Campbell takes on C.S. Lewis in spring drama

Buies Creek, N.C.-Before there was Narnia there was “The Screwtape Letters,” C.S. Lewis’ satirical novel about spiritual warfare told from a demon’s point of view. First published in 1942 (and dedicated to J. R. R. Tolkien), the book brought immediate fame to the little-known Oxford professor who taught medieval English literature. Lewis was later to write the highly acclaimed “Chronicles of Narnia” and become one of the world’s leading authors of Christian literature. “The Screwtape Letters” will be presented Feb. 19 and 20 and 25-27 at 8 p.m. at Memorial Baptist Church in Buies Creek. Tickets are $7 general admission and $3 for students, faculty/staff and senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Campbell Box Office at 910.893.1509 or 800. 334.4111, ext. 1509.

Set in an office in Hell, the play follows a senior devil, Screwtape, as he tutors two juniors, Wormwood and Slubgob, in the fundamentals of temptation. Screwtape’s advice to his students reveals truths about human nature as well as the devil’s inability to understand the reality of a loving God. The audience sees these principals put into practice as the demons begin work on their human subject.

“Why bother to be continually whispering into human ears? All we do is keep the facts out,” Screwtape instructs the interns.

“The Screwtape Letters’ has long been one of my favorites because it is filled with truth about the world, the flesh, and the Devil,” said Bert Wallace, associate professor of theatre and director of the production. “I’m excited about exploring Lewis’s themes onstage.”

Wallace said he is also excited to be performing in the sanctuary of Memorial Baptist Church in Buies Creek, where Pastor David Whiteman and the staff have welcomed the department for the staging of this new adaptation of the play by Nigel Ford.

“When you come, just remember, as Lewis warns us in his original introduction, there are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils, one is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors,'” Wallace said.