Play explores pain and grief through the eyes of CS Lewis

Langley, B.C.—At over 50 years of age C.S. Lewis experienced something most encounter in adolescence. He fell in love. His journey through the emotional dynamics he experiences in a life-changing relationship cut short by tragedy forms the premise for William Nicholson’s Shadowlands, the Trinity Western University drama department’s theatre production running March 18th to 20th and March 25th to 27th.

A British theologian, novelist, and Oxford professor, Lewis spent the greater part of his life committed to the pursuit of knowledge, inspiring others to push the limits of their own. It wasn’t until a late-life marriage to Joy Gresham—an American who first writes to Lewis as a fan—that he experiences the love and loss that forever changes him.

“He goes from living in this structured world to having it blown apart,” says Dan Amos, who plays Lewis in this production. Inside of five years, Lewis and Gresham meet, marry, and suffer the deathly effects of cancer that leaves Lewis alone in with the grief and pain that go beyond his understanding. “He experiences a gamut of emotion and comes through the other side changed and full again.”

Amos, a fourth-year TWU drama major with theatre credits that include The Lesson, The Casino, Hedda Gabler, and The Mail Order Bride, looks forward to playing such an acclaimed individual and character. “The story is very deep and very emotional but I connect with it,” says Amos. “Though I haven’t experienced this tragedy, when I read it I feel like I understand it.”

Amos’ foray into dramatic performance started early and instinctively. “I decided I wanted to be an actor in grade 10 but I’ve been acting since I was in diapers,” says Amos. “When I was two years old, my parents were watching Ben Hur and without them even noticing I laid out my blanket into a raft, chained my leg and I acted out the scene between Ben Her and the general after the ship had gone down. From then on I always took my cue from movies, TV and books.”

Now under the cue of Nicholson, Amos prepares to follow the emotional crossing of Lewis that inspired such works as Surprised by Joy, The Problem of Pain, and A Grief Observed. “I’ve read his books, I’ve seen the movies and I’ve always thought ‘if that’s a play, I want to be Lewis’,” says Amos. “I think everyone’s got an idea in their head of who CS Lewis is so I hope people can buy into the vision I have of him.”

Shadowlands will run March 18th to 20th and March 25th to 27th at 8:00pm, and will be performed in Freedom Hall of the Robert N. Thompson building on the TWU campus (7600 Glover Road). All tickets are $10 and available at the University Bookstore (604-513-2058) or at the door. For more information, contact Lloyd Arnett at arnett@twu.ca.

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,500 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 13 other graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2015-07-20
Author: Keela Keeping