Shadowlands: William Nicholson’s 1990 play (made into a movie in 1993) receives a thoughtful and satisfying revival from Fellowship for Performing Arts. C. S. Lewis (Daniel Gerroll), the noted Christian theologian, Oxford professor, and Narnia author, opens the show by delivering a lecture full of moral and spiritual conundrums. Next, he’s engaging in comfortably donnish discourse with his peers. Into this tweedy world, where women are mostly a theoretical construct, bursts Joy Davidman (Robin Abramson), a New York poet and a fan of Lewis’s writing, travelling with her young son. With her straightforward, steely intellect—and the occasional well-placed zinger—she not only holds her own in conversation with Lewis and his stodgy colleagues but begins an unexpected love affair. Under Christa Scott-Reed’s direction, the excellent cast (also including John C. Vennema and Sean Gormley) catches every nuance of this fine play.Read More
Stage and Candor contributor, Margarita Javier, sits down with Christa Scott-Reed who is making her directorial debut with the NY revival of Shadowlands.
Shadowlands tells the touching story of the relationship between C. S. Lewis and Helen Joy Davidman. The Fellowship of Performing Arts is producing the first New York revival of this acclaimed play, which began performances at the Acorn Theater on October 17. We spoke with Christa Scott-Reed, who is making her directorial debut, about what makes the play relevant to modern audiences, and about the relationship between faith and the arts.
Margarita Javier: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Christa Scott-Reed: I’m originally from the Pacific Northwest, from a little town called Wenatchee, Washington. It’s actually surprisingly home to a few theater artists in New York. It’s interesting because for a small town kind of in the middle of nowhere, they have a surprising love for theater. And I think it’s because it’s not geographically close to any other cities, so they sort of had to create their own cultural life.
Fellowship for Performing Arts announced today they will return to New York for their third season with the first New York revival of William Nicholson’s award-winning play SHADOWLANDS.
Performances of SHADOWLANDS begin on Tuesday, Oct. 17, and run through Jan. 7, 2018. Opening night is set for Wednesday, Nov. 1, at The Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row (410 W. 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036). Tickets are on sale now at www.FPAtheatre.com.
“We are excited to bring this Tony-nominated and London Evening Standard Award-winning play back to New York,” said FPA Founder and Artistic Director Max McLean.
In its first New York revival since the 1990 premiere, William Nicholson’s award-winning play SHADOWLANDS follows the unlikely and true love story of renowned Oxford scholar and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis and the much younger Joy Davidman, a Jewish-American writer, former Communist and Christian convert. The smart, brash Davidman bursts into Lewis’ sedate, middle-aged life and upends it. Lewis is as shocked as anyone to discover that he and Davidman have fallen deeply in love – and then almost immediately he must contend with the equally deep pain of losing her when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Full of great humor and keen insight, the play is a moving portrait of love and loss, faith and doubt, as inspired by Lewis’ own A Grief Observed.
The cast of SHADOWLANDS will include Daniel Gerroll (OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence Broadway: High Society, The Homecoming, Plenty. Film: Chariots of Fire. TV: Seinfeld) as “C.S. Lewis;” Robin Abramson (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Performer of the Year, Tribes, Blackbird, Richard III) as “Joy Davidman;” John C. Vennema(Linda, Manhattan Theatre Club) as Lewis’ brother, “Warnie;” Sean Gormley (Rebel in the Soul, Irish Rep) as “Christopher Riley;” Dan Kremer (Julius Ceasar, Shakespeare Theatre Company) as “Harry Harrington;” Jack McCarthy (Finding Neverland) and Jacob Morrell (Kinky Boots) alternating as Joy’s young son “Douglas;” Jacob H. Knoll (Hamlet, Denver Center, Gorilla Rep’s Hamlet) as “Alan Gregg” and “Doctor;” Daryll Heysham (Romeo and Juliet) as “Dr. Oakley,” “Waiter,” “Clerk” and “Priest;” Stephanie Cozart (Lost in Yonkers) as “Registrar” and “Nurse;” and John Little (Cabaret National Tour) and Amy Bizjak (Fabulous!) as understudies.
SHADOWLANDS is directed by Christa Scott-Reed, with scenic design by Kelly James Tighe, costume design by Michael Bevins, lighting design by Aaron Spivey, and original music and sound design by John Gromada. The stage manager will be Kelly Burns. Casting is by Carol Hanzel and casting consulting by Judy Henderson, C.S.A. This production is executive produced by Ken Denison.
The performance schedule is as follows: from Oct. 17 through Oct. 20, all performances are at 8 p.m. From Oct. 21 through Jan. 7, performances will be Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Beginning Nov. 8, there will be additional Wednesday matinees at 2 p.m. Exceptions: There will be no performances on Thursday, Nov. 23; Sunday, Dec. 24; or Sunday, Dec. 31. There will be an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Friday, Dec. 29.
Tickets are priced at $75 and $95 and are now on sale. To purchase tickets, please visit www.FPAtheatre.com or call 212-239-6200.