Learn about “the Last Days of Judas Iscariot”

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LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PLAY

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot tells the story of a court case over the ultimate fate of Judas Iscariot. The play uses flashbacks to animagined childhood, and lawyers who call for the testimonies of such witnesses as Mother Teresa, Caiaphas, Saint Monica, Sigmund Freud, and Satan.

stronglanguage2Age Recommendation: 13+ for adult language, mature content

Our policy is to inform audiences of content, but to let parents, guardians, and teachers makedecisions that they feel is most appropriate for youth and teens in their care

Run Time: Two hours and 45 minutes with one intermission

About the Playjudasnjesus

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is by Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, author of about a dozen plays, including Between Riverside and Crazy, Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, and The Motherfucker With The Hat.

The original 2005 off-Broadway production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot was directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and included actors Sam Rockwell, Elizabeth Rodriguez, and Eric Bogosian. It also had a theological advisor, Jesuit priest James Martin. Martin later wrote a book about the experience, A Jesuit Off-Broadway: Behind the Scenes with Faith, Doubt, Forgiveness, and More.

About Judas, Guirgis says “I grew up Catholic, so the story of the play is told within those parameters.  When I was a kid, the story of Judas troubled me a lot. It didn’t make sense to me, it frightened me, and it seemed to fly in the face of the notion of the all-loving and all-merciful God…I stopped believing the story, and that not believing—or not wanting to believe—made me feel a lot of things that didn’t feel good. I had no sense of who or what God was.

…I am in continuous need of the Spiritual and I usually go to great lengths to avoid it.  And I think I’m not alone in that.  And I think a connection to the Spiritual is essential to us as individuals and to the world as a whole.  I think our survival depends on it.

Thomas Merton said, “To be a saint means to be yourself.” What if that were true? What is it that we need to overcome in order to truly be “Ourselves”? I won’t pretend at all that this play answers that question, but if it provokes the question in you, then please let it. Ponder it. Because we need you.”

Special Events:

Pay-What-You-Can-Nights

Pay-What-You-Can-Nights ($5 minimum) are the Thursdays July 15, 21, 28 and Monday Industry Night, July 25.

Opening Night

Join us on  Saturday, July 16 for Opening Night, and celebrate afterwards in the lobby with the cast and crew.

Post-Show Talkbacks

Want to know more about the show? Join the cast and crew for a FREE talkback. You’ll hear from the director and performers, and maybe even a special guest or two. And they’ll take your questions! Performances with Post-Show Talkbacks are the Sunday matinees and Thursday evening performances (July 17, 21, 24, 28).

Join us for a Post-Show Discussion!

There will be four post-show discussions after Thursday evening and Sunday Matinee performances.   These are free and open to all patrons.

·      Sunday July 17 following 2pm matinee
·      Thursday, July 21  following 7:30 Pay What You Can Performance
·      Sunday,July 24 following 2pm Matinee
·      Thursday, July 28 following 7:30 Pay What You Can Performance

ABOUT THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT

Sound Theatre Company continues its tenth anniversary season with Stephen Adly Guirgis’ expressionistic courtroom fantasy The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.  The Last Days of Judas Iscariot dramatizes a court case to decide the ultimate fate of Judas Iscariot which utilizes flashbacks, testimonials, and interrogations of such witnesses as Mother Teresa, Caiaphas, Saint Monica, Sigmund Freud, and Satan, among others.  The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is a hilarious, poignant, thought-provoking work by Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis. Contains mature language.Sigmund_Freud_vs_Mother_Teresa_

Set in a time-bending, seriocomically imagined world between Heaven and Hell, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is a philosophical meditation on the conflict between divine mercy and human free will. This early work by Stephen Adly Guirgis, 2015 Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, established him as “a playwright to reckon with in recent years: a fierce and questing mind that refuses to settle for glib answers, a gift for identifying with life’s losers and an unforced eloquence that finds the poetry in lowdown street talk.”- The New York Times

“An ambitious, complicated and often laugh-out-loud religious debate” -The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Stephen Adly Guirgis has written a real jaw-dropper…raw language and flamboyantly street-savvy characters… his imagination is dazzling and his command of language downright thrilling.” -Variety

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot will be directed by STC Producing Artistic Director, Teresa Thuman. “As theatre artists we need to present stories that are not rooted in the simplistic ‘good vs. evil’ or ‘hero vs. villain’ polemic that pervades our popular culture,” says Thuman.   “This unique play invites us to look deeply and compassionately at the ambiguities and complexities of being human. We at Sound Theatre Company are so fortunate to have assembled an exceptional cast of local actors who can highlight the universal experiences of these thrilling, street-wise characters.”

About the playwright

Stephen Adly Guirgis, a native of New York, was born to an Irish Catholic mother and a Coptic Egyptian father. He is a member of New York City’s LAByrinth Theater Company. His plays have been produced on five continents and throughout the United States. The include Our Lady of 121st Street, which was one of the ten chosen for Best Plays of 2003 (the annual chronicle of U.S. theater) and received Best Play nominations from the Lucille Lortel Foundation, the Drama Desk, and the Outer Critics Circle; Jesus Hopped the A Train, which won the Edinburgh Fringe First Award, the Detroit Free Press Best Play of the Year, and the Barrymore Award, and received a Laurence Olivier nomination as London’s best new play; and In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings, which was named one of the 10 Best of ’99 by Time Out New York, and was a Critics Pick in Time Out London. All three plays were originally produced by LAByrinth and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman also directed The Last Days of Judas Iscariot in a co-production between LAByrinth and the Public Theater. Guirgis’ recent play Between Riverside and Crazy received the 2015 Pulitizer Prize for Drama

Plays by Stephen Adly Guirgis

·      Between Riverside and Crazy (Winner of 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama)

·      The Motherfucker with the Hat*

·      Dominca the Fat Ugly Ho

·      The Last Days of Judas Iscariot*

·      In Arabia, We’d All Be Kinds*

·      Our Lady of 121st Street*

·      The Little Flower of East Orange

·      Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train*

·      Den of Theives

·      Race, Religion and Politics

 

*Denotes recent productions in Seattle

 

Themes and Potential topics for discussion and further investigation:

Christianity in a contemporary world, Religious History, Restorative Justice, Criminal Justice Reform, Social Justice, Social Service, Theology, Humanism, Atheism, Racial Equity, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Middle East Studies,

 

Lending Library

·      Read the play.   We have copies available for perusal.  Contact Teresa Thuman via email at Teresa@soundtheatrecompany.org or you can purchase a copy here:

·      https://www.amazon.com/Last-Days-Judas-Iscariot-Play/dp/0571211011/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1467311213&sr=1-2&keywords=the+last+days+of+judas+iscariot+by+stephen+adly+guirgis

 

·      Read:  A Jesuit off Broadway: Behind the Scenes with Faith, Doubt, Forgiveness, and More.   James  J. Martin, S.J. served as theological adviser for the original production directed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  He wrote a book about his experiences and his many conversations with the playwright, the director, the actors and all the artists who created this text in an in depth exploratory process.  We have a copy we purchased to share with interested patrons.  You can learn more here:

·      https://www.amazon.com/Jesuit-Off-Broadway-Behind-Scenes-Forgiveness/dp/0829435476

Content Advisories
Rating: PG-13

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot centers around an imagined court hearing to determine the ultimate fate of Judas Iscariot. Set in a time-bending world between Heaven and Hell, it is by turns hilarious, poignant, and thought-provoking.

Adult Language:

Gritty and profane words come out of the mouths of saints and sinners alike. Many of the characters consistently use strong language: f***, motherf******, s***, a**, hell, damn, nig***

Scariness/Violence:

A courtroom drama, there is tenseness and poignancy, but no violence or scariness.

Sexual References:

Reference to a character having an abortion, and admonished for not keeping her “legs closed”.

Nudity:

No nudity.

Drugs/Alcohol:

One character is shown very drunk in a bar. Another character’s cocaine habit is referenced.

Important Issues:

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot intentionally has its characters—many of them Biblical figures or saints—speaking in unexpected ways that some individuals may find shocking.

Sample the text –   Below is a passage from Act Two of the play.

SAINT THOMAS: My name is Thomas.  At the last supper, I was the first one to say that I would die for Jesus, and I was also the first one to head for the hills doing ninety when the Romans came and arrested him.  And then, when Jesus resurrected himself, I was also the guy who said I wouldn’t believe He was who He said He was unless I could see with my own eyes the holes in his hands and personally inspect them and touch them – as if I was some qualified medical examiner, like I was “Quincy” or something.   But the thing of it was, Jesus showed them to me.  And not only that, He let me touch them.  In a ministry based entirely on the virtues of faith, he gave me proof.  I had no faith, and he gave it to me for free.  I don’t know why I got the benefit of my doubt, and Judas didn’t get help with his.  And, I’m not saying this cuz I like the guy – cuz personally, I thought Judas was a bit of a Jerk-off.  Actually, “fuckin’ dick’ would be more accurate.  Judas was the kinda guy  — at least with me – where, one minute he’s your friend, and the next minute he’s making fun of you in front of everybody.  He used to like to say that the reason Jesus had to do the Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes was because I ate all the food when no one was looking.  Stuff l