Jury decides heaven or hell for ‘Judas Iscariot’

St. Monica, played by Shelly Sneed, a junior general studies major with a concentration in theatre holds Judas Iscariot, played by Baxter Francis in her arms after seeing him cry a single tear of blood when visiting him in Hell. Judas Iscariot was in a catatonic state while waiting for his trial. Annie Goodman/The Lion’s Roar

For their last play of the semester, the theatre program put the betrayer of Christ on trial in their production of “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.”

The performances spanned from Apr. 4 to Apr. 7 with one performance a night at 7:30 p.m.

Taylor Bennett, who played the role of bailiff was excited to perform opening night.




“It was exhilarating,” said Bennett, a junior English major. “The adrenaline’s rushing and you just wanna make everybody smile, everybody happy. You wanna see the emotion on people’s face and it’s life changing.”

Jordan Colona, a junior communication major came to the play to support her friend Alexis Durante, who played Fabiana Aziza Cunningham.

“It was really good,” said Colona. “Alexis was incredible. It was very good. My favorite part was the end when Satan and Fabiana had a big showdown. There was a lot of emotion and all that. It was very good.”

Bennett was happy to see the finished product of the play.

“It was incredible,” said Bennett. “All the actors come together. All the ideas come together. All the creativity comes together, and when it is all brought together, it is such an amazing feeling to put on this production for people.”

Some audience members liked that the play made them think.

“Loved it,” said Arvina Colona, a university alumnus and mother of Jordan. “It was raw. It was thought-provoking. It was awesome.”

Bennett wants audience members to look at the story of Judas Iscariot from multiple perspectives.

“I hope they take away that there’s always two sides of a story,” said Bennett. “Just because you think you know one side, doesn’t necessarily always mean it’s the true one.”

Arvina Colona felt the play changed her views of old Bible stories.

“Very heavy,” said Arvina Colona. “I think it really opened your mind to a lot of different thought processes. Maybe shook up some of your old Bible days. Made you think a little bit more in depth about what Judas went through.”

Arvina Colona enjoyed the powerful scenes of the second half of the play.

“The ending where Satan has it out with Alexis and the other attorney,” said Arvina Colona. “The shock value when Satan came out so angry was like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ and of course, the end with the washing of the feet. I thought that was phenomenal.”

The cast and crew have been working for a while to bring this production together.

 “I think the play is absolutely 100 percent extraordinary,” said Bruce Javery II, a junior communication major and main stage committee head. “The cast, the crew, the directors are amazing. The directors, Jennifer Bouquet and Sarah Balli, they are outstanding. They definitely had a vision for the show, and I definitely saw it. Everything they crafted was so amazing. They have been working nonstop for the past two months in order to create this show. I’m so glad the audience enjoyed it because they really, really made it possible.”

The play changed the views of audience members as well as cast members.

“My favorite part about being in the play was seeing different characters I thought I knew biblically and seeing them come to life through human standards,” said Bennett. “I learned perhaps never judge a book by its cover. I thought Judas was the betrayer of Christ, that he was unemotional, that he did not love Jesus, but in fact I learned that he did, that he does have a heart and cares.”

Henrietta Iscariot, played by Angela Griffitt, proclaimed that if her son sits in Hell, there is no God.
Annie Goodman/The Lion’s Roar

Taylor Sinclair played Usef El-Fayoumy, the prosecutor in the case of God and the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth versus Judas Iscariot.
Annie Goodman/The Lion’s Roar

Taylor Bennett, a junior English major played the role of Bailiff in the play “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.”
Annie Goodman/The Lion’s Roar