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 New York City by popular demand for five performances only. The limited engagement will run at the NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Place (LaGuardia Place and Washington Square South), tonight, November 15 at 8 p.m.; Friday, November 16 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, November 17 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m; and Sunday, November 18 at 3 p.m. In 2010 THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS was a nine-month hit at New York's Westside Theatre.
Prior to The Westside Theatre engagement, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS was a sold out hit in Chicago and Washington D. C. where it ran for a combined eight months. Now in its second smash year, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS' National Tour has delighted capacity audiences in 50 major cities including Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Orlando, Seattle and Houston. Over a quarter of a million people have seen this production on its National Tour, which is now extended into 2013.
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 played by award-winning actor Max McLean.
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 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 wrote "I 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."
Lewisdedicated it 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."
THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is produced by New York City based Fellowship for the Performing Arts. Max McLean serves as Artistic Director. 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.
The performance schedule for THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is tonight, November 15 at 8 p.m.; Friday, November 16 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, November 17 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m; and Sunday, November 18 at 3 p.m. Tier prices are as follows: Orchestra $69, Parterre $59, and Balcony $49. Select Premium locations are $99. 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 www.ScrewtapeonStage.com, call 212.352.3101 or visit the Skirball Box Office at 566 LaGuardia Place on Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. or two hours before the performances.