Pacific Theatre Presents: TOLKIEN By Ron Reed

Where can friendship take us? The enduring worlds created by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis changed the face of fantasy forever. Frodo, Aslan, the Pevensie children, and dozens more iconic characters sprang from two fertile imaginations fed by a frienship that spanned decades. The tale of how Narnia and Middle Earth came to be - and how close both came to disappearing - is chronicled in this new play by Pacific Theatre's Artistic Director Ron Reed.

"The connection between J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis has fascinated me for years," said Reed. "They profoundly influenced each other's writing - neither The Hobbit nor The Lord Of The Rings would have been written without Lewis's constant encouragement over the course of decades. But it goes well beyond that, to something far deeper than merely a 'literary friendship'. Still more intriguing is the fact that, despite all they had in common, this great friendship came under tremendous strain. The crisis of the second world war affected them very differently; influences of other relationships threatened to undermine their bond; spiritual, religious differences grew between them, even though it had been Tolkien who led Lewis to faith."

Reed has been developing Tolkien since 2012, and has assembled a distinguished cast to play the Inklings (the informal writing group to which Lewis and Tolkien both belonged) and their associates including Ian Farthing (Lewis), fresh off directing Bar Mitzvah Boy at Pacific Theatre. Says Reed, "It has been an extraordinary privilege to follow my curiosity about these men, and their circle, wherever it led, and not only to delight in the beauty of one of the great friendships of all time, but to wrestle with the complex factors that threatened to break them apart."

Tolkien opens Friday, May 11th and runs until June 9th at Pacific Theatre.

ARTISTIC TEAM

Directed by Ron Reed. Featuring John Innes, Ian Farthing, Anthony F. Ingram, Erla Faye Forsyth, Simon Webb, and Tim Dixon. Assistant Direction by Paige Louter. Set Design by Drew Facey. Associate Design by Jessica Hood. Lighting Design by John Webber. Costume Design by Christopher David Gauthier. Sound Design and Compositions by Corina Akeson and Jeff Tymoschuk. Projection Design by Jordan Lloyd Watkins. Stage Management by Jethelo E. Cabilete.

TOLKIEN by Ron Reed When: May 11 - June 9, Wed-Sat at 8pm with 2pm matinees Saturdays. Pay-what-you-can preview May 10. Where: Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave (at Hemlock), Vancouver, BC Tickets: $20-36.50 (not incl. HST). To book visit pacifictheatre.org or call 604.731.5518

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