“This is my Bible: I am what it says I am; I have what it says I have; I can do what it says I can do. Today, I will be taught the Word of God. I'll boldly confess. My mind is alert; my heart is receptive; I will never be the same, in Jesus' Name.” Taking part of that quote from Pastor Joel Osteen and knowing what the “Good News” or The Holy Bible tells us; let’s be receptive and open-minded to what C. S. Lewis was trying to say when he wrote “The Screwtape Letters”.
After seeing the recent stage presentation of “The Screwtape Letters” presented at the Times Union Center, that was brought to JAX, Florida by the Fellowship for the Performing Arts, this writer saw the good, the bad and the ugly that plagues the average person who tries to live a uncomplicated life; despite temptations of the world.
One observes how “SCREWww-Tapeee” (Brent Harris) communicates with his ward demon-in-training, Wormwood, who receives advice about ‘how-to’ tempt souls away from goodness and toward evil. This is done so cunningly through psychological interactions of evil through Screwtape’s advice in letters that travel from hell back to earth.
There is a very unique way that Toadpipe (Marissa Molnar) takes dictation from its master Screwtape with its hands and sometimes feet. The antics of Toadpipe and the proficient dialogue of Screwtape, is reminiscent of an act from one of Shakespeare’s plays.
The play shows how evil can creep into a Christian's relationships with friends, family, acquaintances and even co-workers to change the goodness of a person (The Patient) in his views on world matters. Some of the areas of seduction that are covered in the discussions are sex, love, pride, prayer, gluttony, war, and church hopping– just to name a few. It proves that, “The road-to-hell is paved with good intentions”.
Nonetheless, like other stories of conflict, Wormwood loses his grip on The Patient’s soul. Good triumphs over evil when The Patient learns from a woman about what is true, honest, just, pure and lovely – right before he dies and goes to heaven. Hell is upset because they have lost another soul.
From the beginning to the end of this “two-person” cast, your attention will be drawn to circumstances and situations that you may have encountered in your own life. What would you do and where would you spend eternity?
After the 90 minute performance actor Brent Harris and director Max McLean graciously answered the numerous questions that came from the audience. If you have the opportunity, you will want to attend this show.
What's your view of C.S. Lewis' work?
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