2nd Story Theatre's current downstage show is "Freud's Last Session". Love, sex, death and the existence of God is up for discussion in "Freud's Last Session", the winner of the 2011 Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play. This show imagines a late-in-life meeting between Dr. Sigmund Freud, the devoutly atheist father of psychoanalysis, and the philosophical Christian author-professor C.S. Lewis. This results in a riveting, tension filled discourse on life's most important questions just weeks before Freud's death during World War II in 1939. He wants to examine why C.S. Lewis who is a famous Christian convert and is about to write "The Screwtape Letters" and "The Chronicles of Narnia", and engage him in a theological debate. It is a terrific and funny debate about faith and reason. Director Pat Hegnauer casts Ed Shea as Sigmund Freud and Wayne Kneeland as C.S. Lewis. She creates a superb and thought provoking two man show that the audience can thoroughly enjoy and appreciate.
Pat elicits fantastic work from both of these actors.The gorgeous office set is by Karl Pelletier.Some of the tension comes from Ed Shea as a wound up, excitable Freud in contrast to Wayne Kneeland as a calm and serene, C.S. Lewis. Freud can't believe a former atheist like Lewis could accept the insidious lie of religion. Freud can't comprehend this so he pokes and prods to find answers. Freud was near the end of his life in this supposed meeting but he had 53 year pioneering psychiatric career behind him. Lewis' answers are calm, pleasant and soothing. He is a reasonable man that the audience easily likes and sides with. The only time Lewis panics is when the air raid siren goes off, reminding him of the horrors of World War 1 when a friend of his was killed before eyes, getting splattered his friend's dead body parts. The show is interspersed with radio bulletins of the impending war as well as Freud's severe pain due to mouth cancer as it ravages him at moments during the show. So for a well acted and well directed show, be sure to catch "Freud's Last Session" it will definitely keep you riveted to your seat.