National Tour of C.S. Lewis' THE GREAT DIVORCE to Play Capitol Theatre, 4/11-12
Max McLean, Artistic Director of Fellowship for the Performing Arts, announces that C.S. Lewis' THE GREAT DIVORCE will be presented at the Capitol Theatre at the Riffe Center, 77 South High Street in Columbus, for three performances only on Friday, April 11 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 12 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. This journey to Heaven and Hell is a provocative exploration of human nature, featuring vivid characters drawn with Lewis' trademark wit.
THE GREAT DIVORCE National Tour premiered in Phoenix and will tour across the country in 2014. The Arizona Republic raved that THE GREAT DIVORCE is "Fascinating...Brings Lewis to life with lively wit and generous humor!" and World Magazine hailed the production as "World class theater. Rises to the challenge, raising questions of eternal significance with disarming ease. Fantastic!"
Fellowship for the Performing Arts also produces the nationally acclaimed hit THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, which is in its seventh year after appearing in over 50 major cities throughout the United States. Over 350,000 theatergoers have seen THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS over the course of its National Tour, now in its fourth year, and in successful sit-down productions in New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Following the overwhelming success of THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, McLean conceived the idea to adapt THE GREAT DIVORCE for the stage.
"This is Lewis at his imaginative best," says McLean. "In THE GREAT DIVORCE, several of Lewis' most fascinating characters are invited to take a bus ride from Hell or purgatory to the edge of Paradise. But the provocative question the play asks is: Will they like it? Will they choose to go back? Are the doors of Hell really locked from the inside?"
Over a dozen witty characters tell this fantastical morality tale about good and evil. On the bus is a man who is going to demand his "rights", a woman who can't stop grumbling, a gentleman who "likes" Heaven but staying there means giving up his precious pet lizard, and a carpetbagger who has seen it all and believes Heaven and Hell are just a propaganda stunt run by the same people. As each ghost is welcomed by a celestial spirit, the choice of staying or going back brings vivid clarity to the "great divorce" between Heaven and Hell.
"There are only two kinds of people in the end," Lewis writes in THE GREAT DIVORCE, "those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.'" THE GREAT DIVORCE remains one of Lewis' most influential works and rightly earns its place among classics such as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity.
THE GREAT DIVORCE stars Tom Beckett (Bobby Boland, Epic Proportions and The Father on Broadway and "Elbridge Gerry" in HBO's John Adams), Joel Rainwater (The Lion King, National Tour) and Christa Scott-Reed (The Pitmen Painters on Broadway).
Fellowship for the Performing Arts is based in New York City with Max McLean as Founder and Artistic Director. Adapted by McLean and Brian Watkins, THE GREAT DIVORCE is directed by Bill Castellino, with the creative team including Executive Producer and General Manager Ken Denison of Aruba Productions, Scenic Designer Kelly James Tighe, Costume Designer Nicole Wee and Lighting Designer Michael Gilliam. Original Music and Sound Design are by John Gromada with Projections by Chris Kateff.
Fellowship for the Performing Arts' production of THE GREAT DIVORCE celebrates the legacy of C.S. Lewis' profoundly influential life and honors the 50th anniversary of his death on November 22, 1963. In 2013, on that date, Lewis received one of Britain's highest honors, a memorial in Poets' Corner joining such legends as Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens.
THE GREAT DIVORCE will play on Friday, April 11 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 12 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $29 to $49. Student seats are $20 (student ID required). For groups of 10 or more (including student groups) call 866.476.8707.
To purchase tickets, visit www.greatdivorceonstage.com or call 614.469.0939. Tickets are available in person at the Ohio Theatre Box Office at 39 East State Street between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and at the Capitol Theatre two hours prior to performances.
Photo by Gerry Goodstein