By Natalie McGovern, Contributor
Conversation between two intellectuals about philosophy sparks heated debate. An argument about the existence of God just adds more fuel to the fire when an atheist psychoanalyst tries to debunk the theology of a devout Christian novelist, whose ideas of humanity revolves around the truths he believes in. Both philosophers come from different walks of life and fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. Religion, in all things enlightened, is merely an unexplained science, an explanation for mystic things unseen.
“Freud’s Last Session,” the 90-minute play about a fictional conversation between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis unearths questions concerning philosophical pillars about life and existence. Lewis plays a dispositional writer with discerning candor and sees Freud and his differing views as tolerable. Freud, on the other hand, finds Lewis a bit less than simpatico. The two often agree to disagree amidst interruption of World War II bombing announcements over the radio and periodic phone calls.
The production, directed by Kevin Lawler, harbors many truths as well as dichotomies, as the atheist’s obsession over gods and goddesses and Egyptian civilizations borders on a deep seated subconscious desire to search for meaning and purpose – to believe in a higher power and to have faith in the unknown. You can’t disprove God exists unless you can prove it otherwise.
Freud refers to religion as “obsessional and hallucinatory psychosis” and disregards scruples and moral code, while Lewis speaks of an inherent conscious given by God to discern right from wrong. A dying Freud defends his position to the death, and Lewis poses the ultimate question: “what if you’re wrong? The afterlife is real and not a myth as you say it is.”
Throughout the conversation, it is discovered Freud may indeed have a soul, atheists acknowledge The Gospels and Christ could not have possibly been invented. Psychologically entertaining and brimming with dry wit, the play is the philosophical indulgence of dueling methodologies of some of history’s greatest intellectuals.
Nick Zadina portrays C.S. Lewis as thought provoking, and Bernie Clark makes for a soundly convincing German-born Sigmund Freud. Both character roles are laced with heavy accents, a bit inconsistent at times, but the play carries and its intellectual quips are not lost on the audience.
Freud’s Last Session runs from Oct. 19 through Nov. 17; Thursday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m. at the Omaha Community Playhouse in the Howard Drew Theatre. Tickets can by purchased by calling the OCP Box Office at (402) 553-0800 and online at www.OmahaPlayhouse.org or www.TicketOmaha.com. Single tickets are $35 for adults and $21 for students. Groups of 12 or more are $23 for adults and $15 for students.