National Tour of C.S. Lewis' THE GREAT DIVORCE Comes to Cullen Theater This Weekend
Max McLean, Artistic Director of Fellowship for Performing Arts, announces that C.S. Lewis' THE GREAT DIVORCE will be presented at the Cullen Theater at Wortham Center, 501 Texas Avenue in Houston, tonight, August 15 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, August 16 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 is touring 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!" The Charleston City Paper called it "Brilliant...a joy to watch!"
Fellowship for Performing Arts also produces the nationally acclaimed hit THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, which is now in the fourth year of its national tour appearing in over 50 major cities throughout the United States. Over 400,000 theatergoers have seen THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS on tour 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' quirky, hopelessly-flawed characters take a bus ride from Hell to Paradise. But the bizarre question the play asks is: Will they like it? Will they prefer Hell to Heaven? Are the doors of Hell really locked from the inside?"
Over a dozen witty characters tell this fantastical morality tale about human choices. On the bus is a man who is going to Heaven 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 pieces 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 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 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 Nov. 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, August 15 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, August 16 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $29 to $59. Student seats are $25 (student ID required). For groups of 10 or more (including student groups) call 866.476.8707.