Acting majors end their Conservatory careers with “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot”

By Sarah Beck, Entertainment Editor

Shenandoah Conservatory opened “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” at the Glaize Studio Theatre on Friday, April 7. This comedy about the story of Judas’s damnation takes place in a courtroom placed in purgatory giving it a twist of this classic tale.

“It was a tremendous opportunity to work with a wonderful director and a talented cast on some of the best writing in 21st century drama,” senior acting major Taylor Bloom said.

The stage was lit generously with cool tones of blues and purples until big, bright lights filled the room, which gave the audience a sense of the plot’s intense case. With characters like Sigmund Freud and biblical figures like Mary Magdalene, the original plot from the story of Judas was morphed from these different viewpoints.

“I thoroughly enjoyed playing Satan because he is a necessary part of this story of Jesus and love in the Bible,” said Bloom, who played the role of Satan.

Bloom was dressed from head to toe in a fancy purple dress suit. He was very comical and devilishly handsome, but in his second appearance he was very much like the Satan that most people assume to be: bad.

“I think of Satan and Jesus as two sides of the same coin,” Bloom said, “and I think that in order to properly understand the damnation of Judas and the pure unrelenting love of Jesus, you need a Satan.”

Senior acting major D.J. Gayles played the role of Judge Littlefield, a former ill-tempered Confederate soldier and judge in purgatory. He kept the comedy running through the show as he listened to each witness’s testimony on Judas.

Gayles has been on the stage for his other roles in “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Diviners,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” This was both Bloom’s and Gayles’s final show at Shenandoah Conservatory.

“This is a very meaningful way to conclude my career on the Shenandoah stage,” Bloom said, “and I am very grateful for the experience.”


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