THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is a smart, provocative and wickedly funny theatrical adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel about spiritual warfare from a demon’s point of view.
It was a hit in NYC where it played 309 performances at the Westside Theatre in 2010. Prior to that it ran for six months in Chicago. The Chicago Tribune described THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS as the "most successful show in the history of Chicago's Mercury Theatre." It, also, had two engagements at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. where it played for ten sold-out weeks.
The national tour of THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS will play in leading performing arts venues throughout the United States.
The play, set in a eerily stylish office in hell, follows the clever scheming of Satan's chief psychiatrist, Screwtape, as he entices a human 'patient' toward damnation. In this topsy-turvy, morally inverted universe God is the “Enemy” and the Devil is “Our Father below.” The stakes are high as human souls are hell's primary source of food.
As His Abysmal Sublimity Screwtape, award winning actor Brent Harris, creates a “master of the universe” character who mesmerizes the audience as he allures his unsuspecting 'patient' down the “soft, gentle path to Hell.” At his feet is Screwtape's able assistant, Toadpipe, (played by Marissa Molnar & Tamala Bakkensen) a grotesque creature demon, who transforms her elastic body into the paragons of vices and characters Screwtape requires to keep his patient away from the "Enemy."
Along with The Chronicles of Narnia (including The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe), The Great Divorce and Mere Christianity, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is still one of Lewis’ most popular and influential works. The book's success is due to its piercing insight into human nature and the lucid and humorous way Lewis makes his readers squirm in self recognition. When first published in 1942 it brought immediate fame to this little-known Oxford don including the cover of Time Magazine.
Lewis dedicated the work to his close friend J. R. R. Tolkien who had expressed to Lewis that delving too deeply into the craft of evil would have consequences. Lewis admitted as much when he wrote: “Though I had never written anything more easily, I never wrote with less enjoyment . . . though it was easy to twist one’s mind into the diabolical attitude, it was not fun, or not for long. The work into which I had to project myself while I spoke through Screwtape was all dust, grit, thirst, and itch. Every trace of beauty, freshness, and geniality had to be excluded.”
Adapted and directed by Jeff Fiske & Max McLean, Scenic design is by Cameron Anderson, costumes are by Michael Bevins, lighting by Jesse Klug, and sound is by John Gromada.