This weekend saw the opening of Throughline Theatre Company’s final installment of their 2014 Mortality and Divinity based season. Directors Kaitlin Kerr and Liam Macik turn the 2005 script by Stephen Adly Guirgis into a beautifully acted and designed piece. The Last Days of Judas Iscariot runs through November 1 at the Grey Box Theatre in Lawrenceville.
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is a fictional telling of the appellate court case determining the guilt of Christianity’s biggest sinner Judas (Casey Cunningham) and his involvement in the plot that lead to the historic crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth (Luke Bruehlman). Prosecuting Attorney, Fabiana Aziza Cunningham (Ursula Asmus Sears), and Defense Lawyer, Yusef El-Fayoumy (Parag S. Gohel), call many notable witnesses to the stand to prove to the Judge (Everett Lowe) and jury their cases. Historical witnesses include Caiaphas the Elder (Lowe), Pontius Pilate (Keven H. Moor), Sigmund Freud (William Yanity), Mother Teresa (Amy Portenlanger) and even Satan himself (Ricardo Vila-Roger and Emily Swora).
Scenic Designer, Sabrina Hykes, turns the Grey Box into a grungy courtroom in Purgatory, and uses recycled items to give that rundown feel. The main feature of Hykes’s set, the Judge’s bench and witness stand, is created by stacking wooden pallets to resemble a desk. Piled cinder blocks and an old metal trashcan with a board across the top form El-Fayoumy’s desk and soapbox while Cunningham uses an old school lift top desk as his home base. None of the Jury’s seats match one even being an old filing cabinet and another an old gas stove with a pillow on top for comfort. Wendy Baxter and Joseph Ryan Yow, the lighting designer team, do their best with the capabilities of the Grey Box to delineate between the courtroom, character flashbacks, and the cell in which Judas is holding himself.
Overall, Throughline’s Kerr and Macik have done a wonderful job leading a talent ensemble of actors and well matched artistic team. However, the overly verbose script does not lend itself to getting to the point very swiftly. After three hours and ten minutes, including intermission, you are left wondering what the verdict was. It all leads to one line and what the audience knows about Christian history to direct us to the ending.
If you do get a chance, please make sure to check out The Last Days of Judas Iscariot presented by Throughline Theatre Company at Lawrenceville’s Grey Box Theatre. The show runs now through November 1, with shows Thursday and Friday at 8PM and Saturday at 2PM and 8PM. Tickets are $15.00 for adults and can be purchased from throughline.showclix.com or at the door.
Performance Date: October 24, 2014