The hypothetical courtroom drama The Last Days of Judas Iscariot takes the stage at Northern Arizona University for eight performances in February and March.
In a hilarious dissection of history’s most legendary betrayal, Pontius Pilate, Mother Teresa and Sigmund Freud are called to testify in a trial of Judas Iscariot, who has been vilified for the last 2,000 years for his betrayal of Jesus Christ to the Roman authorities. Condemned to hell for eternity, Judas is called to a courtroom in purgatory to plead his case. The investigation leads to the question of whether or not Judas should be in hell and the possibility that he may not be the only one to blame.
“The production uses language to humanize and modernize a distinct and recognizable story,” said Darby Lofstrand, director and theater lecturer. “Every generation rewrites familiar stories to better understand them and apply them to their own lives. Judas was a man for all ages.”
Performances will run in the Clifford E. White Theater at 8 p.m. Feb. 25-26 and March 2-5, and at 2 p.m. Feb. 27 and March 6. Tickets are $14 for the general public, $12 for seniors and NAU faculty and staff, $7 for non-NAU students and $2 for NAU students with an ID. For tickets, call (928) 523-5661. The play contains strong language.
Several related events also have been scheduled to coincide with this production. Alyce Jordan, professor of art history, will give a lecture titled, “Biblical Bad Boys: The Visual Legacy of Judas, Caiaphas, Pilate and Satan,” at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, in room 217 of the Performing Arts building.
Following the performances on Feb. 25 and 27, Jason BeDuhn, professor of religious studies, will give a lecture titled “Sacred Cows on the Dissection Table.”
The performance on Mar. 3 will be followed by “What is Sacrilege?” by Konden Smith, instructor of religious studies.
A panel discussion with faculty from theater and comparative cultural studies, along with religious leaders from the community, takes place at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Mar. 9, in Cline Library Assembly Hall.