XENIA — Clive Staples Lewis was known to his friends simply as “Jack.” To most of us, though, he was C.S. Lewis – author of “The Chronicles of Narnia” and many other deeply insightful novels, religious and philosophical studies, and poetry.
Though recognized as one of the most beloved and influential authors of our time, the death of C.S. Lewis fifty years ago went largely unnoticed. That’s not because he had fallen out of public favor; it’s because he died (as did fellow author Aldous Huxley) Nov. 22, 1963 – the same day on which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Many people since then, when asked which author – past or present – they would most want to engage in conversation, have said they’d like to spend time with C.S. Lewis.
And now they can on March 29 at the historic Xenia Christian School Auditorium.
It is 1963. C.S. Lewis is hosting a group of American writers at his home near Oxford, England. They are about to be treated to the compellingly powerful oratory and engagingly delightful humor of a master storyteller. C.S. Lewis is among the most respected thinkers of the day; and yet here he is, recalling the people and events that served to inspire his thought and shape his life. He’s doing this just for you.
“An Evening with C.S. Lewis” stars British actor David Payne in a powerfully inspirational one-man performance. An enthralling theatrical experience, thousands of theater-goers around the world have already discovered – or rediscovered – Lewis and the insights of a man whose collected works made him one of the literary giants of the 20th Century.
David Payne, it seemed, was destined to play the role of C.S. Lewis. In fact, Payne landed the very first theatrical role he ever auditioned for: It was C.S. Lewis in the biographical piece “Shadowlands” at Nashville’s prestigious Tennessee Performing Arts Center. He nailed the British accent because (surprise, surprise), he’s British. Since those early performances in 1996, however, Payne has become widely known for more than just his dialect. He also happens to be an uncanny Lewis look-alike, and has gained a considerable reputation for embracing and skillfully channeling the man who created the world of Narnia.
Christian audiences, in particular, are drawn to Payne’s performances as he artfully captures the power of C.S. Lewis’ faith. Lewis declared himself an atheist at the age of 15, but his eventual conversion back to Christianity at the age of 32 was the singularly defining moment of his life.
He wrote persuasively and prolifically about his beliefs; and Christian themes are tightly woven into all his fictional works as well. J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, was one of Lewis’ closest friends and was instrumental in guiding him back to his faith. Tolkien is among the many influential characters you will learn about in David Payne’s solo performance.
“An Evening with C.S. Lewis,” presented by HearTheLight.com, comes to the Xenia Christian School Auditorium on Saturday, March 29. Show time is 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The Xenia Christian School Auditorium is located at 1075 John Wesley Avenue in Xenia, on the campus of Legacy Ministries International, which was formerly the Ohio Veteran’s Children’s Home.
Reserved seats are available in advance for $25 from iTickets.com 800-521-0290 (service fee applies) or at the door for $35. Please call or email for special group ticket pricing.