In response to the recent CDC guidance regarding indoor events, patrons are no longer required to wear a mask upon entering the building.
The theater continues to encourage the wearing of masks for all who choose to do so.
The policy takes effect immediately and will be reviewed periodically relative to COVID cases in Summit County.
Patrons who are not feeling well are asked to stay home.
Written, Directed and Starring
Act One – A Man Called Jack
Act Two – A Woman called Joy
The year is 1963 and C.S. Lewis, the famous British author, is hosting a group of American writers at his home near Oxford. They are about to experience a captivating evening with a man whose engaging conversation and spontaneous humor made him one of the great raconteurs of his day.
Seated in his living room he recalls the people and events that inspired his thought and shaped his life; of his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien; why he nearly abandoned the Narnia Chronicles; how he came to embrace Christianity; and of the American woman who turned his life upside down.
Described by critics as “extraordinary,” “a must-see,” and “a master class,” An Evening with C.S. Lewis has proved again and again to be an enthralling theatrical experience and one which has led many thousands to discover (or rediscover) the continuing impact of a man who died over 50 years ago and whose collected works made him one of the literary giants of the 20th century.
DAVID PAYNE “Auditions for Shadowlands, British accents a help!” So read an advert for this theatrical production to be staged at Nashville’s prestigious Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TP AC) in 1996. Payne, who had never been on stage before but who did have a British accent decided to audition to hope for a minor part. He staggered everybody (including himself) when he won the lead role of C.S. Lewis. Though he did not know it at the time, a successful acting career had been launched! The TPAC production sold out, Lewis’ stepson Douglas Gresham flew in for the opening night and director Sylvia Boyd said of Payne afterward, “I took a chance on someone who had never acted before but was rewarded with a performance of great power and sensitivity – I felt we had found the real C.S. Lewis!”
During rehearsals for Shadowlands Payne was given a copy of A Grief Observed, Lewis’ diary of grief following the death of his American wife, Joy. Captivated by the brutal honesty of a man bearing his soul, Payne memorized the whole book and then adapted it into a one-man show, Mist in the Mourning. Premiered at TP AC, where all three performances sold out, he then toured this production extensively throughout the US. Following these performances, Payne was very often peppered with lots of questions about Lewis. He was always very happy to answer these questions and then one day, a thought struck him: “Wouldn’t it be fun if Lewis himself could answer these questions?” That’ s when he wrote An Evening with C.S. Lewis, basing the show around the questions that people kept asking and the pivotal occurrences in Lewis’ life. Now it has become his flagship production with over 800 performances.
Payne’s first encounter with C.S. Lewis was when, as a teenager, he was given a copy of Lewis’ best-selling book The Screwtape Letters. Little did he realize that some 40 years later he would be gaining a reputation for his portrayals of its famous author. He has played Lewis in a number of productions of Shadowlands, in his self-penned Weep for Joy, in numerous presentations of An Evening with C.S. Lewis (My Life’s Journey), and St Jack & The Dragon, a touching yet sometimes hilarious account about the relationship between Lewis and his adopted mother, Janie Moore.