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C.S. Lewis The Great Divorce comes to DeVos Performance Hall Nov. 6

Grand Rapids – Fellowship for Performing Arts returns to live theatrical performances in Grand Rapids at DeVos Performance Hall on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m., with one performance only of the hit national tour of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. This acclaimed production shows Lewis “at his imaginative best,” as described by the Dallas Morning News. The New York Times called it “Infinitely thought-provoking . . . consistently intriguing!”

The Great Divorce is a mesmerizing fantasy about heaven and hell brought to life on stage with Lewis’ signature wit, amazing actors and dazzling, state-of-the-art projections. In a recommended review The Washington Post described it as “a faithful adaptation . . . [with] striking vignettes . . . packaged into a tidy, brightly designed show”.

Broadway World called it “a rare and welcomed treat!”

“Raises questions of eternal significance with disarming ease,” said World Magazine.

Now, this updated and expanded version of the original production features four actors portraying 22 vivid characters. They take a strange bus trip from hell to the outskirts of paradise, where they are given an opportunity to stay or return to hell . . . forever divorced from heaven.

The choice proves to be much harder than imagined. And it all takes place in 90 minutes!

The cast of The Great Divorce includes 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 Great Divorce is a companion piece to FPA’s hit adaptation of Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters.

“In The Great Divorce, Lewis poses a most challenging question,” said FPA Artistic Director Max McLean. “Are the gates of hell locked from the inside?”

Through the play Lewis, responds, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in hell, choose it. The choice of every lost soul is ‘Better to reign in hell than serve in Heaven.’ There’s always something they’d rather have than joy.”

The Great Divorce is adapted for the stage by Max McLean (C.S. Lewis on Stage: The Most Reluctant Convert, The Screwtape Letters) and directed by Christa Scott-Reed (FPA’s Shadowlands, A Man for All Seasons). 

After an 18-month hiatus, Grand Rapids is the eighth stop of the 2021 national tour. For additional tour cities visit GreatDivorceOnStage.com.

A New York City-based production company founded by Artistic Director Max McLean, Fellowship for Performing Arts’ mission is to produce theatre and film from a Christian worldview that engages diverse audiences. FPA also will premiere its first film production this year – The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis. 

The Great Divorce is Saturday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m. at DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Tickets are $49 – $69, Premium tickets $99,  $30 under 30, for patrons 30 years old and younger at the box office (ID required). Groups of 10 or more, please email Groups@fpatheatre.com. All tickets are subject to service fees. No refunds or exchanges.

Buy tickets online at GreatDivorceOnStage.com or In Person at 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Hours subject to change.

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Ray Winnie
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