Theatre Found is proud to present the Hawaii premiere of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, by Stephen Adly Guirgis, the Pulitzer Prize-winner for Drama (2015). Directed by Mark Branner, Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, the production will run for three weekends. Performances will take place on: Fridays, August 18, August 25 and September 1 at 7 p.m.; Saturdays, August 19, August 26 and September 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays, August 20, August 27 and September 3 at 2 p.m. at UHM’s Earle Ernst Lab Theatre.
Hailed by Time magazine and Entertainment Weekly as among the best plays of the year when the play was initially written in 2005, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis unleashes his incendiary language and style upon Judas Iscariot, the Bible’s most notorious sinner. Presented as a courtroom drama in the depths of purgatory, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is described by the production team as “an irresistible examination of human free will and divine mercy.” Judas features a wild cast of characters – Mother Teresa, Pontius Pilate, Sigmund Freud, even Satan himself – to ask the question, “What happened to Judas Iscariot?”
Branner first directed the production in Hollywood, California in 2009 and describes the play as a “ fiercely ambitious work that explores the consequences of faith, guilt and despair, alongside the boundaries of forgiveness and grace.” Though the play contains strong adult language, Branner suggests that “the profanity may provide an entry point into the story of Judas for those who aren’t particularly religious.” In fact, Branner explains that the play perfectly fits the purpose of Theatre Found, which exists to incarnate stories that ask the big questions, without providing simplistic answers.
Two years ago, Theatre Found collaborated with All the World’s a Stage and several local churches to bring Freud’s Last Session to life in “found spaces” at C4 (Christ Centered Community Church) and KCC (Kaimuki Christian Church). The play won great acclaim, including Po`okela Awards for Outstanding Overall Production of a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play and Outstanding Guest Artist in a Play (Donovan Oakleaf).
With Judas, the cast is assembled of celebrated local talent – Jason Quinn as Pilate, Eden Lee Murray as Mother Teresa, Stacy Ray as Henrietta Iscariot – along with several professional actors from the mainland. Nico Guilak and Carolina Barcos – both Los Angeles-based actors with multiple film and television credits – will play the two lawyers on opposite sides of Judas’s case, while Stephan Wolfert – a New York-based actor whose celebrated one-person show has played Off-Broadway, will play Satan himself. The goal, notes Branner, is to “assemble the finest team possible in order to tell this story with the greatest skill and artistry.”
Advance tickets for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot may be purchased online at www.judasinhawaii.com for a discounted price of $15. General admission tickets will be offered at the door one hour before each performance for $20.