An epic courtroom drama for the soul takes the stage as the Canadian College of Performing Arts’ Studio Ensemble presents The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.
November 24 2021
VICTORIA, BC: The Canadian College of Performing Arts’ Studio Ensemble continues their 2021/2022 season on December 2 with a production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, directed by Cherissa Richards.
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is a poignant and hilarious examination of one of Christianity’s most infamous sinners. In the town of Hope, Purgatory, divine mercy and human free will are used as evidence in this surreal courtroom drama as a defense lawyer pleads Judas’ case against a suave prosecutor. Historic characters testify, while the audience, the jury, is asked to contemplate Judas’ fate. Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis weaves together a rich examination of forgiveness through this gritty play.
The play asks one of the most plaguing questions in the Christian ideology: What happened to Judas Iscariot? Was Judas the duplicitous master of his own fate, a much suffering pawn used for Jesus’s ends, or just a man who made a mistake? Set in a courtroom in Purgatory, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot puts Judas’ case to a hilarious, riotous, piercing trial, the results of which are sure to make the inhabitants of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory — and the audience — reconsider what each thought they knew about forgiveness, faith, and the human inside one of the history’s most infamous figures.
The Studio Ensemble is thrilled to be directed by award-winning Canadian actor and director, Cherissa Richards. Richards has directed at Winnipeg’s Fem Fest, the Neil Munroe Directing Project at the Shaw Festival, and completed a directing residency at the National Theatre School of Canada.
“A profoundly moving look at the difficulty of virtue and the necessity of mercy in an imperfect world. I love this play because Guirgis writes real, complex urban characters in an exciting sweeping epic tale filled with classical theatrical style yet done with a down to earth, urban “street” vibe/everyman feel. The language is delicious and this play offers its actors such juicy challenges to bite down on!” says Richards.
In addition to onstage roles, The Studio Ensemble members take on production roles for each production. Every aspect of the production is designed by ensemble members including set, costume, and lighting design. The performance will include original musical compositions from the sound design team.
CCPA is committed to providing a safe experience for students, staff, and guests to maintain another year of in-person performances. They adhere to all COVID-19 health regulations while guaranteeing an authentic theatre experience. Masks and proof of vaccination with government photo ID will be required upon entry. For patrons comfort and safety audiences are being capped at 60% and a Video on Demand viewing option is available on Sunday, December 5.
Content Advisories: Mature content, strong language, violence, alcohol
What: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
Who: The Canadian College of Performing Arts’ Studio Ensemble
When: Thursday, December 2 7:30pm; Friday, December 3 7:30pm; Saturday, December 4 12:30 (relaxed performance) and 6:30pm; Sunday, December 5 2:00pm
Where: Every performance will take place at the Canadian College of Performing Arts’ Performance Hall, 1701 Elgin Rd.
Tickets can be purchased online at https://tickets.ccpacanada.com/ . Video-on-demand tickets for 24-hour access on Sunday, December 5 will be available shortly at the same link.
December 4th, 12:30pm : CCPA presents its second Relaxed Performance of the season. Relaxed Performances are on the first Saturday Matinee of each run and are open to everyone, but intended specifically to be sensitive to anyone who may find the usual theatre environment challenging. There is a more casual-than-usual approach to front-of-house etiquette and the performance will be slightly adapted to make a more comfortable environment. The lights in the theatre remain on low throughout and you’ll be free to leave and re-enter at any point if you need to.
ABOUT THE STUDIO ENSEMBLE
The Studio Ensemble is a six-month program offered to graduates of the two-year performing arts diploma program at the Canadian College of Performing Arts, giving young performers the chance to work on three productions, in a professional environment, with professional directors engaged in the industry. After The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, The Studio Ensemble will finish the season with a new Canadian musical The Quest in February.