COURTESY OF KEITH FOREMAN In The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, witnesses ranging from Sigmund Freud to Pontius Pilate are called to testify on whether Judas Iscariot should go to heaven.
Last weekend’s theatre department performance of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, by Stephen Guirgis, was notable not only for its star cast, intelligent humor and philosophical weight, but more so for its unique inclusion of student input in the creative process.
The show was led by director Shadi Ghaheri, visiting lecturer in theatre, and dramaturg Catherine María Rodríguez, both of whom emphasized the importance of actor participation in their process. The play, which imagines Judas Iscariot on trial in purgatory, was grounded by the exceptional Maya Jasinska ’21 as defense attorney Fabiana Aziza Cunningham, Samori Etienne ’21 as prosecuting attorney El-Fayoumy and Peter Matsumoto ’20.5 in the role of Judas himself.
For many students, the inclusive rehearsal process had a strong impact on the quality and value of rehearsal time, offering a much-needed change in the wake of the theatre department’s cancellation of Beast Thing in the fall.