre, 241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Show times: 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $32-34. Information: 941-366-9000, www.floridastudiotheatre.org.

-- Marty Clear

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