Actor to perform ‘Luke’ one-man play in Chautauqua

Former daytime television star Frank Runyeon will perform his one-man play, “Luke: Stories on the Road,” on Monday from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy in Chautauqua Institution.

In an evening that is both entertaining and eye-opening, Runyeon performs the famous parables in Luke’s travel narrative, then pauses to reflect on how we hear each story. Runyeon does what Luke himself did. He starts with Jesus speaking in the synagogue at Nazareth, then takes us on a journey to Jerusalem.

Sharing stories from his own life and his friends’ lives that are both funny and deeply touching, Runyeon helps us to see what we have been missing. He encourages us to respond to these parables by entering the story God is telling right now, and coming to know the joy that Luke wrote about in his Gospel: the joy of becoming a story He is telling, out there, on the road.

Runyeon has won national acclaim for his work as a translator and performer of Biblical texts over the past 20 years. He has translated and adapted seven Biblical texts for performance as one-man plays. He has performed the gospel for hundreds of thousands of people in almost every state in America, earning rave reviews from critics, scholars, and church leaders of every denomination. He is regularly reviewed as “the best speaker we have ever heard” by students and faculty at private and public schools across the nation.

Runyeon is perhaps still best known, however, for his many roles on television. He starred for seven years as Steve Andropoulos on “As the World Turns” opposite Meg Ryan, a storyline that garnered the second highest ratings in the history of daytime television. He next appeared for four years as Father Michael Donnelly on the Emmy award-winning Santa Barbara, and as tycoon Simon Romero on “General Hospital,” opposite Emma Samms. Runyeon has also guest-starred in recurring roles on “L.A. Law” as talk-show host Brooks Tapman, on Falcon Crest as chess genius Jovan Dmytryk, on “Melrose Place” as Father Tom, and on “All My Children” as Forrest Williams.

Starring as Detective Marty Lowery in the feature film “Sudden Death” and as Pierre Lyon in Bolero, Runyeon appeared to rave reviews on the New York stage as Hercules in Aristophanes’ “The Birds,” and in regional theater as Clifford in Deathtrap and Oliver Costello in “The Spider’s Web.”

On the radio, he has hosted his own comedy talk show on the top-rated L.A. station, KFI, and on WCNN in Atlanta. He co-hosted Charles McPhee’s nationally syndicated radio show, “The Dream Doctor.” He continues to appear as a recurring guest expert on radio and TV.

Runyeon is a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in Religion. After studying acting in New York and Los Angeles for 15 years, he attended Fuller Seminary in preparation for the writing and performance of his first one-man play, “Afraid!: The Gospel of Mark”. He continued his studies at Yale Divinity School and General Theological Seminary, from which he received his master’s, with honors, in l994.

A popular youth speaker on the subject of the mass media, Runyeon uses humor to reveal the shortcomings of the media’s world view. He has been a featured speaker at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, the commencement speaker at several prep schools, and the keynoter at numerous state and national youth conventions.

Runyeon is currently writing an autobiographical book: “Escape From Hollywood: An Actor’s Journey to Faith.”

He and his wife Annie, live in Los Angeles with their three children.

All are welcome to attend Monday’s program sponsored by Chautauqua Christian Fellowship and co-sponsored by the Chautauqua Department of Religion. There is a fee to enter Chautauqua Institution and a parking fee. There is no extra charge to attend Frank Runyeon’s program once inside Chautauqua Institution.