Theater Adaptation of C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters Is Touring America

Newtown Shooting Influenced His Performance, Screwtape Actor Says

A theater adaptation of C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters (1942), a book written from the perspective of a senior demon teaching a neophyte demon how to tempt a human, is touring the United States. Max McLean, who directed and adapted the play along with Jeff Fiske, spoke Thursday with The Christian Post about what it's like to play Screwtape on stage, and how last week's shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., has influenced his performance.

McLean said he was "blown away by" The Screwtape Letters the first time he read it in his early 20s, "because I didn't think of devils in a personal way and [Lewis] made it so real. I found it to be very profound."

Fiske first approached McLean with the idea for the play, telling him that he would make a really good Screwtape.

"I don't know if that was a compliment or not," McLean joked, but was intrigued by the idea.

Screwtape's apprentice, Wormwood, who is also his nephew, is never seen in the play. Rather, the audience watches Screwtape as he reads letters from Wormwood detailing his progress at tempting his "patient."

Screwtape dictates letters to Wormwood excoriating him for his simple-minded understanding of human nature: "Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one -- the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts." "Moderated religion is better than no religion." "It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out."

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SOURCE: Christian Post
Napp Nazworth
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