What happens when theater and theology share the stage? Discover the answer in this true story about the making of a celebrated play. A call to the priesthood by God. Fr. James Martin was startled to get a very different kind of call one evening in 2005: a phone call from actor Sam Rockwell. Rockwell has been cast in the part of Judas Iscariot in and Off-Broadway play where Judas was on trial for his crime of betraying Jesus; would Martin be willing to offer come theological insights?Martin gladly obliged, and within weeks playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis and other members of the cast began to dialogue with Martin about a host of spiritual issues that weighted on their minds: Can we believe the bible? What was Jesus mission? What is sin? Does hell exist? Is anyone beyond Gods forgiveness? "A Jesuit Off-Broadway" recounts Fr. Martins thrilling six months with the LAByrinth theater company, as it created and performed "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot", which had a sold-out five-week run in New York.
As the occasionally profane and worldly playwright, director, and actors struggled to understand theological issues and ideas, they strove to convey them in an artistically convincing way to a largely secular audience. Through it all, Martin learned lessons about theater and life, about how the sacred and the secular arent always that far apart, and how questions often tell us more than answers do.
James Martin, S.J., is a Jesuit priest, culture editor of America magazine, and the author of many books including the New York Times best-seller The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life (HarperOne, 2010) and My Life with the Saints (Loyola, 2007), which has sold over 100,000 copies. A frequent commentator on NPR, a recurring guest as “chaplain” to the Comedy Channel’s “The Colbert Report,” and a blogger on The Huffington Post, he is widely regarded as one of the most popular Catholic writers today.