Zion Theatre Company is producing national award winning playwright Mahonri Stewartâ€™s play about C.S. Lewisâ€™s early life at the Castle Theater in Provo on August 24, 25, 27,31 and September 1, 2, 7, 8 at 7:30 pm.
The play tells the story of how C.S. Lewis (author of the popular The Chronicles of Narnia series, as well as religious classics as the The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity) journeyed from an ardent atheist to one of the 20th centuryâ€™s most famous champions for Christianity. Starting around his entry as a young soldier in World War I, to some pivotal relationships which changed his spiritual outlook in the 1930s (including his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit), it tells the story of Jackâ€™s shift in worldview.
â€œC.S. Lewis, who preferred to be called Jack, was very antagonistic to the idea of God, much due to the death of his mother at a young age,â€ said playwright Stewart, â€œHe was an intellectual, a scholar, eventually a Literature Professor at Oxfordâ€¦ he was no oneâ€™s fool. So his shift from atheism to Christianity has weight, it says something. I think it goes a long way to show how not all religious people are the simple idiots many portray them to be. Lewisâ€™ faith, because it had so long carried the weight of doubt, was a vigorous thing, it was earned.â€
The director of the play, Randy King, also believes C.S. Lewisâ€™s intellect says something about the kind of belief he had, â€œC. S. Lewis’ journey to truth is encouraging in that it shows that being learned and having faith do not have to be mutually exclusive. He is an example to all who seek the truth no matter where it may be found.â€
C.S. Lewis carries a lot of weight in Utah, his faith based writing having strong resonance with many local residents who have grown up with his work. Ken Foody, who is playing the key role of C.S. â€œJackâ€ Lewis is no exception, â€œI’ve been a huge fan my whole life. The older I got, the more I’ve read his non-fiction and the bigger fan I’ve become! It’s humbling, daunting and exciting all at the same time to play someone who is arguably the world’s greatest Christian Apologist. Mahonri’s recreated the beautifully fact-based journey that, if I can do it any justice, is meant to remind audience members how important their faith is to them, and to reaffirm in our hearts and minds that Fount from which all our blessings flow.â€
The Castle Theater is located at 1300 East Center Street in Provo (just Southwest of Seven Peaks Waterpark and right above the Utah State Hospital. Take the road to the Hospital to its most Eastern point and to a parking lot by the main building and then climb the short path up). Tickets can be purchased or reserved at www.ziontheatrecompany.com and are $12 for general audiences and $9 for students and seniors.