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Tuesday, November 03, 2009.

AVC’s “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” opens in LA Oct. 23

The conflict between divine love and the existence of free will is examined in Antelope Valley College’s Theatre Arts Department production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” opening in Los Angeles 8 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Veterans Center for the Performing Arts at Mortise & Tenon, 446 S. La Brea Ave. 

Additional Los Angeles performances are Oct. 24, 30 and Nov. 1, 6, 7, 8, at 8 p.m.

A charitable donation from the Dax Foundation has allowed tickets to the Los Angeles run of this production to be offered on a “pay what you can” basis.  Suggested donations are $10 for students, senior citizens, and military personnel, and $15 general admission.

The production will then move to the Antelope Valley College Black Box Theater, where it will open 8 p.m. Nov. 13 and continue with performances on Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 13 through Dec. 5 (except Thanksgiving weekend) and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6. 

Tickets are $10 for students, senior citizens, and military personnel, and $15 general admission.  As part of an Antelope Valley food drive, $2 will be taken off the price of admission with the donation of a canned food item.  Donations will benefit Lancaster Homeless Shelter and Palmdale South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES).

Tickets for both venues may be obtained by visiting www.blackboxjudas.com, or calling (661) 722-6300, ext. 6728.  Tickets may also be purchased at the venue beginning 30 minutes before each performance.

Set in a time-bending, seriocomically imagined courtroom in Downtown Purgatory that owes as much to the ghetto as the Gospels and populated with a parade of characters that includes Pontius Pilate, Sigmund Freud, Matthias of Galilee and Mother Theresa, “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” places the New Testament’s most infamous sinner on trial. Employing dialogue couched in contemporary hip-hop street talk, the play asks the question:  If God is all-forgiving then why is Judas condemned to an eternity in Hell for his betrayal of Jesus Christ and his subsequent suicide?

This moving and soul-searching look at the consequences of choice, faith, guilt, mercy and redemption contains adult themes and language.