Shadowlands Character and Audition Information

Auditions for Shadowlands are on January 21-22 from 6-8 p.m. at Hutchinson Center for the Arts.  The audition will consist of a cold read of excerpts from the script.  Please bring your calendar to indicate any potential scheduling conflicts.

Cast:  6 men
           2 women
           1 boy


CS Lewis (Jack): Male, 50s-60s

Oxford don, great writer, devout, an intellectual genius. A life-long bachelor, classically “British” but not priggish, bookish but with a quick wit, he enjoys spirited debate, and is very comfortable addressing large crowds as a lecturer. He is a private person, uncomfortable with strongly expressed personal emotion and totally unprepared for the huge feelings that the brash Joy eventually awakens in him.


Joy Gresham: femaie, 30s-40s

American, New Yorker, Jewish convert to Christianity, an accomplished writer. Aggressive, outspoken, funny, sharply intelligent, intellectual, independent. Doesn’t care too much about social norms. Often disliked by people at first meeting for her big mouth and brash comments, she also possesses a big heart and is capable of real warmth, as well as bite. Mother of eight-year old Douglas, she is coming out of a difficult marriage, and already very much in love with C.S. Lewis.


Major Warnie Lewis: 50s-60s

CS Lewis’ stalwart older brother. Warnie is a former military man, and devoted to Jack, with whom he shares a house. A creature of comfortable habit, he spends his days writing history books and reading newspapers. A man of few words, he nevertheless has a great deal of understated wit. Warnie’s sedate world is turned upside-down by the whirlwind of Joy’s arrival but his initial aversion to her soon turns to admiration. His not-so-secret vice is alcohol.


Professor Christopher Riley: male, 50s-60s

An Oxford professor and a passionate atheist, he is one of Jack’s best friends. Riley is a sharp intellectual with an acid wit. His arrogance and sharp jokes can be cruel, but he has a heart, way down deep. He loves his friend, Jack, and has deep disdain and distrust for Joy, who shocks him by being both as tough as he is, and as smart.


Reverend Harry Harrington: Male, 40s-50s

Harry is an Oxford Chaplain. He is kind and patient and often acts as peacemaker among his amiably quarrelling friends. He is very traditional and though he cares very much for his good friend, Jack, he abides by Church rules that don’t allow him to marry Jack and Joy.


Douglas: Boy, 10-13

Joy’s American son who has been recently transplanted to England, a move he’s not too happy about. He is a gentle, cheerful, quiet, loving boy, with good manners. He is a huge admirer of Jack’s Narnia stories and has a big imagination. He is capable of deep emotion, which comes out when his beloved mother passes away. The character begins the play at 8 years old and ages a couple of years through the play.


Alan Gregg/ Doctor: Male (smaller multiple role)

Gregg is a youngish Oxford academic, new to the job, enthusiastic, and not yet jaded like his fellows dons. The Doctor treats Joy’s cancer, is no-nonsense and honest, and yet also compassionate.


Dr. Oakley/Priest/Clerk/Waiter: Maile (smaller multiple role)

Dr. Oakley is one of Lewis’ traditional, all male, Oxford literary group, and an old friend. The Priest is an extremely warm, compassionate, kind man with a gentle, healing energy.


Nurse/Registrar: female, multiple role

The Nurse is young, sweet, firm-but-caring. The Registrar is an older, somewhat sour bureaucrat with a dry delivery.