As one of the twelve apostles, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus some 2,000 years ago.
The “Last Days of Judas,” a new production from Henley Street Theater and Richmond Triangle Players, tells the story of Judas through dark comedy in a world between heaven and hell. The story unfolds through an imagined court case where the fate of Judas is decided.
“It’s a play that I think deals with some very challenging themes that I think a Southern Baptist sensibility might have some trouble swallowing – which is not saying that it’s not a deeply religious play,” James Ricks, Henley Street’s artistic director, says.
The play is written in challenging urban vernacular and characters are updated with modern times. Historically, Judas has been depicted as an unforgivable sinner and the premise of this piece looks deeper into that image.
According to director Bo Wilson, although gritty, the performance still conveys a very Christian message. ” You better love everyone all the time or your not getting it.”
While the play is not gay or lesbian in theme per se, it will still resonate with a community that feels in some cases isolated in their own religion.
“Gay and lesbians are sometimes seen as outcasts or don’t quite fit in society and can be misunderstood by the population,” John Knapp, artistic director for the Richmond Triangle Players said. ”Judas was very much in that same type of boat.”
As part of the Acts of Faiths Festival, the production team looks forward to the crossroads of people that will attend the show bringing new faces to both theater companies.
Director Bo Wilson adds that the core of the play is dark comedy. ”We get caught up in this binary discussion, ‘Is it true to the Bible or sacrilegious,’ and those are valid questions,” he says. ”The writer’s sense of humor is sharp and never idle, but as long as the word funny gets out there, I think it’s relevant.”
“The Last Days of Judas” plays Richmond Triangle Players, 1300 Altamont Avenue, February 24 – March 19. For tickets and show times, visit Henley Street Theater.
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