A Jesuit Off-Broadway: Behind the Scenes with Faith, Doubt, Forgiveness, and More

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Loyola Press, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 252 pages

A Jesuit priest, a New York play, and questions as profound as they come . . .

A few years after being called to the priesthood, Father James Martin was startled to get a very different kind of call one evening in 2004: a phone call from actor Sam Rockwell. Rockwell had been cast for the part of Judas Iscariot in an Off-Broadway play, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, where Judas was on trial for his crime of betraying Jesus. Would Martin be willing to serve as a theological consultant for the play? Martin gladly obliged, and within weeks playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, director Philip Seymour Hoffman, and members of the cast began to dialogue with Martin about a host of spiritual issues that the play evoked: Can we believe the Bible? What was Jesus' mission? What is sin? Does hell exist? Is anyone beyond God's forgiveness?

A Jesuit Off-Broadway recounts Martin's six months with the LAByrinth Theater Company and his education in the making of a play, from the writing of the script to the cast party on closing night. At the same time, the occasionally profane and routinely free-spirited creative team and actors learned from Martin key insights into Christian faith and theology, while often revealing a profoundly spiritual side to their lives. By the time the final curtain fell, Martin and the cast had gleaned important and at times surprising lessons from each other as they realized how the sacred and the secular aren't always that far apart . . . and how, in the end, questions tell us more than answers ever do.


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I found this book in my church information centre.The unusual title of the book and a rivetting cover page immediately drew my attention to the book. I found this book to be a page turner,unusual for ... Read full review

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The author is a Jesuit priest who is asked by the author of a play about Judas to act as a theological advisor to the production. The actors and playwright wrestle with the story of Judas and whether ... Read full review


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About the author (2011)

James Martin, SJ, is associate editor of America magazine. A prolific author, writer, and editor, his books include Searching for God at Ground Zero, In Good Company, My Life with the Saints, and A Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, and his articles have appered in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Tablet, and Commonweal. He resides in New York City.

Stephen Adly Guirgis is an American playwright, screenwriter, and actor. He is a member and co-artistic director of New York City's LAByrinth Theater Company. His plays have been produced on five continents and throughout the United States. His plays include The Little Flower of East Orange, Our Lady of 121st Street, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings, and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot produced by LAByrinth in collaboration with The Public Theater in 2005.

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