His name is Woodson Bull III, but you can call him "Third." And Professor Laurie Jameson is disinclined to like his jockish, jingoistic attitude. He is, as she puts it, "a walking red state." Believing that Third's sophisticated essay on King Lear could not possibly have been written by such a specimen, Professor Jameson reports his plagiarism to the college's Committee of Academic Standards. But is Jameson's accusation justified? Or is she casting Third as the villain in her own struggle with her relationships, her age and the increasingly polarized political environment?
"It's the certainty of uncertainty in life that makes THIRD so affecting…THIRD exhales a gentle breath of autumn, a rueful awareness of death and of seasons past, that makes it impossible to dismiss it…A gracious air of both apology and forgiveness pervades its attitude to its characters." —NY Times. "[Wasserstein] is in a reflective mood here. Funny and occasionally biting, the playwright poignantly marks the passage of time, not only for her conflicted heroine but for several of the other lovingly drawn characters on stage…There are no outright villains in THIRD…But there certainly are shades of gray, some darker than others." —Associated Press. "Wasserstein's new play—her best in years—is thematically richer and more emotionally satisfying than any mere political screed…[a] story of a woman's self-reassessment as she heads into the third part of her life." —Variety. "…displays Wasserstein's gift for dissecting the emotional and social states of a certain breed of upscale, highly educated women…Wasserstein's trademark wit—at one point Jameson describes her student as a 'walking red state'—is very much in evidence…" —NY Post. "[Wasserstein's] play about a college professor who accuses a student of plagiarism is timely and provocative." —Broadway.com.