Fellowship for Performing Arts brings the New York and national tour cast of THE GREAT DIVORCE online in a virtual presentation featuring Joel Rainwater (The Lion King), Jonathan Hadley (Jersey Boys), Carol Halstead (Gore Vidal’s The Best Man) and Tom Souhrada (Mary Poppins, Kinky Boots).
The play will be presented online from 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 15, through Wednesday, Nov. 18, following an invited premiere for FPA’s Fellowship Circle of supporters on Saturday, Nov. 14.
All performances are free. Donations to benefit Fellowship for Performing Arts are encouraged.
Register at https://fpatheatre.com.
“Through the magic of green-screen technology we’ve recreated the play into an intimate online theatrical experience,” said FPA Founder and Artistic Director Max McLean. “Union restrictions require that actors be filmed individually and apart. So, we figured out a way to bring them together online with the look and feel of them performing on stage before a live audience.”
A hit in New York and on tour The Great Divorce, is about “ghosts” in hell who are offered a bus trip to heaven. There they are met by “Spirits” who invite them to stay, if each are willing to forego the unique, individual flaw that drove them to hell in the first place. The result is a clash of wills and ideas that are poignant, moving and deeply insightful.
The Dallas Morning News described it “Fiercely Funny! C.S. Lewis at his imaginative best!” “Recommended” by the Washington Post, which called it “a faithful adaptation . . . striking vignettes . . . packaged into a tidy, brightly designed 90-minute show…without the sermonizing!” World Magazine said that it “raises questions of eternal significance with disarming ease.”
The Great Divorce is a companion piece to FPA’s hit adaptation of C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. “After a journey to Hell in The Screwtape Letters, the allure of a bus ride to Heaven in The Great Divorce was too great to resist,” McLean said.
THE GREAT DIVORCE was adapted for the stage by Max McLean (The Most Reluctant Convert, The Screwtape Letters) and directed by Christa Scott-Reed (FPA’s Shadowlands, A Man for All Seasons). Scenic design is by Kelly James Tighe (National Tour-Cats), costume design by Nicole Wee (Audelco nomination – Storyville), lighting design by Geoffrey D. Fishburn (National Tours – Dreamgirls, West Side Story), projection design by Rachael Cady (Cirque du Soleil – Wintuk), original music and sound design by John Gromada (Tony Nominee – The Trip to Bountiful), fight direction by Steve Rankin (Broadway – Carousel, Drama Desk Award, Fight Choreography) and casting by Carol Hanzel (Martin Luther onTrial). Ken Denison (The Lion King), is the Executive Producer. General Manager is Aruba Productions.
A New York City-based theatrical production company founded by Artistic Director Max McLean, Fellowship for Performing Arts’ mission is to produce theatre from a Christian worldview that engages diverse audiences. In addition to its annual New York season where it has produced Paradise Lost, A Man for All Seasons, Shadowlands, C.S. Lewis On Stage: The Most Reluctant Convert, The Great Divorce and Martin Luther on Trial at The Pearl Theatre and at Theatre Row, it tours in major performance venues nationwide and recently added a university tour that includes Columbia, Princeton, UC-Berkeley, Brown, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, UT-Austin, Penn and UVA among others. In the year prior to the pandemic, 75,000 people experienced an FPA production in New York, on tour and on campus.