By Michael Foster-Sanders/campus editor
Judas’ betrayal of Jesus is focus of final fall play
The NE Campus theater program will take on the betrayal of Jesus Christ in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.
The play, written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, is about Judas going on trial for his betrayal and asks whether he deserves to go to heaven despite his actions.
Director and NE student Jake Blakeman chose the play, saying college is usually the time in life when people start to develop their own thoughts and opinions.
“A large part of what this play does is present a lot of questions than it does answers,” Blakeman said. “The play doesn’t tell us how we should think, but it presents questions to make us think for ourselves.”
The role is an emotional roller coaster, said NE student Nick Forrest who plays Judas Iscariot.
“We have this scene between Judas and Jesus where Judas is very angry toward Jesus because he believes Jesus left him,” he said. “Judas tells Jesus that he didn’t forgive him for his actions and all he did was love him, which he breaks down crying.”
Playgoers may be surprised at Blakeman choosing NE student Autumn Pope for the role of Satan because the character is usually played by a man. But Pope said Blakeman wants to remind people that Satan is the great deceiver who can appear however best fits the situation.
“Jake really wants us, the cast, to be more genuine and, with my role, more humanistic,” she said. “I had to morph and mold myself into thinking the way Satan does for the show.”
Satan’s role in the play is to deceive Judas while also trying to sway the jury so Judas won’t be granted entrance into heaven.
NE student Jordi Salmeron plays prosecutor Yusef El-Fayoumy. Salmeron wasn’t familiar with the play or character before he auditioned.
“El-Fayoumy is a messy dude,” he said. “He’s trying to prove himself to be allowed into heaven, but he’s a sluggish and greasy guy so he struggles with that.”
People may find the play offensive as it mixes profanity and religion, but Salmeron wants the audience to know the profanity is a small part of the overall message.
“It’s very easy to paint someone as a bad guy due to one mistake, but it’s harder to view someone as a person with history and past experiences,” he said. “I want the audience to question themselves and the people around them after the show.”
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
Tickets are free for TCC students, faculty and staff,
$3 for non-TCC students and senior citizens and $6 for the general public.
Shows start at 7 p.m. Nov. 7-10 with a matinee at 2 p.m. Nov. 10 in the NFAB theater.