GMU Players to Present ‘The Last Days of Judas Iscariot’

Posted: February 25, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The GMU Players will bring Stephen Adly Guirgis’ dark comedy, “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” to the stage this spring. Directed by theater professor Heather McDonald, the play will be performed at Harris Theater on Mason’s Fairfax Campus, Feb. 26-28 at 8 p.m., and Feb. 28-March 1 at 2 p.m.

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 that takes a close look at the eternal damnation of the Bible’s most notorious sinner.

The play tells the tale of the fallen apostle in purgatory, who litigates with his lawyers for his entry into heaven. “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” contains flashbacks of Judas’ imagined childhood, and the lawyers also call on the testimony of witnesses such as Mary Magdalene, Mother Teresa, Pontius Pilate, Sigmund Freud and Satan.

Written by Guirgis in 2005, “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” debuted in an off-Broadway performance at The Public Theater in New York City in March 2005, with Philip Seymour Hoffman directing.

Playwright, screenwriter and actor Guirgis has been a member of New York City’s LAByrinth Company since 1994. In addition to “Judas Iscariot,” he has had four other plays directed by Hoffman and produced by the company: “Our Lady of 121st Street”; “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train”; “In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings”; and “The Little Flower of East Orange.”

His television writing credits include “NYPD Blue” and “The Sopranos,” and his film credits include LAByrinth’s “Guinea Pig Solo,” Todd Solondz’s “Palindromes,” Brett C. Leonard’s “Jailbait” and Charlie Kaufman’s “Synedoche, New York.”

The GMU Players is a faculty-directed student organization within the Theater Department.

A professional director and playwright, McDonald received her MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has taught playwriting for Mason’s Theater Department for 17 years.

Tickets are $12; $8 for students, seniors and Mason faculty and staff. Limited free tickets are available for Mason students.

Tickets may be purchased at the door one hour prior to the performance. To purchase tickets by phone, contact the Center for the Arts Box Office at 703-993-8888. For information on group sales, call Kimberly Schall at 703-993-8600.

For information on the Mason Theater Department or the GMU Players, call 703-993-1120.

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