Reunion reading of 'The Last Days of Judas Iscariot' happens online this weekend


  • Photo by Bradford Smith, courtesy
Eleven years ago, a group of local performers affiliated with the Empty Spaces Theatre Co. and the Riverton Playground Theatre staged Stephen Adly Guirgis' play The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at the Lowndes Shakespeare Theater, a play that the Weekly then described as offering "a different perspective: absolute despair, shot through with gritty humor and, ultimately, hope."

If that sounds like a perspective uniquely suited to the present moment, well, you're in luck. Many of the original actors involved in that production are reuniting this weekend for an anniversary one-night-only dramatic reading of the play online as a benefit event.

The Last Days is a courtroom drama (set in Purgatory) centering on the trial to decide the fate of the soul of Biblical character Judas Iscariot. When the play opened Off-Broadway in 2005, it was with heavyweight talent like Philip Seymour Hoffman in the director's chair and Sam Rockwell and Eric Bogosian in starring roles.

Returning for this weekend's production will be actors Avis-Marie Barnes, Lawrence Benjamin, John DiDonna, Alexis Jackson, Stephen Lima, Trenell Mooring, Peg O’Keef, Dennis Neal, Mark Edward Smith, Marty Stonerock, Valensky Sylvain, Patrick Joseph Ward, Joel Warren, Babette Wilson, Jeremy Wood and T.E. Young.

The original Orlando production garnered raves from the Weekly, the Ledger and Ink 19, making this reunion a promising prospect.

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot happens on Saturday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m. The performance will be held live on Zoom. Visit the Facebook event page for information on donating to receive Zoom login information. Proceeds from the event will benefit St Luke’s and the Greater Orlando Performing Arts Relief.


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