Shadowlands by William Nicholson and directed by Dave Ranney, is the Island Players’ (IP) summer production, running July 20-22 at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center (TPAC).
Ranney was struck by the power of the story, based on the true life romance between C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman Gresham. A prolific writer and speaker, Lewis had also won acclaim for his children’s fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia. Joy Gresham entered Lewis’s life via letters she sent from her home in New York City.
Ranney was intrigued by the issue of friendship and love, the slow but sure progress of these two people from friends, into a marriage of convenience so that Joy could secure residence in England, and finally to love. Shadowlands explores the themes of love and loss, of happiness and suffering.
“The staging of the play is somewhat complex,” Ranney remarked. “We’re using the entire stage plus the runways and rely heavily on lighting to facilitate the many scenes. We’re utilizing a scrim and photo projections to enhance settings. Fortunately, we have an excellent and experienced crew…”
Shadowlands is rich with irony, subtle and not so subtle barbs, with banter silly and even hilarious. Joy brings her lively wit into even painful scenes.
The show is performed July 20 and 21 at 7:30 pm, with a 2 pm matinee on July 22. TPAC is located at 870 Main Road on Washington Island.