Dr. David Rozema
Department of Philosophy, 308.865.8298
Actor Tony Lawton will perform C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” in a 90-minute solo performance on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
The performance, which is adapted from the C.S. Lewis novella, “The Great Divorce,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the UNK Fine Arts Recital Hall. The performance, which is sponsored by the UNK Department of Philosophy with support from the College of Fine Arts and Humanities, the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, is free and open to the public.
“The Great Divorce” is the story of Clive, a hapless professor who takes an adventure on a bus with a band of malcontents. In the story, each individual is offered a chance to stay in heaven forever, but face a long journey before making their choice.
The piece is described as “…a feat of rich language, profound psychological insight and humor. Satirical and comic, ‘The Great Divorce’ is a wondrous ride filled with dazzling insight and language.”
“I first saw Tony Lawton perform ‘The Great Divorce’ in Cambridge, England, as part of the 2008 Oxbridge Summer Institute, sponsored by the C.S. Lewis Foundation,” said Dr. David Rozema, UNK Department of Philosophy director and professor. “He was absolutely mesmerizing.
“He has a remarkable talent for characterization, and ‘The Great Divorce’ is a novel that is primarily about characters; their vices and virtues, their personalities and their peculiar psychological tendencies,” Dr. Rozema said. “Mr. Lawton deftly switches between characters, and is a master of movement, facial expression and voices.
“The performance coincides with a seminar I am teaching this semester on C.S. Lewis, in which we are reading ‘The Great Divorce’,” Dr. Rozema said.
Lawton’s performance has been reviewed by various media including, the “Philadelphia City Paper,” “Philadelphia Inquirer” and “Broad Street Review.” “Brilliantly conceived and performed… as intelligent and provoking an evening as I’ve spent at the theater in a long time,” wrote the Broad Street Review.
Lawton has acted professionally since 1992. He has appeared in numerous plays including “The Lonesome West, “True West” and “Twelfth Night.” In addition, he has appeared in films including “Unbreakable and “Invincible,” and television shows including “Hack” and “Cold Case.” He was a 1999 finalist for the F. Otto Haas Award, and “Philadelphia City Paper” named him the city’s “Best One-Man Theatre.” His original play, “The Foocy,” first produced in 2005-2006, received five Barrymore nominations, including Best New Play.
In 1998, he started the Mirror Theatre Company, which performs solo and small-cast plays. The mission of the Mirror is: Spiritual theatre for a secular audience. The company is committed to presenting drama about our spiritual life that will be of interest to all audiences, secular or religious.