Archive for May 11, 2013

‘The Screwtape Letters’ at Clowes Hall, June 1

Clowes Memorial Hall

Clowes Memorial Hall on the campus of Butler University.

By Lianne Walker
On behalf of The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters, the provocative and wickedly funny theatrical adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel about spiritual warfare from a demon’s point of view, will return to Indianapolis by popular demand for two performances only, after a sold-out engagement in March 2012.  The production will run at the Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University, 4602 Sunset Avenue, Indianapolis, Saturday, June 1, 2013, at 4:00 and 8:00 pm.

The National Tour of The Screwtape Letters kicked off after a hit nine-month run at the Westside Theatre in New York City.  Prior to that, The Screwtape Letters was a sold out hit in Chicago and Washington D. C. where it ran for a combined eight months.

Presented by Fellowship for the Performing Arts, The Screwtape Letters is produced and directed by award-winning actor Max McLean who created the role in New York.

Now in its third smash year, The Screwtape Letters National Tour has delighted capacity audiences in over 50 major cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta and Seattle.   Over 250,000 have seen this production on tour, which continues to attract a national following.

Associated Press calls The Screwtape Letters “Devilishly funny!”  “Sly, funny, handsomely produced…the devil is an equal-opportunity entertainer!” says The Washington Post.  “This is a show…if you’ll pardon the expression—without sin. Lewis plays the English language like a fine tuned instrument!” exclaims  The Boston Globe raves that it is “Engrossing and entertaining!” and The Chicago Tribune says The Screwtape Letters is “Very smart…richly rewarding…exuberant theatricality!”

The Screwtape Letters creates a topsy-turvy morally inverted universe set in an eerily stylish office in hell, where God is called the “Enemy” and the devil is referred to as “Our Father below.”  The play follows His Abysmal Sublimity Screwtape, Satan’s top psychiatrist (due to his profound understanding of human nature), and his slavish creature-demon Toadpipe, as they train an apprentice demon, Wormwood, on how to ruin the life and damn the soul of an unsuspecting human on earth.

Screwtape is portrayed by award winning actor Brent Harris, who played Scar in the National Tour of The Lion King, Lucifer in Dr. Faustus, Iago in Othello, Salieri in Amadeus, Olivier in Orson’s Shadow, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, and the title role in Macbeth. He is regularly seen in many of America’s great theatre companies such as American Repertory Theatre, Seattle Rep, Denver Center Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare, and D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Along with The Chronicles of Narnia (including The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe), The Great Divorce and Mere ChristianityThe Screwtape Letters is still one of Lewis’ most popular and influential works.  The book’s piercing insight into human nature and the lucid and humorous way Lewis makes his readers squirm in self-recognition made it an immediate success.  When first published in 1942 it brought worldwide fame to this little-known Oxford don including the cover of Time Magazine.

The idea for Screwtape first came to Lewis after listening to Hitler’s Reichstag Speech on July 19, 1940, while it was simultaneously translated on BBC Radio.  Lewis wroteI don’t know if I’m weaker than other people, but it is a positive revelation to me how while the speech lasts it is impossible not to waver just a little… Statements which I know to be untrue all but convince me…if only the man says them unflinchingly.” 

Lewis dedicated it to his close friend JRR 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.”

The Screwtape Letters is produced by New York City based Fellowship for the Performing Arts. Max McLean serves as the Producing Artistic Director. McLean, along with Jeffrey Fiske, wrote and directed the theatrical adaptation. Executive Producer and General Manager is Ken Denison of Aruba Productions. Scenic Design is by Cameron Anderson, Costumes by Michael Bevins, Lighting Design by Jesse Klug, and Original Music and Sound Design by John Gromada.

Tickets are $39 – $59.  There are a limited number of student seats for $25 (student ID required).  For groups of 10 or more (including student groups) call 866-476-8707.

To purchase tickets, visit, call Ticketmaster at 800-982-2787 or Clowes Information Line 317-940-6444 for general inquiries during regular business hours, or visit the Clowes Box Office open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and two hours prior to show time.

Editor’s Acknowledgement: Heron PR.