SECRETS: The Untold Story of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung

A New Drama by Broadway Producer Ken Wydro about the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. One Thousand letters were exchanged between these two Masterminds of psychological analysis. One Thousand letters. In six years. This play is based on those actual letters.< FIRST POST - Click on MAY under "Archives" >

Jun 30, 2006

"...this breakup with Freud was necessary..."





The people who know best and have studied the works of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung -- as well as their intimate and passionate relationship -- have very different takes on what went wrong between them. Depending on which camp one is aligned with, either Freud or Jung played the heavy while the other one was given a free pass and absolved of any blame in the coming together and the splitting apart.

Many historians of the early days of psychoanalysis would probably agree that there were professional and personal differences between the two that made it impossible to continue. Certainly, two major forces in any one field of study could disagree – and agree to disagree – and still have lunch and be glad to see each other at some professional conference -- if there were no personal animosity and hard feelings in play.

It is clear, an objective fact if you will, that after 1913, Freud and Jung did their best to stay clear of each other, would barely mention each other’s name and did their best to avoid any discussion or give commentary on what had driven them apart with such a vengeance.

Given those circumstances and hard feelings, my conclusion as playwright was that their “divorce” was more personal than professional. Yes, Freud was committed to the idea of Libido as being sexual in nature while Jung saw Libido more as an energy force that drove many forms of desires and aspects of creativity. For Jung, Libido could have a sexual expression but Libido could also be manifested in the composition of a piece of music or the writing of a novel.

OK, you think Libido is this, and I think Libido is that – let’s laugh about it and go out and have some dinner and a few glasses of wine and laugh about how and why we can’t agree about everything all the time. We have different takes – big deal, so what, who cares? Let’s get together next time you are in town.

But that is not what happened to Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. When they broke up, each felt deep disappointment, abandonment, fractured souls, and broken hearts. Jung, in particular, even though he had “driven” the split, fell into a deep depression taking a long time to recover and get over the hurt and pain.

On one level, he had to be his own man and remove himself from the shadows of Freud, but on the other hand, Jung felt deeply disturbed and wounded by the good-bye letter from Freud. His depression was deep and dark, needing someone like his former patient and current mistress-research assistant, Antonia “Toni” Wolff, to help him navigate the swirling, dangerous waters of turbulent emotions.

Toni Wolff herself had once been lost and drowning in her own depression when Jung “descended” and helped to fish her out.

Now, when Jung had the similar sense of drowning in his own depths, Toni was the one who threw out the lifeline that Jung grabbed hold of.

Emma, Jung’s wife, had never really been there – in that kind of frightening depression – and had little frame of reference or personal skill to rescue her husband. In a sense, Carl and Toni had shared a foxhole together, huddling together while the bombs and bullets had whizzed over their heads. Emma never fought that kind of personal war, either within herself or in a hospital or therapy situation.

So – there was a need in Jung that Emma, at the time, could not fill nor could many others. Difficult to explain or understand by anyone else on the outside, but to Emma’s credit and stamina, she hung in there when many other wives or family members would have thrown in the towel.

Yet, it seems clear to me – and this is my take on the subject – this breakup with Freud was necessary for him to reach his more original and authentic self to evolve. In fact, only later did Jung begin to formulate that this journey toward and quest for the Original and Authentic Self was the true “meaning” of life. The more one could get at the core of one’s issues and get past the needs and issues of the past, the more one could come into and express the Capital S “Self.”

From that point of view, the Self is another “take” on God – the transpersonal, creative force and energy that is within us and around us all the time. Realizing Self, or coming to know and accept God, is the main task of every individual – and therein, Jung had a very different “take” on reality than Freud.

Perhaps it had to do with the indisputable fact that Jung had a Christian family and background and Freud came out of a Jewish culture. Whatever the reason or the source, Jung had a take on God that was different than Freud. There is evidence that Freud, not an observer of Jewish rituals and customs, did not wholeheartedly believe in the concept of God while Jung was open to the possibility – or it could be said that they had different takes on what was in play in the lives of humans on earth.

Their “different takes” most likely played into the eventual breakup of these two pioneers, and it is certainly true that there could be “different takes” on what really happened between Freud and Jung. SECRETS is my particular take on hundred-year-old story, and I certainly believe that there are other takes that are possible for a book, a play or a movie.

There is so much material available to the prospective playwright or screenwriter that there could be many points of view about how the relationship grew and split apart, and I invite others to do what I have done to this point, especially if you have a different take than what I have presented in SECRETS -- that the breakup was personal in nature, and necessary for both Freud and Jung to become what they eventually became. They were enamored of each other - not actually physical lovers – and their relationship played out a classic courtship-honeymoon-divorce romance.

Do the research, read the letters, write the play, audition and pay the actors, arrange for and direct a series of readings, invite industry professionals, identify potential bookings in the USA, Europe and Israel – and then see what others say about your take on the subject.

I can guess that the same would happen for you that has recently happened with me. Others would have “different takes” – perhaps even tell you what you should have written – and wonder why you presented the material as you had.

So much comes down to “different takes,” and the current version of SECRETS: The Sigmund Freud – Carl Jung Affair, the writing is not yet finished. There will probably be more rewrites as I work with a director and actors in future productions

I have been greatly energized and inspired by the work on the Freud-Jung material, so far. I imagine seeing productions all over the world, and I invite others to write and stage their own versions of this story. There is a lot to say about these two characters that may help to illuminate and enlighten us even more about their views and concepts that have had such an impact on the 20th Century and beyond.

Jun 27, 2006


A Commentary
SECRETS: The Sigmund Freud- Carl Jung Affair
by Ken Wydro

One of the subjects that has opened up for me while writing the original drama SECRETS is the whole chemistry of “falling in love.” I recently heard the old American standard song, “I Fall In Love Too Easily.” I fall in love too fast. I fall in love so terribly hard for love to ever last. The Kenny Rankin version. Amd it seemed to me that that is what happened to Freud and Jung, as well as so many millions of others – heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual – since then.

What happens when, seemingly suddenly and out of the blue, someone walks into our lives and – bingo! There is a chemistry, an electricity, a sense of magic and mystery, of the Right Person materializing out of almost thin air. There follows a period of play, of can’t –wait- to- be- with- each- other, of making plans in wonderfully charged midnight conversations. Something had been missing your whole life long, a deep part of you not quite complete, and then – whew! Everything seems clear. Everything seems right. All the pieces seem to be falling into place.

Then, you go away, far away from everybody else, on a honeymoon, a long voyage to another country where you are with each other nearly twenty-four hours a day. And something happens – a word, a phrase, a revealing emotional outburst, a quick flash of insight into the other side of the person, the shadow side, which throws the entire fantasy into a different light.

Perhaps there was a secret revealed, or passionate denial or severe defense of a minor point. You begin to see aspects of the other person that were hidden or kept under wraps until now, and you wonder – what else is hiding under there? What issues and sore points will be happened upon tomorrow?

Sometimes, like with Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, the divorce proceedings actually begin on the honeymoon when there is not much to do but to be with each other. This happened in August and September of 1909 when Freud and Jung were invited to speak to receptive colleagues at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. Their dangerous game was to analyze each other’s dreams – both had a knack and a talent for seeing the symbolic nature of dreams in their patients – yet when it came to questioning or interpreting each other’s inner life, there emerged a split and a difference that could never be bridged again - for example - Freud’s dream about Minna (his sister-in-law) amd Martha ( his wife) followed by Jung’s dream about the two skulls. Freud refused to answer Jung’s basic psychoanalytic questions about his dream while Jung believed that Freud consciously or unconsciously misinterpreted the significance of bringing the two skulls up into the light.

The rift between Freud and Jung took more than three years to finally play out, slowly and painfully as if connective tissue were being pulled apart inch by inch. The mental, artistic and spiritual fibers that had grown so strong between then came apart, one by one as it were, each feeling as if something were being torn out strand by strand.

Although both were masterminds and innovative thinkers in their own right, when it came to each other, both were blind, uneasy and ineffectual. The end of their “affair” was deeply depressing to both, especially Carl Jung who had driven the divorce, partly to become his own man and travel his own road.

So, what can we make of all this? What can be gleaned from the witnessing of such a train wreck that almost everybody saw coming? Can we reach a better understanding about the chemistry of “falling in love” by gaining some insight into the Freud-Jung “affair.”

What was really going on here, anyway?

Actually, some of the ideas and theories of Freud and Jung do shed great light on the mystery of falling in love so easily, falling in love so fast. While investigating and exploring the nature and the structure of the psyche, especially the realm of the unconscious, both Freud and Jung began to postulate the notion of projection, the idea of seeing in someone else what you want him or her to be. As with most psychological terms and conditions, a projection takes place when certain conditions are present, ripe as it were.

One of the clearest descriptions of the relationship between projection and falling in love can be found in the book INVISIBLE PARTNERS by John Sanford who paints a clear picture of why, let’s say, a 55 year old man who has a wife and grown children and is extremely successful in business will one day, beyond all reason, fall head-over-heels in love with a cute and perky 26 year old female he meets at some office party and then become willing to give it all up for her, placing everything he has worked so hard for, and for so long, in total jeopardy.

Or why, an otherwise balanced and stable 38 or 40 year old woman is suddenly taken by the new minister of the church, or a swarthy contractor who has been hired to do construction on the deck of the house, arranging secret, private rendezvous’ with the ever-present dangers of being caught in the act.

In both cases, the “roving” man or woman begins to felt that the new character on the scene is the perfect one to fill something that that has otherwise remained unfulfilled – that this person will bring love, excitement, adventure and a new lease on life. With a near vengeance, the one who is projecting will pursue, demand and create situations to be with the new lover, until the new paramour on the scene begins to feel stalked, boxed in and totally restricted. What seemed to be perfect, the ideal finally becoming real, inevitably becomes dangerous, tortured, devastating and impossible to maintain

And this is where the Freudian/Jungian notions come into play. Freud postulated that all human are to some degree bisexual in that each person has a blend of both masculine and feminine tendencies and capacities. Since the man most often identifies with the male body and gender, he values and develops the “masculine” tendencies while the feminine capacities get pushed down and back into the unconscious.

After years and years of being a man, of fighting and winning and planning and strategizing for victory – winning is not everything, it is the ONLY thing – the repressed feminine side wants some way out, some means of expression. Almost like a jack-in-the-box, that feminine side, so long neglected and undervalued,
will pop up and demand some attention. That need, that pressure, finds a release in a person on the outside. The repressed need becomes projected on to a real live person when it is really a manifestation of an inner imbalance,

So, that 55 year old man sees in the available, beautiful and attentive young lady the embodiment of what he has repressed for so many years, his feminine side. His dreams and his needs come true. He looks for on the outside what can only be really answered from within, usually with disastrous consequences.

In this light, that is what happened to both Freud and Jung. Freud, in his mid-50s, had had a long, tough and rocky road in trying to establish is ideas and methods to mainstream medicine and therapy. He wanted and needed a shining young knight to carry his banner into the war of credibility and prominence. Jung was tall, energetic, charismatic and, above all, receptive to Freud’s fields of study and innovation.

For his part, Jung was ready and able to play the role of star actor delivering the lines of the master playwright. In Freud, Jung saw the father he never had, the master choreographer who would design the performances exactly for the gifted dancer. They at first saw in each other the perfect partner, the one to build a future upon. Each stimulated, inspired and energized each other with new possibilities.

Until. Until the fantasy and the projection ran into reality. The inner, underlying truth – the constellation of complexes with each of them – began to wear on each other and on themselves.

The break up was as inevitable as the parting of the ways of the 55 year old executive and the 26 year old love toy. After a while, they rubbed each other the wrong way, although it must be noted that Freud made numerous attempts to patch up the differences. In the end, the adopted son had to leave the home of the famous father, or else live in his shadow forever.

Ironically enough, it was Emma Jung, Carl’s faithful and deeply tested wife, who wrote about projection in her work on the Animus and Anima. Maybe in order to make some sense of the role of her husband in the deeply provocative “affair” with Sigmund Freud.

What Freud and Jung remained faithful to until the end, however, was the idea that the unconscious side of an individual always plays into everyday life in an intimate and deep way. In order to understand who you are, and why you do what you do, you must turn within to recognize, examine and ultimately embrace those events and issues of the past.

Jung was to call this turn within in order to better understand yourself “The Heroic Journey.” In SECRETS, we catch a glimpse of the two masterminds trying to master themselves. Maybe we can begin to understand why . . . why . . . why did he . . . why did I do THAT?

Jun 26, 2006

After the readings were over . . .

by Ken Wydro

Today is the summer solstice, the longest day and the shortest night of the year. It is one day after the final reading of SECRETS, last night for a group of thirty or so members of the Knickerbocker Yacht Club of Great Neck, New York. This audience promised to be a tough and telling one. They were all seasoned and accomplished professionals, ranging from medical doctors to writers to owners of retail businesses and high level administrators. They would not hold anything back, and would speak their minds, one way or another.

I was more than a bit nervous, as the well dressed, animated group filed in. The cast of SECRETS and I had not had a rehearsal in nearly ten days. I had spent the entire day, until midnight, in a studio with Danny Tannenbaum, the 22 year old music prodigy who had improvised and composed the incidental music for SECRETS. Now it was time to record it and have it on CD in case we needed to send the script with the music to would-be investors, producers and directors. It was the ninth public presentation of the new drama about the intense, soul-searing relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung during the years 1907-1913. After the readings were over, attended by about 200 people all together, certain questions remained, certain issues unsettled, certain problems were clarified for the playwright to solve on the next step of sculpting the final script.

For the playwright, there is nothing more exciting or sobering than having the play on its feet in front of an audience, especially one that is composed of other playwrights, producers, directors and, in this case, analysts and psychiatrists. There is a rush of adrenaline plus a queasy trepidation as the actors read the words and express the emotions and feelings under the words. Just by sitting around the table reading the script, you don't get the "feel" of the play as you do when there is an audience in the seats.

You can tell from the back of the room what is working and what is not just by the body language of the audience, whether or not they are reading the program or looking at their watches. From the first staged readings in late February and early March to the last ones in late May and early June, 2006, only two or three scenes remained the same as first written. Twenty or more were revised, cut, expanded or re-positioned. More re-writes are still to come, but here is where we are right now.

The acid test came when I went to dinner down the block at Sylvia’s, the famous soul-food restaurant. When I walked into the private dining room, the members of the Knickerbocker Club began to applaud, catching me very off guard. I sat at two different tables during the mean, engaged in lively discussion. The verdict was uniformly positive and up beat. They enjoyed the performances, feeling that the acting performances were authentic, real and, most of all, touching. I was there for two hours in the restaurant, listening and discussing what the next steps could be. The people in this group were exactly the ones would buy tickets on Broadway, possibly be investors to the show. They seemed to get a kick out of being present so early in the game. It was extremely gratifying to work with the actors and to receive so much encouragement and positive feedback from the audience, but there is more work to do. Not finished yet. Everything, I believe, can and will get better from here. These are some of the points that were discussed at Sylvia’s with the Knickerbocker Yacht Club members

1. Why did Freud and Jung break up? What drove them to such a heart-wrenching and bitter "divorce?"

It is now clearer than ever that the focus or arc of this play follows the "courtship-honeymoon- divorce" pattern of most romances that do not work out in the end. In the early years of 1907 - 1909, both Freud and Jung put their best foot forward, seeing in each other what they thought they were missing and needed in life. They projected onto each other Mr. Right, the fantasy "other" who was what they always wanted and needed but did not have. The one to make your life thrilling, exciting and worthwhile for all the years to come.

The Perfect Partner who would complete their lives, and with whom they would live happily ever after. Each was ready to give to the other time, energy, effort, attention as they made plans for a glorious and fulfilling future.

As sometimes (often) happens, on the honeymoon, when they spent so much time together away from the routine business of everyday life --in this case the steam ship journey across the Atlantic ocean from Bremen, Germany to New York and back when they gave the now famous lectures at Clark University -- certain issues began to surface, suddenly, quite astonishingly, neither was for the other what they thought they would be. As focused in the dream sharing scenes, both caught a glimpse of the other side of each other -- the shadow side -- and the fantasy of the perfect "marriage" -- until-death-do-us-part variety -- began to get a hard dose of reality.

Once the illusion began to fade, the long, slow, painful divorce proceedings began. Each began to blame and shame each other for not doing or being what each was "supposed" to be or do. By the time the final papers arrived -- Freud's letter to Jung on January 3, 1913 -- there was no turning back, no reconciliation possible. What had been whole and complete was now broken and fractured beyond repair. Freud and Jung each had to pick themselves up, healing the scalding wounds and start all over again.

What had started out with so much passion, hope and desire for a long and happy association left both Freud and Jung deeply wounded and in dark depression. In this play, at least, the main reason Freud and Jung broke up was not primarily due to philosophical or theoretical differences. The main reason they were torn apart was INCOMPATIBLE COMPLEXES.

In the end, they could not get along. They could not deal with each other's issues, and they could not deal with their own. Freud had willingly accepted the role of Father -- wise, experienced, challenging, insightful -- and Jung has cast himself in the role of the anointed and chosen Son. Until he did not want to be told what to do, where to go, when to be good and obedient. Then, Carl Jung rebelled. He stood up against the Father in order to be his own man. He drove the breakup, for sure, compelled by an inner drive to be free, to be himself, to write his own script no matter what Daddy thought or felt.

Ironically, Freud and Jung played the Oedipus complex out on each other, with no one coming out as winner. Incompatible complexes -- that's why people go their separate ways. A universal story, isn't it?

That is what this play is really about -- why the greatest of romantic fantasies just do not work out in the end.

2. Why didn't you . . .?

The main problem for me as playwright was that there were mountains of material written on both Freud and Jung separately, and other material about what happened between the. The 1000 letters they wrote to each other, just for the start. The challenge is to edit, filter, and shape all that material into a two hour stage experience that somehow captures the passion and the pain that both endured while they were together.

The bottom line has become - at least for now - that this play is more about their personal interaction, not so much their intellectual and theoretical differences. Those matters of difference could have conceivably been worked out... "Fine, we agree to disagree, and still have lunch and a laugh at the bar when the lectures are done."

But the fact -- the historical fact -- that they hardly spoke to each other after early 1913 -- told me that the hard feelings were more personal. They seemed to me like partners in business who start out with such hope and ambition but once things begin to fall apart, they never want to see each other again. Maybe like a songwriting team, one composer, one lyricist who write a few great songs --Lennon and McCartney? -- and then, poof! - it's over, never the same again. Professional, or personal?

What is really going on here? That is what this play is becoming -- the behind the scenes events that bring people together, then break them up, almost beyond their control.

For those who ask, why didn't you . . .? I suggest that they write their own version of the Freud-Jung story. Certainly there is enough material for several plays/movies on the relationship.

The personal story, between 1907-1913, is what I choose to present. I will gladly leave other points of view to other writers.

3. Why did Emma Jung allow/tolerate the presence of Jung's mistress/partner, Toni Wolff, in her house for so many years? What was that all about?

Somehow Emma's words or spin do not tell the whole story, which is likely to remain a mystery now as then. In the final scene of SECRETS, Emma opens to tell the audience that "Toni Wolff did nor my husband what I nor anyone else could do for him during the terrible depression he suffered after the break up with Dr. Freud . . . You see, Carl never took anything FROM me to give to Toni, but the more he gave to Toni, the more he seemed to be able to give to me."

Emma Jung wrote those words near the end of her life, but did she mean them? What was she not saying but feeling after all those years?

It seems a historical fact that Carl Jung did successfully complete a kind of shamanic retrieval therapy when Toni Wolff, about fifteen years his junior, was at the Bergholzli clinic near Zurich. Toni was broken, almost catatonic, incommunicative when Jung somehow reached her, helped to put together some of the pieces in her soul so that when she recovered, at least became well enough to get discharged from the clinic, she channeled her love and energy to him. He became the apple of her eye, the one and only one for her -- remember Sondheim's PASSION on Broadway a decade or so ago?

Toni Wolff was brilliant, dynamic, emotionally charged as someone might be who had been to hell and back and lived to talk about it. Emma, as a well-bred, well-educated young woman from a wealthy Swiss industrial family, never descended into that dark, shadowy, frightening world. She has no reference for that deep kind of depression, so she was very much at a loss of what to do when she says Carl fall into that dark hole after the break up with Freud. No frame of reference.

It is a tribute to Emma's patience, stamina and deep trust of the healing nature of the universe that she stayed in the game while Carl apparently strayed from the straight and narrow. It is to her credit that Emma stayed true to the end, while also developing her own gift as an analyst, writer and keeper of the house.

What most people have said, about the character of Emma Jung and about the actresses who have played her (Maureen O'Malley and Morganne Davies), is that she comes through it all with flying colors. Especially in the monologues -- based on her own heartfelt letters to Freud and others -- Emma Jung was the solid rock, the wind beneath Carl's wings. Emma provides the emotion, the feminine touch in SECRETS, so badly needed as the two rams duke it out.

4. What is the relationship between a "secret" and a "complex?" How does a secret become a complex? In the play, Jung says that "secrets can make you sick." Freud replies, "More than that. Secrets can kill you. You can get away WITH a secret. You can't get away FROM it." What does the mean? How does it work in everyday life?

First of all, not many people know exactly what complex is, but most people know what a secret is. Both have to do with knowing, thinking or feeling something that you do not want to say or express out loud to anyone else.

In that way, a secret is something very private and personal, something you keep to yourself, thinking and believing that if you keep the secret hidden away from the outside world, everything will be allright. If no one finds out about the secret, all is well and fine.

What Freud and Jung discovered, almost at the same time in the early 1900s, was that when you push something down, out of sight, in the background of your mind, so to speak, it doesn't go away. The secrets, the feelings, the emotions go underground and get buried in the back of the mind, in what Freud and Jung would call the unconscious, or the "shadow" side of the psyche.

Once rooted in the unconscious, shadow side, the feelings gain power and force. They develop into what we would call to "issues" that a person carries within for a whole life long. Freud and Jung called these forces "complexes" and began to understand that the unconscious complexes could lead into addictions, repeated self-defeating patterns and even physical illness. How secrets become complexes and how those secret complexes influence and play out in our personal and professional lives is what the play SECRETS: The Sigmund Freud - Carl Jung Affair is all about.

Both Freud and Jung knew that therapy could not begin until they could get at the patient's secret, complex-ridden life. Only then could there be a cure. Unfortunately, both had their own secrets and complexes that they could not get over, Each triggered each other's complexes in such a way that the final break up was necessary and invitable for each to continue their pioneering work

Jun 17, 2006

Jun 8, 2006


The Background Story of
SECRETS: The Sigmund Freud-Carl Jung Affair

The birth of a new drama, especially one about two great masterminds of the 20th century, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, came about in a most unusual way. Or, perhaps not. Each new creation has its own background story, the coming together at the right moment beyond all predictions and calculations.

After all, you never know when you are going to fall in love.

Right from the start, the writing, directing and producing of this play has been a labor of love. The first draft of this play came to me shortly after the long, hard and painful death of my mother, Olga Dolly Wydro, who had been in and out of emergency rooms and ICU centers of various hospitals for nearly five years before her passing on August 17, 2005.

The dramatic rushes to the hospital in ambulances just in the nick of time had drained the family of energy, spirit and resources. In my case, I found myself up against a wall as a writer and theatre director. Nothing was happening in me or around me other than the concern and helplessness in the presence of my mother who let me know at every turn that "old age is hell."

After the funeral, I found myself in need of rejuvenation and recouperation, so I booked myself into a healing spa in Ixtapan, six thousand feet in the mountains of Mexico. I had had my own bouts with longstanding issues and complexes, which I had been probing in a three year journey in psychoanalysis. During that time, my mentor and analyst, who prefers to remain nameless, had guided me through a number of twisting and disturbing dreams in personal session, and had given me a number of revealing books that were illuminations of contemporary psychoanalytic theory.

In the past, out of my own wonderings, I had read the basic primary texts of Freud and Carl Jung, realizing that the realm of the unconscious, the part of the psyche which was not apparent in everyday waking life, had great impact in the life of my mother, for example. When I examined her life story, from a writer's point of view, I saw habits and patterns that had existed from her childhood that she had never examined or confronted in the course of everyday business life. She never had the time or the inclination to examine her own issues and complexes, mainly because she never knew they were there or how to name them.

Seeing her hooked up to all sorts of tubes and machines made me vow not to die like her -- upset, worried, full of physical pain and psychological angst. The path, it seemed to me, was inward, a coming to terms about how and why I had certain characteristics, Things I did not like about myself, which also got on the nerves of other people.

I brought with me to Mexico several blank journals as well as blank cassette tapes so I could put down my story and try to get a better angle on what was happening inside me, for quite a long time, if I had to tell the honest -to-God truth. I also brought with me several books on the personal history and relationship between Freud and Jung. There seemed tome to be a story there, one that I had never seen dramatized either on stage or on screen. I knew from past experience, twenty five years of making a living in the professional theatre, that their personal and professional story would be at once fascinating and elusive to put down in a two hour drama. There is so much material on these two icons that it was difficult to know where to begin.

All this was in the back of my mind as I trekked up in the mountains of Ixtapan.

I invested seven or eight hours a day in the healing mineral pools, ate fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, received deep tissue shiatsu massages and recorded about twenty dreams in the first two weeks on the retreat. In the beginning of the third week, something baffling, strange and wonderful happened. I had placed eight or nine books on a sofa in the room, an untidy little pile of stuff which I intended to get to at some point. After lunch, for whatever reason, while tidying up the room, the cleaning lady had placed one book on my freshly made bed, perhaps a subtle reminder to me to take better care of my own possessions.

The book was entitled FRED AND JUNG: YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP, YEARS OF LOSS by Linda Donn which was a thoughtful composite of the nearly 1000 letters that Freud and Jung had written to each other from 1907-1913. I read the book in two days, realizing that the behind-the-scenes drama between the two men were in the letters. My primary source material had, in a strange way, opened up before and was "given" to me with much effort, plan or deliberation.

The final two weeks in the mountains of Mexico went by in what some call "a flow." That is, I sat down with one of my blank journals, started writing longhand at 7 or 8 at night. I would look up and it would be 2 or 3 in the morning. It was as if five or ten minutes had gone by when really it had been five or six hours. More than one half of the first draft of the script, which I first called COMPLEXES: The Sigmund Freud - Carl Jung Affair, was written in the sauna where it felt to me as if I were taking dictation rather than writing.

I would turn the sand time dial -- taking a half-hour to empty down -- and would look up to find the sands of time had worn down. Sometimes, dripping with sweat and de-toxifying at the same time, I would stay in the sauna on the Sixth Floor Men's locker room for two or three hours, finishing just in time for the 5 pm hatha yoga class. The first draft, based on the letters compiled by Linda Donn, was nearly 120 pages long. I knew that I would have to re-write and cut back, and somehow make the epistilary language more ready for the stage.

I arrived back in New York on Oct. 31, 2005 -- Halloween -- with two blank journals now totally full and thick with sauna sweat. I had the time to read over the first draft on the flight from Mexico City, and was struck by the sense that the relationship between Freud and Jung was like a romance -- a period of fun, play and courtship followed by a honeymoon on the steamship to and from America in August of 1909, followed by a falling out and a bitter "divorce" in early 1913. There was no evidence of a physical expression of their "love" for each other -- no secret rendezvous in a hidden away chalet - yet there was much evidence that the energy, need and hope shared by both Freud and Jung was an affair of the mind and of the soul.

After all, when you write someone 1000 letters in the course of six years, that averages out to be a letter every two or three days. To me, that meant they were on each other's mind more than the average business or professional relationship. The idea that kept me flying and walking on air was that I should or could audition actors, cast the play, hear it read around the table, perhaps do a staged reading for theatre professionals. And that is what I did. I placed an ad in the Nov. 17, 2005 BACKSTAGE newspaper in New York, which nearly 100 actors came to audition. Eighty women came to read for Emma Jung, and only five or ten actors came for the roles of Freud and Jung. After callbacks, I began rehearsals in early December with two casts -- Cast A which read the dialaogue with no accents, and Cast AA which read the script with European accents. After each reading, I would re-write and pare down, so by the middle of December, the script was down to about 80 pages, with a running time of over two hours. Still more editing to do, and I took a break between mid-December and mid-January 2006. During that time, I read, looked at photographs of the Jung and Freud family, and began to think about who would be best to play these characters on a big stage like Broadway or the West End of London. Both Freud and Jung, it was apparent, were dynamic, volatile personalities, with deep-rooted complexes and issues of their own. Any actor who would tackle this role would need to dig own deep into their own psyches and would have to be willing to open to their own vulnerabilities and secret issues. During the New Year hiatus, I scheduled two staged readings with theatre industry professionals as well as analysts in the audience. We had a target in sight -- Tuesday, Feb. 28 and Wednesday, March 1 -- and we began to select the scenes that would play about an hour, with feedback and discussion to follow. We selected three or four scenes from the beginning of the play, a few scenes from the middle -- especially the voyage to America on January 3, 1913. During that time, I invested some personal funds to put lighting equipment in the MAMA Foundation in Harlem, and paid the actors for each rehearsal and performance.

The response to the first two readings was so positive -- some in the audience cried when Freud finished his letter of good-bye -- that I scheduled two more readings at the end of March. I was also able to secure a booking for the Analytical Psychology Club of New York for a May 24 reading at the C.G. Jung Center, 28 E. 39th St. There was an auditorium there seating about 100 people, and all members of the APC would be invited to attend and give us some candid feedback. After the reading on March 29 and 30, two of the actors were cast in commercial shows, leaving me needing to audition once again. I dropped the accents from the casts, combined cas A and AA, and we began once more to gear up for four addition readings in May and June. I contracted Scotti Rhodes to do some publicity for the additional readings, inviting agents, theatre directors and non-for-profits to help develop the property. I invited Elliot Martin, the veteran Broadway and West End theatre producer who was my producing partner in August Wilson's JOE TURNER'S COME AND GONE to take a look at SECRETS, the new name of the piece. Martin expressed enthusiasm, and we began exploring commercial productions in the future. In mid-May, John Breglio, the very experienced attornery for August Wilson, Michael Bennett -- and the producer of the new version of A CHORUS LINE -- agreed to represent me as Author on the project as Attorney. Peter Klein, who had booked MAMA, I WANT TO SING, in Istanbul, Athens and another European cities, thought that at World Premier in Tel Aviv or in Vienna was a good idea. We began pursuing that possibility as well. All in all, a great distance had been covered by the project since that first draft in the mountains of Mexico, and now I feel I have taken the project as far as I can as Director. The producing team is now looking for a top notch director to come in and work with me on the script, much as Lloyd Richards did with August Wilson. I am imagining a very stylized production, mixing dream sequences in with the more realistic scenes and encounters between the characters. We have come to realize that the work of both Freud and Jung is very relevent and pertinent to life in the 21st Century. March 3, 2007 will be the 100th anniversay to the date of the first meeting between Frued and Jung in Vienna which took place on Sunday March 3, 1907."

So far, the creative process has been stimulating, rewarding and illuminating. The feel of "flow" is still in play, with unexpected doors opening at just the right time. If any of those reading this background story would like to explore the possibility of joining the producing or creative team, please write to me at or call me at the MAMA Foundation For The Arts, 212-280-1045. You may also contact my associate producer, Jerry Griffin, at 201-248-9810 or A full script is available for investors, producers of regional theatre representitives. Please keep an eye out for the future growth and development of SECRETS: The Sigmund Freud - Carl Jung Affair. Hopefully, the best is yet to come.