A Jesuit Off-Broadway

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Loyola Press, 2010 - Drama - 272 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. What happens when theater and theology share the stage? Discover the answer in this thought-provoking memoir by Christopher Awardndash;winning author and Jesuit priest James Martin. Take a front-row seat to Father Martin's six-month experience as a theological consultant for the New York theater production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, directed by Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, and starring Sam Rockwell and Eric Bogosian. While Martin thoughtfully responds to the deeply spiritual and soul-searching questions posed to him by the creative team and actors-questions that many of us ponder at one time or another in our lives-he learns about the world of professional theater and all that is required to put on a successful play. Join Father Martin as he takes this fascinating foray into the acting arena . . . and offers answers to some of life's biggest questions. A vivid lesson in how the Christian life can be lived in the midst of the real world." Lawrence S. Cunningham John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology University of Notre Dame
 

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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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User Review  - debs4jc - LibraryThing

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

Selected pages

Contents

INTO THE DEEP END
1
About Judas
7
The Birth of a GodHaunted Play
15
The Making of a Playwright
19
Who Killed Jesus?
28
A Study in Despair
41
I Dont Know Man
49
TEASING THE MIND INTO ACTIVE THOUGHT
53
Who Is Jesus Anyway?
137
Satan Appears
153
Ready for Previews?
159
A Christological Crisis
164
THE MESSIAH HAS A COLD
167
Chastity and Friendship
170
Traditions and Superstitions
171
A Theatrical Vocation
174

The LAByrinth Theater Company
54
Readings
58
You Wanna Do This Role?
61
The Gospel According to Phil
66
Searching for God Jesus and the Buddha
71
The Jesus of History
80
Living with the Saints
87
The Woman from Magdala
93
Poverty of Spirit
100
Taking the Story Seriously
106
Jesuit Theater a Nearly Forgotten History
119
FULLY HUMAN FULLY DIVINE
127
The Hope of Results
128
Reviewing Detachment
177
Walking Mookie at Night
190
HEARTS ON FIRE
201
Last Full Script Ever
202
Dramatic Faith
212
Faithful Drama
217
Just a Little More Faith
222
For Further Reading
231
TalkBacks
233
About the Author
237
Who Are the Jesuits Anyway?
239
Bibliography
247
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

James J. Martin, born December 29, 1960, is a Jesuit priest, writer and Culture Editor of the Jesuit magazine America. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business in 1982 and worked in corporate finance at General Electric for six years. Dissatisfied with the corporate world, he became more deeply involved in the Catholic Church and decided to enter the Society of Jesus (more commonly known as the Jesuits) in 1988, and was ordained a priest in 1999. Martin is the author of many books, including bestsellers My Life With the Saints (which won the 2007 Christopher Award), A Jesuit Off-Broadway: Center Stage with Jesus, Judas, and Life's Big Questions, and Jesus: A Pilgrimage.

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