Saturday, April 28, 2012

violet goosen | women of distinction awards


Long-time Pacific Theatre board member Violet Goosen has been nominated for the YWCA Women Of Distinction Awards in the area of Arts, Culture and Design. Congratulations, Vi!

"Recognized nationally as one of Canada’s most prestigious awards for women, the Women of Distinction Awards honours women whose outstanding achievements contribute to the well-being and future of our community. The Awards also honours businesses and organizations that support the wellness and diverse needs of their employees." YWCA

"Violet has enabled the award-winning Vancouver Chamber Choir to not only survive in an increasingly difficult financial climate but to thrive. For 38 years Violet has sung, led, mentored, inspired and single-handedly made the Vancouver Chamber Choir an international tour de force. She has championed Canadian music by raising funds to commission hundreds of new works by local composers as well as those from outside British Columbia. In addition to her tireless efforts to advocate for the arts in Canada, Violet has been instrumental in developing and enacting initiatives in the area of music education and outreach programs for youth and young professionals." YWCA Arts, Culture & Design nominees

Read a tribute to Vi on facebook, and her bio at the Vancouver Chamber Choir website

100 saints | meet theresa

Meet Theresa, a former wild girl-turned-contract maid who has been struck with the surprising need to learn how to pray, in 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW.



Playing Theresa is a familiar face: Rebecca deBoer.  Rebecca is one of those that it seems redundant to introduce: she was on staff as producer at PT for years and performed in many productions here before taking some time off to start a family of her own.  Even before starting on staff here at PT she studied acting with Ron at TWU, so she's felt like a part of the PT family years!  We are over the moon to have her back on our stage after three long years of absence.  Here are some show you might recognize Rebecca from:

HALO


A BRIGHT PARTICULAR STAR



THE WOODSMAN


Friday, April 27, 2012

monthly giving campaign | $345 down ... and it just keeps on going!

WE DID IT!  We made our goal of raising an extra $300 in monthly donations ... but why stop there?  If you want to make a monthly donation, DO IT!  


Why? Because we love theatre, and if you're reading this we think it's likely that you do too. Monthly donations help keep our work sustainable and are one of our most important strategic assets at Pacific Theatre: as a monthly donor, you ensure cash flow and allow us to plan our seasons more effectively while showing us in absolute terms that you value the work we do. That's why a monthly donation of as little as $5-10 can be more meaningful to our operations than a lump sum at the end of the year - by letting us know what to expect, we can do so much more!

Want to help? Donate monthly here!

Follow the progress: 20 + 10 + 10 + 5 + 25 + 5 + 10 + 50 + 25 + 10 + 5 + 10 + 15 + 10 + 10 + 20 + 25 + 5 + 10 + 10 + 20 + 25 + 10 = $345

That's right! $345 out of a goal of $300 in monthly donations. THANK YOU for taking these steps to help make Pacific Theatre more sustainable in the long term.  Let's see how much higher we can take this.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

may 2 | viper central | with kathleen nisbet

Remember Kathleen Nisbet, who did A CHRISTMAS CAROL with me? Played fiddle, and generally kept me company out there? Well, she's in a bluegrass band called VIPER CENTRAL, and they're releasing a new record next Wednesday night. I'm going! Already ordered up a couple copies of the album - including on on vinyl! It'll be a blast. Anyhow, here's the deets...

click to enlarge

Waldorf Hotel Cabaret
Doors at 8pm

Viper Central website

with Guests
David "Boxcar" Gates
and
Lonesome Truth (featuring Jimmy Roy, Cam Wagner, James Lillico and Kathleen Nisbet)

100 saints | meet anthony f. ingram

100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW director Anthony F. Ingram is best known as an actor, both to the PT community and Vancouver audiences in general, but this is actually his second turn as a director at PT (the first being PLAYLAND).


He's won a Jessie Award and been nominated for a handful more, all while working regularly all over town.  Here's a little trip down memory lane of some of the past work you've seen Anthony involved in here at PT:

PLAYLAND



THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT



REFUGE OF LIES


THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE



may 4 | bruce cockburn: pacing the cage


Bruce Cockburn: Pacing the Cage
World Broadcast Premiere, VisionTV
Friday, May 4, 7pm

In 2008, Canadian music icon Bruce Cockburn set out on tour to make a live solo album, “Slice 'o' Life". Cameras followed the man whose legacy includes songs like Wondering Where the Lions Are, If I Had a Rocket Launcher, and If A Tree Falls, as he performed to sold-out crowds in benefit concerts across North America. The filmmakers also followed Bruce to his home for candid conversations about his views on topics from religion to new parenthood.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

100 saints | photos

Media shots for 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW.  Photos by Emily Cooper.






100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW
May 4-26

may 4-16 | heaven and earth | paintings


Dear Friends:

Please find attached an invitation to an extraordinary art show and book launch on the paintings of master painter Ella Suen. Ella paints in the classic Wu Style of Chinese painting and captures outstanding landscapes, flora and fauna. What is unique about the work she has done for this show, and in particular the art book, are the spiritual reflections that are provided, in a somewhat Hebraic style, for each of the paintings. The combination of these two elements is quite compelling and beautiful.

I hope you will join us for this unique event. Please feel free to spread the word.

All the proceeds from the sale of the art and the books will be going to charity, including the U Exhibition.

Warmest regards.

Greg Pennoyer

Monday, April 23, 2012

100 saints | trailer

The trailer for 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW is up!  Made by the multi-talented Peter Carlone (of THE PETER 'N CHRIS SHOW), this one is slick:

 

100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW
May 4-26 at Pacific Theatre
http://www.pacifictheatre.org

Friday, April 20, 2012

the last days of judas iscariot | photos

Beatrice Zeilinger (Henrietta Iscariot)

Katharine Venour (Cunningham)

Marcus Youssef (El Fayoumi)

Kyle Jespersen (Bailiff), Kevin McNulty (Judge Littlefield)

Marci T. House (Saint Monica)

Adrienne Wong (Loretta), Dawn Petten (Gloria)

Carl Kennedy (Simon the Zealot)

Michael Kopsa (Satan)

Dawn Petten (Mother Teresa)

Anthony F. Ingram (Sigmund Freud)

Anthony F. Ingram (Saint Thomas)

Kevin McNulty, Ron Reed, Marcus Youssef, Adrienne Wong, Michael Kopsa

Bob Fraser (Judas), Todd Tomson (Jesus)

Bob Fraser (Judas), Ron Reed (Butch Honeywell)

Bob Fraser (Judas), Todd Tomson (Jesus)




 All photos by Tim Matheson

100 saints | open rehearsal

A reminder to subscribers and donors that you're invited to an open rehearsal of 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW tomorrow morning!



Saturday, April 21st
10am-1pm
Snacks provided

As a special thank you for your support, we'd love for you to drop in anytime between 10-1 tomorrow to see how the magic gets made and meet some of the artists!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

april 17-29 | art opening | rose-marie goodwin

Rose-Marie Goodwin has been a long-time friend of PT and has a showing of new paintings from her SouthWest Desert series, starting tonight!  Her press release below.


Rose-Marie Goodwin NEW paintings
Federation of Canadian Artists Gallery April 17-29
Opening Reception April 19 6-9 pm
1241 Cartwright Street [Granville Island]

Featuring twelve, before unseen, paintings in the SouthWest Desert series.

To whet your appetite, CLICK to see "Blazing Sun" on www.rose-marie-paintings.com

Do you love deserts? Buttes? Raw Earth? Blue ‘North’ Skies? If so - don’t miss these paintings - inspired by the spectacular terrain of Georgia O'Keeffe country, around Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.

THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT | audience responses 2012



audience member | I’m still kind of in shock from what I saw last night – absolutely incredible. Since the kids came along, we have gotten into the habit of staying home unless we’re working. I think we went out once last year (to see Tree Of Life). We watch movies all the time, but I had forgotten how powerful live theatre can be. Promise we’ll start making it out to some of your plays. Maybe only one or two to start with, but at least we’re moving in the right direction. Thanks again for blowing my head apart.

Rikk Watts | The Last Days of Judas Iscariot @ The Cultch in East Van: an astonishing piece of work. A remarkable mix of humor, passion, tension, intelligence, and insight (both philosophical and theological), the whole concludes with Ron Reed's 8 min monologue, the final voice of the night, whose power and intimacy is surpassed only by that of the final silent scene. A "must see" (the strong language advisory really only applies to one short section but is as merited as the section is awfully appropriate). Four stars.

Laura McLean | Anyone still saying that "theatre is dead in Vancouver" needs to go see The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at the Cultch IMMEDIATELY.

Loren Wilkinson | It is, I think, the best play - and at the same time the most profoundly Christian play - I have ever seen. GO SEE IT. BUY A TICKET NOW. In over 30 years of teaching at Regent I've never felt as strong as this about a play, and I've seen a lot of good ones.

John Innes | Last evening I attended opening night of 'The Last Days of Judas Iscariot' at the Cultch. A must see for anyone who cares about what theatre is and can be! Challenging script given a riveting production under the guidance of brilliant direction with a superb cast. Bravos to all concerned!!! Rush to it. I know its short run is going to sell out fast.

Vancouver Is Awesome | Under Stephen Drover’s masterful direction, this production is nearly perfect. With Drew Facey’s design, the beautiful Cultch transforms into part warzone and part apocalyptic cathedral. The visual subtlety is as heartbreaking as the material. Some of the best actors in the city. Certainly one of the best productions of the year. A masterpiece.

Peter Mogan | Well, the day after... even more amazing than I remembered - hilarious, poignant, asking the best questions, hinting at powerful answers, superb acting, great staging - this is theatre at its finest. Thank you.

Diane Tucker | SO THRILLED tonight with 'The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot' at the Cultch. What a stunning, moving, funny, incredible play! Still lots of the run left; go see it! Every one is VERY good in it; Michael Kopsa as Satan is pretty much worth the price of admission. Great with a capital GREAT.

Peter Anderson | What an amazing show. We were completely enthralled, enraptured, engaged. A seriously great and inspiring night in the theatre.

Richard Newman | What a fabulous piece of writing!! So smart and honest, perceptive, bitterly funny and... ultimately moving. Wonderful production - I'm so grateful when I go to a show and I want to stay for the second act!! I was so happily reminded of what it is I love about theatre.

Frank Nickel | A powerhouse cast and an amazing production. Don't miss it. Worth every penny.

Peter Schuler | Last night, "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" at the Cultch (best play ever!); tonight, "The Meal" at Pacific Theatre. Man, I love the theatre!

Laura Murray Public Relations | A rare and fascinating piece. The complex, witty, and heartfelt play is an incredible exploration of Western civilization’s most damned figure. A work that incites furious thought, even as it wrenches emotion. A rare, lasting experience that stimulates both heart and mind, and raises questions that will continue to haunt.

Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight | Drover and his cast find the bleeding humanity in almost every moment. Drover has cast superbly, and his actors are having such a good time that, sitting in the audience, you get a contact high. A deeply satisfying theatrical meal.

Mark Robins, GayVancouver.net | Vancouver rarely gets an opportunity to see this many fine actors assembled on a single stage and is a testament to the work of the five companies that have come together to present this full-scale version of what began as a staged reading in 2009. Audiences should be taking full advantage of it.

John Jane, Review Vancouver | In this potent mix of comedy, drama and pathos, Guirgis' play evokes much thought-provoking discussion. With no less than five theatre companies having a stake in this production, it's a credit to a talented cast and crew in achieving such a polished performance.

may 26 | write! vancouver

All you budding and professional writers out there might be interested in this one-day writing conference featuring, among others, CHRISTMAS PRESENCE regular Carolyn Arends and PT board member Diane Tucker.


Featuring a high-profile, award-winning faculty, Write! Vancouver presents a rare opportunity for writers, students, songwriters, screenwriters, and radio and television producers to boost their competence and connections.

On Saturday, May 26, 2012, the one-day conference offers a wide variety of intimate workshops to emerging and professional writers. Write! Vancouver is presented by The Word Guild, the organization behind the annual Write! Canada and other regional writing events across the country.

“Our conference is the first of its kind in Vancouver,” says organizer Beverley Boissery, who is slated to teach workshops ranging from novel writing to website building. “This intensive day of connection and empowerment is the Lower Mainland’s response to the success of other Write! events across the country. It provides an intersection point for a diverse community of writers; an accessible opportunity for professional development that offers valuable tools to both the student or emerging writer, and the seasoned professional.”

Guest Speakers & Instructors:
• Dr. Iwan Russell-Jones, a BBC producer and director with more than 25 years’ experience and head of Regent College’s Christianity and the Arts program, will deliver the keynote address and lead a workshop on writing for television and radio.
• Marnie Wooding, writer and story editor with HarperCollins, and author of more than a dozen books, conducts two workshops: “The Story Editor” and “Adaptation: Making Sense out of Chaos.”
• Carolyn Arends, winner of two Dove Awards, teaches a two-session workshop on songwriting. Recognized as the West Coast Music Awards' Songwriter of the Year, Carolyn is a three-time Juno nominee who has released 10 albums to date.
• KC Dyer, freelance writer, speaker, and educator, and author of nine young adult books including the Eagle Glen Trilogy, will lead the specialized Youth Track for writers in grades six through twelve. KC brings a wealth of experience from numerous associations, including that of being New Westminster Secondary School’s writer-in-residence.
• Eileen Cook, a multi-published author with books in six different languages, teams up with KC to run the Youth Track. Her latest release, Unraveling Isobel, came out in January of this year.
• Beverley Boissery—author, editor, teacher, publisher, and scholar—offers an intensive on novel writing and a workshop on building your website in an hour.
• Diane Tucker (BFA in Creative Writing from UBC), runs the “Poetry Boot Camp” and “Writers Helping Writers” workshops.
• Marilyn Norry, with 30 years’ experience in Canadian film and theatre, explores the essentials of memoir writing in her interactive “Writing Mom’s Story” workshop (www.mymothersstory.org).
• Tanya Hawke, a copywriter with 25 years’ experience in corporate communications and a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University, presents “Writer for Hire: The World of Corporate Communications.”

Novelists Kathy Tyers and Mel Anastasiou will participate with others in the networking reception and Blue Pencil—one-on-one critique sessions with professional editors and writers. Book signings will be available onsite with conference faculty and featured authors of The Word Guild.

Online registration is now open at www.thewordguild.com. The conference is $99 for adults and $59 for youth, with discounts available to university students and members of The Word Guild. Coffee, lunch, and refreshments are included. Register by April 30 for a $10 Early Bird Discount. Cutoff date is May 18 – no onsite registrations can be accommodated.

Write! Vancouver will be held on May 26 at Tapestry, located at 3338 Wesbrook Mall on the UBC campus. More details at www.writevancouver.com.

Monday, April 16, 2012

the meal | photos

It came and went in a week, and sold out almost that fast!  Here are some photos from last week's incredible run of THE MEAL, a guest production by The Lost Gospel Ensemble.  All photos by Jeff Harrison, featuring Rick Maddocks, Jody Glenham, Lucien Durey, and Caleb Stull.







Friday, April 13, 2012

THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT | Audience response 2009

In fall 2009, Pound of Flesh and Pacific co-produced a staged reading of Stephen Adly Guirgis' extraordinary play. Here is a taste of the audience response. Now director Stephen Drover has done the near-impossible - staged a fully-nounted production of this large-cast show, retaining nearly all of the cast of the 2009 production - Michael Kopsa as Satan, Bob Frazer as Judas, Katharine Venour and Marcus Youssef and Andrew McNulty as the lawyers and judge, plus Dawn Petten, Anthony F. Ingram, and Ron Reed - and adding Todd Thomson, Carl Kennedy, Adrienne Wong, Kyle Jespersen, Marci T. House and Beatrice Zeilinger. Until April 21. Performances and tickets at The Cultch.



Bob Frazer (Judas), Michael Kopsa (Satan)

Sean Allen | You take a brilliantly written script that turns the Judas Iscariot story inside out, set it in a court room, lace it with profanity, people it with some of the best actors in town, and you have a riveting evening of theatre. ... All in all, as an evening in theatre, this is an embarrassment of riches. If you enjoy theatre that makes you think and laugh and feel....and think some more, don't miss The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. | reviewfromthehouse.com review.

Archie Robertson | Friends, I saw this staged reading Friday, and "astoundingly powerful" is an understatement! It opened up my heart, give it a good stiff massage, and reinstalled it at a subtly different angle - and feeling a bit softer. Stellar performances, wonderful script & truly amazing cast! If you are able to go, do! | facebook

Diane Tucker | is telling you to go to "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" at Pacific Theatre. Telling, mind you, not asking! Go! / . . . . It was generous and raw and beautiful. And relentless in the best way. Some of the images will stay with me for a long time. And as a writer I always and again love to see how much respect and love PT always gives the TEXT! | facebook

Kyla Ferrier | Thought I better thank you again for the show before my response to it loses passion over time. LAST NIGHT WAS WONDERFUL. And by wonderful, I really mean wonder full. It hit a nerve, x30. My soul was pushed and prodded. This is the kind of theatre I ache for - stuff where we see believers as real humans, and non believers as real humans, and everyone out there being real humans. And last night Jesus was a real human too, and I don't think I've ever seen him like that. . . . This play is holy. Thank you for doing a holy thing. I'm so thankful for you, and everyone reading. I'm urging people make it out to PT this week. | email

PT Subscriber | Thank you for staging THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT. This was the play I have been waiting my entire life to experience. This brilliantly acted script met me where I was and moved me further from Atheism toward Agnosticism. It is extremely reassuring to see my questions legitimized and left largely unanswered. . . . My gratitude is beyond expression. Again - Pacific Theatre is a vital voice of conscience, a seeker of truth and a school for the heart."

Paul Kirby | I am only sorry for the 6 billion people (or so) who didn't get to see it. One of the most remarkable evenings I have ever spent in a theatre. | facebook

Angelika Dawson | saw the play last night, it was absolutely amazing (or f**king awesome, to use the play's vernacular :-) i was just stunned by how i didn't even notice the scripts after about 2 minutes in... Judas and Jesus were incredible.  Great job, again. always impressed with the things you can make an audience believe in that little space. LOVE it. | facebook

Robyn Roscoe | Saw this on Wednesday - was moved to tears, of both laughter and sorrow. Perhaps if we rally enough support Pacific can bring it back again... I notice the theatre is dark during the Olympics, and I'd much rather see this play... | facebook

Josh Campbell I I SO wish more people (everybody) could see this. It is a remarkable piece of theatre. What a roller-coaster! | facebook

Leah Rae | While going to Pacific Theatre on Wednesday, to attend Stephen Adly Guirgis’s play The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, I passed by a car dealer­ship on Drake, filled with shiny new autom biles. At the back of the lot was a giant billboard featuring the faces of two men – smiling although they had both been beaten. The ad was for a reality TV show on HGTV called Realtor vs Realtor. I felt a twinge – more than a twinge really – is all this selling, this scrambling for cash, the best we can do as human beings? Perhaps it’s this twinge, how ever strong or mild, that makes a play like The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, so powerful, even for atheists like myself. ... Even though it’s a comedy, the play has considerable weight. People were weep­ing into their hands like little children when, in the final scene, actor Ron Reed – who looks like an oversized Ron Howard (another great performance) — quotes Auden “God may reduce you on Judgement Day to tears of shame, reciting by heart the poems you may have written had your life been good”. This show is good – go see it. | Geist blog review


Tim Anderson | The weight of judgment, the burden of expectations, the freedom that only comes by grace. A weird and compelling theology that people decide the fate of other souls, set within in the Catholic notion of purgatory, and we come to recognize that this terrible mode of prosecution is writ small in the embittered relationships where we all struggle. Micro budget, gigantically talented cast. No small play, this. | facebook

Erin Germaine | i met with Christ tonight. At a play called "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" at Pacific Theatre. Please go see this show and see a side of our King that has been forgotten. He is beautiful and He is our example to live by. i wrote a blog post about the show. wanted you to read it if you have a chance. be encouraged, because this work... this is what THEATRE IS! i am so blessed to have been a part of it. | facebook

Joel Stephanson | I was really amazed by The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Moving, heartbreaking, beautiful, extremely profane, possibly blasphemous, and like no other play you've seen. | facebook

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is an agile, fluid, sarcastic, funny and delightful show that probes our beliefs on whether Judas Iscariot indeed betrayed Jesus, on whether forgiveness can exist at the highest levels. The last scene (you HAVE to be attentive up until the end of the play) is incredibly powerful (I am not giving away anything, you have to see it for yourself) . . . I definitely loved every single actor’s performance...with the excellent direction of Simon Drover. . . With a multicultural, outstandingly talented, versatile and adaptive cast, the production of The Last Judas Iscariot put together a show that, despite being a stage reading, really made me feel as though it had been a full-on show. | hummingbird604 review

Wednesday, I was looking forward to experiencing my first Stage Reading performance, and I was totally blown away. What an amazing evening, with stunning performers. | Comment on Hummingbird post

(anon) | oh my. That was one incredible evening of theatre, incredible. I am not sure if I had ever experienced a more fully human treatment of the Gospel story. Maybe for the first time, I saw myself reflected in the characters - Satan is not some 'other' - I am him, I am Judas, I am the lawyer, I am the Judge. This is a realm of believers or inquirers where I want to dwell. . . . . Such powerful performances - you must be just loving hanging out in such a crowd who are giving themselves fully to this piece. Denis Simpson communicated so much with just a swoosh of his robe - tilt of his glasses. wow. / Fuckin' A. that was one great night of theatre. I am different today because of it. | email

Lois Dawson | AlI can say is wow. This morning I am still putting the pieces of my theology & of my soul back together. And that’s the way theatre should be. | blog

Thursday, April 12, 2012

april 22 | russ rosen

Friend of PT Russ Rosen is playing a show on April 22nd at The Backstage Lounge!


Russ Rosen Band
April 22, 7:30pm
The Backstage Lounge

Russ Rosen, a veteran singer-songwriter who is no stranger to music venues of literally every sort - from African stadiums, to Canadian eastcoast pubs, to Olympic stages, Parisien caf├ęs, to North American festivals and concerts. Over the last 27 years he has played in nations as far-flung as Greece, France, Rwanda, southeast Asia, Israel, Germany, the US and in every corner of Canada.

His is music with mission whether it is to bring hope to the survivors of the Rwandan genocide, or to inspire a crowd of young people, or to sing peace over the warring landscape of the Middle East, or to erupt celebration on the streets of his own city for hundreds of thousands of onlookers. Russ’s soulful music is a unique sort - at one moment drawing an audience to a compelling story of history or faith, in the next stirring a crowd into a partying frenzy. His seasoned song-crafting is an eclectic force that seems to rise spontaneously from his native soil extracting flavours like fellow Canadian artists Feist, Arcade Fire, Stan Rogers, Joni Mitchell and Bruce Cockburn and adding a fiery vocal performance akin to Americans Dave Matthews or Bruce Springsteen.

His passionate lyrics and driving rhythms make for a fascinating musical odyssey - melodies and narrative journeying through a broad landscape that most audiences are inexplicably drawn to. Russ’s newest recording “Waiting for Abraham” a more acoustic take on his music than his previous “Oil” album, still has some of the same folky-celtic-rock energy now spiced with the idiosyncratic keyboard innovations of Brett Zeigler. The collection of ten story driven songs continues the adventure to explore the season between our dreams and their fulfillment. Russ and Band have dates booked across the country until the end of June when they come back to Vancouver to play at the Canada Day Celebrations. About The Band: Along with is lead vocals, Russ plays acoustic and electric guitars and a mean harmonica. Brett Zeigler is a musical prodigy (and producer) playing a humble 30+ instruments. Versatile and seasoned Drummer, Chad Bjorgan and veteran bassist Jonathan Perkins round out the soundscape.

www.russrosenband.ca
www.ywamfortlangley.com
www.dancebarnstudio.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT | butt-kickin' theology

This is adapted from something we posted in September 2009, when we first presented the show at Pacific Theatre as a staged reading. Now it's at The Cultch in a full production - with most of the original cast, and all of the original power. Tickets available only from The Cultch. Closes April 21.



Halfway between Heaven and Hell, in a place called Hope, history’s most infamous sinner stands trial. In a court room that’s as much ghetto as gospel, the witnesses are called – Mother Teresa, Pontius Pilate, Sigmund Freud, a foul-mouthed Saint Monica, a college English teacher, a handful of Jesus’ disciples – to decide eternal questions of forgiveness, mercy, and eternal damnation. Wildly funny, scathingly provocative.

If you've read the cast list, you already have fourteen compelling reasons to get a ticket. PT regulars like Katharine Venour, Michael Kopsa, Anthony F. Ingram, Ron Reed. You saw Carl Kennedy in Jesus Hopped The 'A' Train (also written by Stephen Adly Giurgis), Todd Thomson in Espresso, Kyle Jespersen in Ten November, Bob Frazer in The Glass Menagerie. Others back from the original cast are Marcus Youssef (prosecuting attorney), Kevin McNulty (judge), and Dawn Petten (Mother Teresa), and joining the cast are Marci T. House, Adrienne Wong and Beatrice Zeilinger.

Another reason I could have mentioned (but won't) is that this play is funny. Funny, funny, funny. F U N N Y. I first saw the play in Orlando, in the spring before our staged reading, and I howled. Embarrassingly. Barked, snorted, guffawed, eeked. It's brash, in your face, smart as hell ("smart as purgatory?"), I-can't-believe-I'm-laughing hilarious. Until it breaks your heart.

But those AREN'T the reasons I'm going to trot out today. Because you've already heard those ones. What I'm going to dangle in front of you today is... Theology.

Oh my gosh. Your head will spin. All your qualms, questions, ponderings, doubts and frustrations about heaven and hell, damnation and salvation, the Synoptic Problem and the eternal communion of the saints and sinners... It's all here.


Many in the cast are devouring copies of "A Jesuit Off-Broadway: Center Stage with Jesus, Judas, and Life's Big Questions" by James Martin, SJ. Father Martin is a priest in a New York parish who one day found himself on the other end of the phone line with Sam Rockwell, whom he'd never met. (You know, Sam Rockwell. Matchstick Men, Heist, Galaxy Quest, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Frost/Nixon, Moon, Lawn Dogs, Box Of Moonlight, Basquiat, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - he played Zaphod Beeblebrox). "I'm playing Judas in this play. Can you answer a few questions?"

Then it was Stephen Adley Guirgis ("the best playwright in America under forty" - New York Times). Then Philip Seymour Hoffman (I won't bother listing his credits, except to say he was working on CAPOTE at the time). Then Eric Bogosian. Then the rest of the members of LAByrinth, New York's most exciting theatre company.

So Martin was invited to become the "theological consultant" for THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT in the six months of its development that led up to its New York premiere. In fact, he was eventually invited to join the company: not as an actor, but as something of a priest-in-residence!

His book, a memoir of sorts, is jam-packed with personal anecdotes, New Testament history, lively theology, and the awestruck musings of a backstage priest who's new to the world of live theatre. A wonderful read! I've ordered multiple copies to share around, and CAN'T STAND THE THOUGHT THAT ANYBODY WILL MISS A PLAY SO RICHLY THEOLOGICAL, SO WILDLY ENTERTAINING, SO PERSONALLY CHALLENGING AND SO SPIRITUALLY MOVING.

It runs only two weeks. Ten performances. By the time reviews run in the papers, it may be too late to get a ticket. PLEASE don't miss it!

*

And here are a few pages from "A Jesuit Off-Broadway" - not the theological part, but a beguiling introduction.

Click on pages below for larger image...

For further reading, a significant portion of the book is posted at Google Books.