A play entitled “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” was presented on the campus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis on Nov. 5-8, 1998 by Concordia Seminary Theater. Hundreds of people, including more than a dozen groups of children from area elementary schools, enjoyed the production.
The play is an adaptation of a 1950 book of the same title written by C. S. Lewis. It was adapted for the stage by Joseph Robinette. This presentation by Concordia Seminary Theater was in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the birth of C. S. Lewis, who was born November 29, 1898 in Belfast, Ireland.
The cast was comprised entirely of Concordia Seminary students and children of students, faculty, and staff. The director, Timothy Sternberg, is a second- year student at Concordia.
“The play is the story of a lion who freely sacrifices his life for a traitorous human being,” said Sternberg. “Once he has been killed, the enemy believes that her victory is assured. This is not to be since the lion rises from the dead, conquering death. The imagery is strikingly Christian.”
“The play is not intended to comment on any of C. S. Lewis’ own religious understandings,” said Sternberg. “We present this play as another way of describing what Christ has done for us.”
A brief discussion concerning the Christian imagery in the drama followed each presentation. The discussion included questions and comments from members of the audience as well as comments from the cast members themselves on the meaning of their characters and the way in which their characters assisted in the creation of a Christian message in the play.
Concordia Seminary Theater began last winter with the goal of producing two plays per academic year. Support for the program comes primarily from a generous gift endowing the Gregg H. Benidt Memorial Chair in Homiletics and Literature. This endowed faculty chair is occupied by Dr. Dean Nadasdy. The theater group’s first production was “J.B.,” Archibald MacLeish’s Pulitzer Prize winning play in verse on the book of Job. It was presented last spring on the Seminary campus.
“The literature chosen for presentation by Concordia Seminary Theater will always carry theological themes with an appeal for all age groups,” commented Nadasdy. “Another production is scheduled for April of 1999.”