Thorneloe University's production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is competing in the upcoming QUONTA Festival.
The Quebec Ontario Theatre Association, which is the regional community theatre association for Northern Ontario, is hosting its regional drama festival in North Bay this week. Previous Thorneloe University productions have earned QUONTA awards, including Best Ensemble Cast and Best Director.
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, by Stephen Adly Guirgis, is directed by professor Patricia Tedford of Thorneloe University. The production has played the Ernie Checkeris Theatre to record-breaking houses.
“Set in a courtroom in purgatory, the play follows the trial of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus,” a media release from Thorneloe stated.
“Notable figures are called as witnesses at his trail, including Judas’ mother, Sigmund Freud, Mother Theresa, Caiaphas the High Priest of Judea, and Pontius Pilate. Scenes of Judas’ childhood and the night in question are relived, a few saints offer their unsolicited versions of what happened, and Satan is conjured to testify.
"With biting humour and sarcasm, as well as powerful moments of compassion, the play explores the universal themes of betrayal and forgiveness.”
Tedford said the play has “had a profound effect on me.”
“It tackles big questions of a spiritual nature, it examines the notions of love, and free will, and compassion,” she said. “It is theatre that challenges us and is loaded with both devastating humour and profound moments.”
Student-actor Kelsie Bennett said the cast and crew is “the most enjoyable, cohesive and supportive” group she's ever worked with.
“Everyone came together to create something truly magnificent, and I'm proud to be a part of something that can really affect people,” she said.
The play will be presented as the Thorneloe University entry to QUONTA Drama Festival 2013 on March 13 at Widdifield Secondary School at 7:30 p.m.