October 17, 2022
Professor of English at Asbury University and Lilly Scholar Dr. Devin Brown released a Discussion Guide for C.S. Lewis On Stage: Further Up & Further In, the second play following C.S. Lewis’ life produced by the Fellowship for Performing Arts. Continuing Lewis’ story from the first play, C.S. Lewis On Stage: The Most Reluctant Convert, this one-man show surrounds C.S. Lewis’ journey, starring Max McLean who wrote both plays. Brown teaches literature classes, including a course on Lewis and Tolkien and classes in the Asbury University Honors Program.
“I was very excited when Max McLean called me this summer to ask if I would be willing to write a study guide for this play like I did for the first one,” Brown said. “My job was to expand and give context for twenty-seven passages from the show, often pointing to the book from which they came, so that theater-goers could learn more about the passages. Earlier this fall, Asbury worked with the Fellowship for Performing Arts to show the film version of The Most Reluctant Convert in the Board Room of Kinlaw Library, as part of the launch for the library’s redesigned C.S. Lewis Study Corner.”
Brown’s work has brought increased awareness among the public regarding the life of C.S. Lewis. An award-winning author, Brown has published more than a dozen books and has presented scholarly papers at Oxford, the University of Wroclaw (Poland), Belmont University, University of Louisville, and the University of Surrey (England). Brown received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina and his master’s degree from the University of Florida.
The Fellowship for Performing Arts was founded by McLean. The not-for-profit New York City-based production company produces theatre and film from a Christian worldview to engage a diverse audience. Given the positive public reception of the film version of The Most Reluctant Convert, the Fellowship for Performing Arts has committed to producing two more films which will be directed by BAFTA and Emmy-winner Norman Stone, completing a trilogy on Lewis’ life.
“Unlike most deceased writers, Lewis sells more books each year than he did the year before,” McLean said. “For me, he is a fellow traveler on faith’s journey. This is why I continue to explore that journey on screen and on stage.”
Brown shares his enthusiasm about the university’s partnership with the Fellowship for Performing Arts. “The recent collaboration between Asbury and the Fellowship for Performing Arts has been exciting and is the kind of thing I hope we will do more of in the future,” he said. “Combining our scholarship with the most popular Christian drama in the country allows us to reach thousands of people beyond our campus and connects us with some of the best Christian actors, writers, and directors at work today.”
The Fellowship for Performing Arts provides the Discussion Guide written by Dr. Devin Brown at no cost to the public: https://fpatheatre.com/stay-connected. Tickets are available for C.S. Lewis On Stage: Further Up & Further In, with shows playing around the US from October 2022 through March 2023: https://fpatheatre.com/. The Asbury University English department encourages students and their families to schedule personalized campus visits in which they can meet for one-on-one appointments with professors: https://www.asbury.edu/admissions-aid/visit/.