Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Positives of Playing Screwtape

Chloe Eaton ’15 reflects on her experience playing Screwtape in the Theatre Arts Department's production of C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, adapted by Associate Professor of English Mark Wacome Stevick and directed by Professor of Theatre Arts Norman M. Jones.

“You first of all allowed the patient to read a book he really enjoyed, because he enjoyed it and not in order to make clever remarks about it to his new friends. In the second place, you allowed him to walk down to the old mill and have tea there—a walk through country he really likes, and taken alone. In other words, you allowed him two real positive Pleasures. How can you have failed to see that a real pleasure was the last thing you ought to have let him meet?”


Playing Screwtape in Gordon’s production of The Screwtape Letters has been filled with more “real pleasures” than I can count. It is always a blessing to work with professor and director Norman Jones, from whom there is always more to learn. Taking inspiration from the production's scenic, lighting, sound and costume designers and getting the chance to tackle the script’s wonderful language have also been great pleasures.

One of the greatest joys of working on this piece has been the large cast and crew I have had the privilege of seeing almost every day during the process. Each member is concerned not only with giving their best to the work, but also with creating an amazingly positive and supportive environment.

There have certainly been challenges: balancing a busy schedule filled with rehearsals, the pressure of doing justice to the words of C. S. Lewis and Mark Stevick, the discomfort of finding myself guilty of the often invisible sins Lewis so wisely points out, acting challenges, etc... In their own way, though, these challenges have been joys, as well—chances to learn and grow.

Lewis wisely recognizes that true pleasures of this kind connect us with our Maker in ways that make the other side tremble. I know I speak for all those involved when I say that I have relished the opportunity to enflesh this particularly important and eternal story.

—Chloe Eaton, '15

Performances of The Screwtape Letters continue this week, October 29–November 2, 7:30 p.m, and tickets are still available, if you have not yet seen the show! Click here to purchase your tickets.

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