If you live in one of the cities listed below, you will definitely want to see the impressive stage performance of “The Great Divorce,” currently touring the United States.
This weekend my wife and I journeyed great distances to the city of the Space Needle. (It’s an arduous trek, and involves taking to the seas aboard ferry boats that tourists love and commuters endure.)
Frankly, it requires a lot to move me to subject myself to the teeming masses of traffic and humanity on the streets of urban Seattle—but this performance was more than worth the trip.
“The Great Divorce” has been adapted for the stage by Max McLean and Brian Watkins. McLean is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Fellowship for Performing Arts (FPA) in New York City. You can learn more about the Fellowship and their offerings here.
His last foray into C.S. Lewis’ work was a widely applauded rendition of “The Screwtape Letters.” It was so well received that it may be taken on tour again in upcoming years.
In the current production, three talented actors bring to life a wide range of characters from Lewis’ work about the gulf (“divorce”) between heaven and hell.
Following the performance, McLean offers the audience a short Q&A session on the work. During ours, he was asked if he is contemplating any more Lewisian adaptations. With a broad smile he assured us he was, saying, “I’m smitten by Lewis.”
When asked about the way in which Lewis’ fantasy work was a response to William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, he paraphrased Lewis’ remarks in the preface of The Great Divorce. Then McLean said he wished they had used Lewis’ original title for the work.
In May of 1945 Lewis wrote to a regular correspondent, “The title Who Goes Home? has had to be dropped because someone has used it already. The little book will be called The Great Divorce and will appear about August.” Those acquainted with the volume will recognize how much better suited to the work Lewis’ preferred title was.
So, Where Will the Play Be Performed
Here are the remaining locations for the performances. They are in the midst of their tour, so I will not list places they have already visited. (Don’t wish to disappoint anyone who missed out on an opportunity to see it.)
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Everything FPA creates is exceptional. I encourage you to sign up for their email list to keep apprised of their future offerings, including updates to their tour schedule.
9 thoughts on “C.S. Lewis On Stage”
I can’t encourage others who are able too highly to make every effort to see it.
Would love to see this. All we get is the end-of-the-line tour. Rod Stewart this summer.
Sorry… I know what you mean though, having spent much of my life in out-of-the-way locales… Still, the pleasures of living away from the hectic pace of the city has its charms and suits me well.
I actually live downtown! But it does have its advantages, the end of the trail life.
I would love to see this, too. As I was reading your post, though, and came across the “smitten by Lewis” comment, I began to imagine an adaptation of Till We Have Faces. As challenging as it can be to adapt a novel to the stage, I think that story could be glorious in such context!
It certainly would be… and Max McLean is just the man who could pull it off!
Pingback: C.S. Lewis and the Stage « Mere Inkling
Pingback: Christians and Contemporary Culture « Mere Inkling Press