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The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is a 2005 play by American playwright Stephen Adley Guirgis first staged off-Broadway at The Public Theater on 2 March 2005 directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and featuring performances by Sam Rockwell and Eric Begosian.
"Stephen Adly Guirgis is a playwright that as a young person living in an urban city you feel you could chill with. He's also a playwright that if you're an affluent privileged person you'd still love to meet...why? The guy makes you think.
In The Last Days of Judas Iscariot we are met with a cast of characters that are so famous and infamous that we can't help but get excited to see what's next. Where else can you see Mother Teresa and Satan take the stand on the same day in a trial set in purgatory. Comic and thought provoking at the same time.
The play focuses on what led to the downfall of Judas Iscariot, the notorious disciple. Was it really his fault? Did Jesus want him to do it? Did he still love him after the fact? This play is not an attack on Christianity. If anything it is a play that spotlights spirituality and the importance of faith, whatever that may mean for the individual.
The writing is very accessible with dialogue you would hear on a modern day street corner to more refined monologue moments. If anything, this play will make you think about right and wrong and how what we opine is relative, especially if we weren't there and didn't "walk a mile" in their shoes thing. " ---John J. Concado, East Village
“A real jaw-dropper. [Guirgis’s] imagination is dazzling and his command of language downright thrilling.” —Marilyn Stasio, Variety
“Guirgis may be the most extravagantly talented . . . playwright in America . . . To put it clinically, he is a master of American urban vernacular; to put it as one of his characters might put it, the s—— is real.” —Jeremy McCarter, The New York Sun
From one of our most admired playwrights, “an ambitious, complicated and often laugh-out-loud religious debate” ---Toby Zinman, The Philadelphia Inquirer
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. This latest work from the author of Our Lady of 121st Street “shares many of the traits that have made Mr. Guirgis 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. [Guirgis brings to the play] a stirring sense of Christian existential pain, which wonders at the paradoxes of faith” Ben Brantley, The New York Times
About the AuthorStephen Adly Guirgis’s previous plays—Our Lady of 121st Street, Jesus Hopped the A Train, and In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings—were published by Faber in an omnibus edition in 2003. He lives in New York City.
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Keyword tags: Eric Bogosian Iglesias Productions Judas Iscariot Philip Seymour Hoffman Sam Rockwell Stephen Adly Guirgis The Last Days of Judas The Public Theatre
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