Hit Production The Screwtape Letters Leaves Its Mark In Tampa

By Kayla Hayes

Why does good theatre matter?

According to Max McLean, founder of Fellowship for the Performing Arts (FPA), and Screwtape in the hit production The Screwtape Letters, “The power in theatre and storytelling is that it hits us in our imagination.”

The Screwtape Letters, a theatrical adaptation of the novel by C.S. Lewis, has certainly stirred the imaginations of mixed-faith audiences all over the nation. In a world where the Devil is called ‘Our Father Below’ and God is ‘The Enemy’, McLean brings the intelligent work of Lewis to life onstage through the character of Screwtape. “The book is perhaps the best example of reverse psychology in all of literature,” said McLean, and the play (nearly all of the dialogue is taken directly from the novel) expresses the reality of spiritual warfare in a thrilling way.

After the popularity of it’s first appearance in Tampa last October, the production found it’s way back to the Straz Center for a limited engagement last month. After attending the show, I highly recommend the play to persons of any faith. The Screwtape Letters exposes the deceptions that we all face on a daily basis concerning such areas as war, relationships and the modern church, and exposes how easily the true enemy can turn us from our real pleasures that are found in prayer and the Bible. McLean said that “Ninety percent come away with a great theatrical experience. The play is entertaining and provocative, but a smaller group also find it convicting.”

If you missed the show in Tampa, The Screwtape Letters will be in Orlando at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and in Jacksonville at the Moran Theater at the Times-Union Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

For updates on The Screwtape Letters, follow the play on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.screwtapeonstage.com for tickets and information.