Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Echoes In The Basement: Rehearsals For UWM's JUDAS

Shadows and echoes as a cast prepares for UWM�s production of THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT.

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Amanda J. Hull walks into the courtroom as Satan. It’s the beginning of rehearsal. Before a complete run through of the show, UWM’s Rebecca Holderness is working on giving further definition to one of the more creative interpretations she’s making from the script. Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariotcalls for Satan to be present at a court in Purgatory during an appeal trial for Judas. The script doesn’t specifically call for three different people to be playing the role over the course of a single performance. As the script doesn’t specifically make reference to a change of appearance, the challenge is to allow the production to deliver the idea of a Satan with multiple forms.

When rehearsal switches to a complete run through of the show, Hull takes the stage again, performing the monologue of a mother who had to bury her son in a potter’s field. Her voice echoes through the shadows of UWM’s basement studio space. She’s playing Satan and the mother of Judas. Actors and others creep around the corners of the studio as rehearsal progresses. It’s a pretty advanced point in rehearsals—a little less than a dozen days before opening night. One floor up from the basement, the crew is programming in lights and working on the set. Rebecca knows the cast is ready to go into that next phase of the production. With everything running smoothly in rehearsals in the shadows of a small studio theatre, the specific dynamics of the production will expand considerably when rehearsals begin on the actual set—a dramatically-interpreted courtroom with a very wicked forced perspective that should amplify the surrealism of the story. Until sets, props and costumes begin to come together, the cast continues to run lines of a courtroom drama in the shadows of the basement.


UWM's production of The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot runs March 9th - 13th at the PSOA Mainstage Theatre. For reservations, call 414-229-4308.

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