Reader’s Theatre Will Present ‘Last Days of Judas Iscariot’
You’ve heard of dinner theater — well, how about breakfast theater? That’s what the Cathedral will offer at 9 a.m. April 8 in Harvard Hall, when the Reader’s Theatre Ensemble presents excerpts from the play The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, a hilarious, poignant and thought-provoking work by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Gurgis. Set in a courtroom in Purgatory, the play reinterprets the characters of Pontius Pilate, St. Monica, Judas Iscariot, his mother Henrietta, and, of course, Satan to ask one of the most plaguing questions in the Christian ideology: What happened to Judas Iscariot?
Was Judas the duplicitous master of his own fate, a much-suffering pawn used for Jesus’s ends, or just a man who made a mistake? Wouldn’t a merciful God forgive him? The Last Days puts Judas’s case to a piercing trial, the results of which are sure to make us reconsider what each of us thought we knew about forgiveness, faith, and the human side of one of history’s most infamous figures.
In a review of a 2017 revival of the play, the New York Times commented: This “vastly compassionate, darkly comic play crossexamines the Gospels, posing complex moral and spiritual questions about divine justice and human failures of virtue. ... It’s not really a play about religion. It’s about the kind of guilt, self-loathing, and entrenched despair that can create a permanent personal hell, a form of solitary confinement where the prisoner is insensible to love.” Guirgis won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2015 for Between Riverside and Crazy. He is a director, actor, and screenwriter as well as a playwright.
Jack Clark, a retired professional director, choreographer, and actor, will direct. The Reader’s Theatre Ensemble, a new group at the Cathedral since last fall, presented the Passion Gospel of Mark on Palm Sunday and will provide entertainment at the April 19 Foyer Dinner. Come see your fellow parishioners release the actors within! Continental breakfast will be available.