"An Evening with C.S. Lewis" featuring David Payne

 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 
8:15pm-9:45pm  
Hoover Auditorium

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A devoted C.S. Lewis fan who has dedicated his life’s work to bringing the author’s words to life, David Payne has written a one-man show that will be performed in Lakeside.

The play is set in the year 1963 and C.S. Lewis, the now-famous British author, is in the twilight years of his life. The setting of the play puts Lewis in his element as he hosts a group of American writers at his home outside Oxford, telling them stories of his associations, writing, family, faith and his great love.

Payne’s performance has been described as capturing the “essence of the man who created the 'Narnia Chronicles' in an enthralling, laughter-filled poignant performance … utterly captivating!”

Payne can trace his interest in C.S. Lewis back to his teenage years, when he received a copy of C.S. Lewis’ best-selling book, Screwtape Letters. At the time, he never could have imagined that 40 years later, he would be gaining a reputation for his portrayals of the famous author.

It was around 30 years after C.S. Lewis’ death in 1963 that Payne won the lead role in Shadowlands at the prestigious Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC). With minimal acting experience and a British accent on his side, he was cast as Lewis, and it was then that his interest was truly ignited.

He began to study C.S. Lewis and his writings and adapted his first one-man play from the book A Grief Observed, which was based on the diary that Lewis kept following his wife’s death.

Payne prepared for this play, titled Mist in the Mourning, by memorizing the entire original book before winnowing it down to a suitable length for a live performance. The show’s premier at TPAC consisted of three sold-out performances before it toured extensively throughout the U.S.

The power of his performances has received a glowing review from Lewis’ stepson, Douglas Gresham.

As Payne continued to give performances and answer the subsequent audience questions about C.S. Lewis’ life, he began to imagine how he might bring C.S. Lewis to life to answer the questions himself. Thus was born what has become Payne’s most popular play, An Evening with C.S. Lewis – My Life’s Journey.

Payne has not limited himself to C.S. Lewis-related ventures. Having completed a commission to record an audio version of a new Bible translation, he was then commissioned to write a play featuring the new translation text.

The result was Prisoner of Passion set at the time when the apostle Paul was under house arrest in Rome, where he reflected on his work to bring to life the will of God. The powerful and inspiring dialogue for the play is taken almost entirely from scripture.


Admission & Parking
Purchasing a Daily, Saturday or Season Chautauqua Pass includes admission to Lakeside Chautauqua and all shows in Hoover Auditorium, plus additional benefits. A separate ‘ticket’ is not necessary to attend a show or concert. As always, kids age 12 & under and guests over age 90 are always free. Parking is an additional fee. A Daily or Saturday Chautauqua Pass is valid from the time it is purchased until 7 p.m. the following day. Chautauqua Passes and Auto Passes may be purchased online at tickets.lakesideohio.com or upon entering the gates of Lakeside. Please allow two weeks for online processing.

The doors to Hoover Auditorium open a half-hour prior to the start of the show or concert. Seats are not reserved, but available on a first-come, first-served basis. Food and beverages are prohibited inside Hoover Auditorium. Please present your Chautauqua Pass upon entering and exiting Hoover Auditorium and the Lakeside Chautauqua gates.

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