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Professional Actor to Perform an Evening with C.S. Lewis at OC

Thursday, March 5, 2009   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Katy Watson
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C.S. Lewis, the famous author and Christian apologist, will be portrayed on the stage at Oklahoma Christian University March 26-28, and the public is invited to share the experience free of charge. Professional actor David Payne will perform his one-man show, An Evening with C.S. Lewis. He will also reenact the famous British author and Christian apologist in a debate about the question of God.

Originally from Britain, Payne specializes in works that present the life and writings of Lewis. On March 26, Payne will represent Lewis in a debate styled after the Socratic Club at Oxford University. The club was a gathering of atheists and Christians who debated issues of faith and secular humanism. Lewis served as the president for 14 years. Payne will be joined in the debate by Jim Baird, professor of Bible and philosophy at Oklahoma Christian. Baird is a graduate of Oxford.

On March 27-28, Payne will perform his play An Evening With C.S. Lewis. Set in 1963, the play portrays Lewis as he gives an informal talk to a group of American writers visiting England. The writers have traveled to Lewis' home outside of Oxford. With oratory skill and humor, he recounts the people and events that shaped his life.

“David Payne is an accomplished and respected actor who has performed across the globe,” said Barrett Huddleston, assistant professor of theater at Oklahoma Christian. “As a way to give back to the community, we wanted to share Payne's artistry by offering free admission.”

Payne's performances are made possible in part by a grant from the Kirkpatrick Foundation for the purpose of bringing visiting artists to campus. As an extension of that aim, Payne will lead an acting workshop for OC students on March 28.

“Having Payne lead a workshop with our students is especially germane for our program,” Huddleston said. “Our students have a strong interest in learning how he melds his faith with his professional achievements in theater.”

On Friday afternoon, Gary Tandy will lead a C. S. Lewis symposium. Tandy is an English professor at Cascade College where teaches a class on C.S. Lewis. He is also the author of the recently published book “The Rhetoric of Certitude: C.S. Lewis's Nonfiction Prose.” At the symposium, Tandy's students will present papers and he will discuss his book. Tandy will also direct a talk-back session with the audience after the Saturday performance.

“C.S. Lewis was such an influential thinker, and to this day, his works are well-respected in the academic world,” said Tandy. “The fact that his life has been translated to the stage is a testament to how powerful he was.”

The debate and performances begin at 7:30 in Judd Theater. Admission is free, but tickets are needed. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 425-5540. All events are suitable for ages 10 and up.

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