"FREUD'S LAST SESSION" AN INVOLVING, INTELLECTUAL EXERCISE

BONNIE GOLDBERG

Have you ever imagined what it might be like to have a cup of cocoa with Cleopatra as you float on a barge along the Nile or contemplated having a night cap with Napoleon the night before Waterloo? Perhaps a martini with Marilyn Monroe is more your style.

For playwright Mark St. Germain, his fascination is with a pair of gentlemen of more weighty stature, famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and literary giant C. S. Lewis. St. Germain has imagined a meeting between these two masters in their respective fields late in Freud's life, actually only weeks before Freud would take his own life.

The play "Freud's Last Session" will be setting up a comfortable couch at Square One Theatre Company, 2422 Main Street, Stratford weekends until Saturday, November 16.

C. S. Lewis, a competent and assured Gabriel Morrow, has written a book that ridicules Freud's beliefs, especially as they relate to the existence of God in the universe. C. S. Lewis is assured of God's reality as much as Al Kulcsar's wonderfully outspoken Freud is positive God is a fantasy. He is the devout atheist to Lewis' newly proclaimed Christian faith.

The time is September 3, 1939 as war looms ever closer, so near it will be declared that day in England, with snippets of radio announcements punctuating the somber mood. The men meet, at Freud's invitation, in his beautifully appointed study, as a friendly Buddha sits on the mantle, welcoming confessions and revelations. On the top of their agenda perches God, but following close behind are questions about sex, love and the meaning of life. This is an intellectual debate with deep philosophical and thought provoking issues.

C. S. Lewis was a poet, novelist and literary critic who wrote essays and studied theology and the medieval times. He would gain his greatest acclaim by penning "The Chronicles of Narnia The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe." While Freud, who was suffering from oral cancer, would take his own life mere weeks after their meeting, Lewis' death on November 23, 1963 was widely overshadowed by the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. A special commemoration of his death will be celebrated on its fiftieth anniversary this month. Tom Holehan directs this fictional play about two intensely real men and the meeting they might have had.

For tickets ($20, seniors $19), call Square One Theatre Company at 203-375-8778 or online at www.squareonetheatre.com. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 10 at 2 p.m., with a twilight matinee Saturday, November 16 at 4 p.m. You can apply this ticket to purchase a full subscription for the two future plays in the season.

Enter the minds and hearts of two prominent men in England on the eve of England's entrance into World War II, and invite them to lie back on the couch for some revealing psychoanalysis.

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