Max McLean is the founder and artistic director of Fellowship for Performing Arts, a New York City-based producer of live theater from a Christian worldview. McLean conceived, adapted, produced and starred in The Screwtape Letters, a play based on the book by Oxford and Cambridge scholar, author and fantasy writer C.S. Lewis. His stage adaptation of Lewis’ The Great Divorce launched its national tour in late 2013. McLean adapted, co-directed and starred in C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert, and co-wrote and produced Martin Luther on Trial. McLean also is the narrator of The Listener's Bible.
Born in Panama City, Panama, on April 14, 1953, McLean migrated to the United States at age 4. McLean graduated from the University of Texas in 1975, where participation in theater helped him overcome a fear of public speaking. He then pursued theatrical studies in London.
McLean’s interest in integrating art and Christian faith led him to produce one-man shows featuring dramatic presentations of entire books of the Bible, including Genesis, Acts and Mark. He received the 2009 Jeff Award in Chicago for Best Solo Performance for his one-man show Mark’s Gospel.
Fellowship for Performing Arts
In 1992, McLean formed the non-profit Fellowship for Performing Arts. The organization’s first output was a recorded New International Version of the New Testament voiced by McLean. With the Old Testament added, that became The Listener’s Bible, which eventually included English Standard and King James versions. The New International Version of The Listener’s Bible was recorded in 1997 and rerecorded in 2003 and 2011. The English Standard Version was recorded in 2003 and the King James Version in 2006. McLean’s narrations have received four Audie Award nominations from the Audio Publisher’s Association. FPA also helped produced Mark, Acts and Genesis in New York, Chicago and on tour in colleges and university across the country. A daily radio program followed that aired on 650 stations.
McLean and his production company now focus on new and adapted works for the stage. Following a well-reviewed off-Broadway run in 2010, The Screwtape Letters adapted with playwright Jeff Fiske toured nationally for four years. McLean’s latest work, The Great Divorce adapted with playwright Brian Watkins, had a developmental production in New York City in September 2013; premiered in Phoenix, Ariz., in December of that year; and toured nationally in 2014. C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert, co-directed with Ken Denison, premiered in New York in December 2016, following regional productions in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Martin Luther on Trial, co-written with Chris Cragin-Day, premiered regionally in Washington, D.C., in 2016 and in New York in January 2017.
In addition to touring these works, since 2015 FPA has produced them as part of a theatrical season in New York City that also has included the revivals of Shadowlands and A Man for All Seasons. In the 2018-19 season, FPA presented Imagine This!, featuring staged theatrical readings of works under consideration for future production.
McLean is married to Sharon Bush McLean, and they have two grown daughters and four grandchildren. They live in New York City.
- "An Interview with Max McLean | Challies Dot Com". Challies.com. 2008-01-21. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
- "From Sociophobia to the National Stage | The Alcalde". Alcalde.texasexes.org. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
- "Jeff Awards". Jeff Awards. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
- "Lewis's Tempters, Meticulously Paving the Road to Hell". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
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