“Wickedly witty … One hell of a show.” – The Wall Street Journal
“Devilishly funny … Lewis’ insights are cleverly conveyed.” – Associated Press
“Smart, sizzling entertainment!” – Chicago Sun-Times
The Fellowship for Performing Arts has done it again bringing a classic work of C.S. Lewis to the stage in its theatrical adaptation of The Screwtape Letters.
And it may be coming to a theater near you.
The Screwtape Letters is one of C.S. Lewis’ most iconic works.
The book is written as an epistolary novel, or as a series of letters, from Screwtape, a senior teacher demon, to his nephew, Wormwood, a junior student demon.
In Screwtape’s letters to Wormwood, he seeks to guide his young nephew demon in the temptation and corruption of “the Patient,” an unsuspecting human who faces a choice between continuing to live in the world and accepting Christ.
Wormwood’s goal is to secure the damnation of “the Patient,” or, failing that, to make sure any Christian life he has is as fruitless as possible.
He does this by trying to influence “the Patient’s” thoughts, to take his attention away from God and try to get “the Patient” to believe lies instead.
In his foreword, Lewis writes, “readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar. Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle.”
The Screwtape Letters is so powerful because as we see in practice the tactics and the lies of the Enemy, we recognize the ones he has used on us, the ones we might have actually believed in the past, or that we still find ourselves falling for even though we now know the Truth.
But you might ask yourself how an epistolary novel containing a series of letters from a single character could possibly be adapted to the theatrical stage?
Well the Fellowship for Performing Arts, a not-for-profit production company producing theatre from a Christian worldview, has a history of doing a remarkable job taking difficult texts and making them shine onstage.
Most recently, the FPA received critical acclaim for its production entitled C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert, a one man play in which Lewis’ thought process as he considers the truth of Christianity is performed as a series of engaging monologues.
“Using C.S. Lewis’ own words, award-winning actor Max McLean brings the brilliant Oxford Don to life, taking us on his extraordinary journey from hard-boiled atheist to ‘the most reluctant convert in all England’ . . . only to become the most influential Christian writer of the 20th century,” reads the play’s description on the FPA’s website.
Max McLean is the founder and artistic director of New York City-based Fellowship for Performing Arts, as well as an accomplished actor. He played C.S. Lewis himself in The Most Reluctant Convert.
McLean’s creative work “has been cited with distinction by the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal and CNN to name a few media outlets.”
And by all accounts, it looks like McLean and the FPA’s adaptation of The Screwtape Letters is just as masterful.”
“Set in an eerily stylish office in Hell, one of Satan’s senior tempters, Screwtape, schemes meticulously to capture the soul of an unsuspecting human on earth. An international smash hit, this stage adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ satiric masterpiece creates a morally inverted universe that reveals unseen spiritual powers and principalities in humorous, vivid and surprising ways.”
The FPA’s productions are mobile and travel to stages across the nation.
The Screwtape Letters will open 2019 performances in Nashville, TN on January 18th and 19th and then will travel to the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., for multiple performances scheduled from January 29th to February 3rd.
Eventually, the show will make its way to Pittsburg, Dallas, Houston, Tulsa, and Kansas City.
To get your tickets, click here.
To purchase a copy of the original book by C.S. Lewis, click here.