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Max McLean Interview-A Unique Director/Actor/Producer

By Renee Sudderth

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Excitement is in the air across the United States with the return of award-winning director/actor/producer Max McLean’s sold out National Touring play, The Screwtape Letters. Over 250,000 people have seen this production.  It has received rave reviews in the New York Post, The National Review, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNN and elsewhere. I am excitedly waiting for the play to arrive in Atlanta, GA June 7 – 9, 2013 at the Alliance Theatre.


Max McLean, Director of The Screwtape Letters, Courtesy of Calvin.edu

I had the special privilege of interviewing Mr. Max McLean. I was interested in knowing what led him to produce this play. However, before he responded to my questions, he wanted to know more about Splash Magazines.  I told him about Mr. Lawrence Davis, the founder and publisher of the 11 year-old On-Line Magazine.


Lawrence Davis, Founder and Publisher of Splash Magazine

 I also mentioned an article that I had just completed, “Wade, Jacksons –Two Fathers and Their Sons” a tribute to Father’s Day. Amazingly, he brought it up on his computer, which really pleased me.


 As we continued our introductions, he told me how his play came to be. He gave credit to the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, saying, “C. S. Lewis made his “splash” by publishing this book in 1942. He was interested in the idea of the way the devil works in our lives. He is an amazing writer.  The imagery in his writing creates powerful images, both good and evil. It really captured my imagination so I obtained the Rights to this Theatrical play”.


C.S. Lewis the amazing author

I was curious about when he took the leap into producing this film. His reply was that “I first produced the play in 2006 with a small crowd. The next year the audience came back and now over 100,000 come back.”


I was surprised when he told me that as a child he didn’t think about acting, producing or writing plays. He was only interested in and involved in sports.  It wasn’t until his early 20’s while in college studying theatre that he found out what the Lord wanted him to do. I wasn’t sure if he was like my friend, Patricia Oalden’s nephew, Steven Brown at age 6 who started drawing and writing on his walls and telling Aunt Pat, “I’m going to be a producer”.


I wondered what Mr. McLean would like our Splash readers to know in preparation for seeing the play. He said “the purpose of this play is spiritual warfare. Though the devil catches us unaware, you will have an experience that impacts your imagination and you will be captured. You will recognize that there is a supernatural influence both good and bad that’s working on you every moment while you are completely unaware. This makes you aware. Just like Paul says in II Corinthians 2:11, “Lest Satan should take advantage of you; for we are not ignorant of his devices””.  


Evil vs Good, Courtesy of go.standard.net


I was completely captivated as he was describing this. I told him I couldn’t wait to see the play because I could feel the energy in what he was saying. He told me to make sure we go to the website, watch the videos and read the Reviews.




I know he is a unique director but I had to ask if he designed the devil’s costume in the play because it is really breathtaking. He gave credit to the costume designer but he said he approved it.


Then I asked, how he chose the actor to be Screwtape. He said the casting call was in New York, 600 resumes were submitted, “We saw 18 actors but we called only one back and that was Mr. Brent Harris”. Mr. McLean had high praise for him saying “he is marvelous, his voice creates a fantastic presence and he does a remarkable job playing Screwtape".


Brent Harris as Screwtape, Courtesy of atlanta.broadwayworld.com

Before Mr. Harris became the well-known character in The Screwtape Letters, he had a prior noteworthy achievement. He appeared in the 6 Tony Award-Winning Production Lion King which I have seen many times.  He portrayed “Scar”, the bad lion who kept the audience intrigued. I feel certain that actor Harris will be just as good in his current role as in his past major roles.



Brent Harris as "Scar" in Lion King, Courtesy of farm5staticflickr.com



It was a delight to speak with Mr. McLean, and I could feel his excitement and enthusiasm about his play. I already know it’s going to be great, funny and spiritual but I had one more very important question for him. For those who have seen this play, has anyone contacted you later and told you they became saved? He immediately said YES and to make sure, I read the reviews and read those comments especially the ones who became SAVED. Just talking to him and getting the feel of the Play I can see GOOD will overrule EVIL, as always!!


Max McLean receives Honors, Courtesy of OffBroadway.broadwayworld.com

To purchase tickets, visit www.ScrewtapeonStage.com

To view Who’s Max McLean http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2003/10/20/meet-max-mclean


Copyright © 2013.JUNE This story written by Renee Sudderth for Splash Magazines. It is not to be sold or reproduce without written permission of Renee Sudderth

Published on Jun 04, 2013

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