‘An Evening with Lewis & Tolkien’

Friends of the Library of Sewanee: The University of the South invites you to attend the fifth annual Tom G. Watson Memorial Event. This year, we are offering a play, “An Evening with Lewis & Tolkien,” written and directed by David Payne. The play will be at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 2, in Guerry Auditorium. The public is invited to attend and there is no admission charge. This event is being co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library, Library and Information Technology Services, University Lectures Committee, School of Theology, Department of English, and Dialogue Across Difference.

The year is 1963 and J.R.R. Tolkien is at an Oxford pub waiting for his long-time friend, C.S. Lewis, to arrive. Lewis is recovering from a heart attack and Tolkien is aware that Lewis’ failing health means the opportunities for them to meet up may be less than either would like. Tolkien has chosen to meet in the Eagle & Child pub where, in the early years of their friendship, they met weekly – the pub they always referred to as The Bird & Baby.

David Payne, playing the role of C.S. Lewis, is the author, actor, and director of the play. David’s first time on stage was at the age of 56 at Nashville’s prestigious Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC). He had been in Nashville for a music project when he read a theatrical bulletin which contained seven words that would change his life – “Auditions for Shadowlands, British accents a help.” He had never been on stage before but, having been born in London in 1942, he did have a British accent! He went along to the audition hoping to get a small part and to everyone’s surprise — not least his own — won the lead role of C.S. Lewis. Following his Nashville debut, he has performed his much acclaimed one man show, “An Evening with C.S. Lewis,” more than 1,500 times. An earlier version of that show on YouTube is nearing 2.5 million views. He has written and performed in numerous self-penned productions, including “An Evening with Lewis & Tolkien.” David will return to TPAC this coming Christmas season with his latest production, “Christmas with C.S. Lewis.” In 2023 David will tour with “Churchill,” a show that he wrote in 2020 when most of his schedule was cancelled due to Covid . Already being hailed a master class in acting, David portrays the famous British politician as he recalls the events and people that did much to prepare him for his wartime role including the two most important women in his life, his wife, Clementine and Queen Elizabeth.

Gregory Williams Welsch will play the role of J.R.R. Tolkien. Having trained in New York, Greg is based in Nashville. He has received awards for his many portrayals including Vladimir in Samuel Becket’s “Waiting for Godot”; Mitch in the Tennessee Williams classic, “A Streetcar Named Desire”; and his portrayal of 12 different characters in “The Life and Times of Lenny Bruce.” Four years ago, Greg teamed up with David Payne for the premiere presentation of the production “An Evening with Lewis & Tolkien.” During those four years, his portrayal of the author that gave the world “The Lord of the Rings” has thrilled audiences. Because the demand for David’s production “An Evening with C.S. Lewis” was more than David himself could perform, Greg has been entrusted with the role for which he has also received much praise. This coming Christmas season he will join with David, and actor Jonathan Swenson, in portraying the renowned British author in David’s “Christmas with C.S. Lewis.” Three actors are required as the production will be over a four-week period and will play in 14 cities. David is delighted that Greg will be portraying C.S. Lewis for this Christmas tour and all the more so since Greg joined David in the UK for the rehearsals. “Greg’s audiences are going to be enthralled by his performance which will, once again, prove what an accomplished actor he is.” You can find more about the upcoming plays at <https://birdandbabyproductions...;.

There will be an intermission during the play and the actors will offer a brief Q&A session following the talk. Parking will be available on University Avenue.

More information about the Friends of the Library can be found at their website: http://libguides.sewanee.edu/FOL;. If you have questions about the talk or joining the Friends of the Library, please contact Penny Cowan at (931) 598-1573 or <pcowan@sewanee.edu>.

2023 June
2023 May
2023 April
2023 March
2023 February
2023 January
2022 December
2022 November
2022 October
2022 September
2022 August
2022 July
2022 June
2022 May
2022 April
2022 March
2022 February
2022 January
2021 December
2021 November
2021 October
2021 September
2021 August
2021 July
2021 June
2021 May
2021 April
2021 March
2021 February
2021 January
2020 December
2020 November
2020 October
2020 September
2020 August
2020 July
2020 June
2020 May
2020 April
2020 March
2020 February
2020 January
2019 December
2019 November
2019 October
2019 September
2019 August
2019 July
2019 June
2019 May
2019 April
2019 March
2019 February
2019 January
2018 December
2018 November
2018 October
2018 September
2018 August
2018 July
2018 June
2018 May
2018 April
2018 March
2018 February
2018 January
2017 December
2017 November
2017 October
2017 September
2017 August
2017 July
2017 June
2017 May
2017 April
2017 March
2017 February
2017 January
2016 December
2016 November
2016 October
2016 September
2016 August
2016 July
2016 June
2016 May
2016 April
2016 March
2016 February
2016 January
2015 December
2015 November
2015 October
2015 September
2015 August
2015 July
2015 June
2015 May
2015 April
2015 March
2015 February
2015 January
2014 December
2014 November
2014 October
2014 September
2014 August
2014 July
2014 June
2014 May
2014 April
2014 March
2014 February
2014 January
2013 December
2013 November
2013 October
2013 September
2013 August
2013 July
2013 June
2013 May
2013 April
2013 March
2013 February
2013 January
2012 December
2012 November
2012 October
2012 September
2012 August
2012 July
2012 June
2012 May
2012 April
2012 March
2012 February
2012 January
2011 December
2011 November
2011 October
2011 September
2011 August
2011 July
2011 June
2011 May
2011 April
2011 March
2011 February
2011 January
2010 December
2010 November
2010 October
2010 September
2010 August
2010 July
2010 June
2010 May