A Review of “The Visitor”

By Ruth Neubauer, MSW

Having just moved to Denver, Colorado after living in the Washington, DC area for over 28 years and being very active in the psychoanalytic community as a teacher, supervisor, and psychotherapist, I was superbly impressed with a small production of THE VISITOR, by Eric Emmanuel-Schmitt performed at the Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden, Colorado. So much so that I immediately bought the play.

I urge everyone and anyone interested in psychoanalysis to read and see this play.

Not only was this production wonderfully performed and well directed by John Arp, but it was an experience of a thoughtful, evocative, rendering of the most profound questions psychoanalysis offers. The play takes place in 1938, in Freud’s office, just before he leaves Vienna. As the Nazi officer threatens Dr. Freud and his daughter Anna is taken away, someone appears who believes himself to be God and knows a great deal about Freud’s own trauma with his own father when he was 5 years old. As a result, a dialogue between Freud and “God” unveils not only only an explication of the basic tenets of psychoanalytic beliefs but also Sigmund Freud’s genius in writing, thinking, and wrestling with ideas of soul, God, dreams, art, and the human mind.

In “Notes from the Director”, John Arp:

“I was drawn to this play…because it has a boldness about how it asks questions….and a balance in the argument…..I saw….passion…and respect…and….no true answers offered.”

Read it!
See it!
Congratulations to the author for a beautifully crafted, well-researched, thorough exploration of psychoanalytic questions at their best.

Ruth Neubauer, MSW
Denver, Colorado

Ruth Neubauer, MSW, practices in Denver, Colorado after 28 years in Washington, DC teaching, supervising, and in private practice. She remains on the faculty of The Washington School of Psychiatry in Washington, DC and will be teaching with the Denver Psychoanalytic Society this coming year. rneubauertherapy.com and www.retirementorwhatnext.com. Ruth also runs support groups for Women Over 50 in transition in the Denver area.

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