Miss Witherspoon is a play written in 2005 by Christopher Durang. It was one of three finalists for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play, a black comedy, was named one of the Ten Best Plays of 2005 by Time Magazine and Newsday.
A woman named Veronica, who is a recent suicide, has to go back to the world of the living to cleanse her “brown tweedy aura” and learn the values of life. She finds herself in Bardo, a Tibetan Buddhist netherworld and the place where you wait to be reincarnated. She is not enthusiastic. All she's interested in is dying again, and as soon as possible. But her perky Indian spirit guide Maryamma insists that she go back to earth, again and again, and it is all for her own good. She is persistently pessimistic and cranky and the other spirits dub her Miss Witherspoon—the kind of name you'd associate with a grumpy old English lady in an Agatha Christie novel.
Miss Witherspoon premiered off Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in association with McCarter Theater on September 9, 2005. It starred Kristine Nielsen as Veronica, Mahira Kakkar as her Indian guide Maryamma, and Linda Gravatt, Jeremy Shamos and Colleen Werthmann in a variety of supporting roles. Subsequent productions include:
- ACT Theatre in Seattle on April 28, 2006 in a production starring Anne Allgood and Terry Edward Moore.
- Integrity Productions in Portland on October 5, 2006, with Kim Bogus as Miss Witherspoon and Adrienne Vogel as Maryamma.
- Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri on December 4th, 2009 with Jan Rogge as Miss Witherspoon and Amy Urbina as Maryamma.
- New City Stage in Philadelphia on December 10, 2010 with Julie Czarnecki as Miss Witherspoon and Indika Senanayake as Maryamma.
- Heller Theatre in Tulsa, Oklahoma on September 10, 2011 in a production starring Kathryn Hartney and Angela Adams.
- Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts in Maplewood, New Jersey on April 12, 2012 xx Bev Sheehan and Jenelle Sosa
- Carolina Actors Studio Theatre in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 28, 2013 in a production starring Shawnna Pledger and Ana Rodriguez).
- 2006 Pulitzer Prize finalists: Drama
- "Miss Witherspoon Snubbed", Seattle Weekly (April 26, 2006)
- Time Magazine - Best of 2005: Theater, December 26, 2005
- Unicorn Theatre Presents 'Miss Witherspoon', kansascity.broadwayworld.com, November 19, 2009
- philly.com: New City Stage presents Durang's 'Miss Witherspoon', by Howard Shapiro, December 14, 2010
- Miss Witherspoon, I presume: Daring and witty play takes on post-9/11 mentality with spiritual ideas, Urban Tulsa Weekly, September 14, 2011
- The New York Times, Theater Review by Ben Brantley: Miss Witherspoon, November 30, 2005
- Google Books: Dramatists Play Service Inc., Miss Witherspoon by Christopher Durang
- Talkin' Broadway review of ACT Seattle production
- Theater Project to present 'Miss Witherspoon' at Burgdorff Center for Performing Arts in Maplewood, NJ.com, March 15, 2012
- 'Miss Witherspoon' will make you laugh – and squirm, by Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer, April 02, 2013