March 25 - March 27, 2024
8:00 pm (Eastern Time)

Holy Week Zoom Theatre Retreat: “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot”

Immerse yourself in the Paschal Mystery this Holy Week by performing it.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, March 25-27; 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT 
Three 90-minute sessions (attendance at all three required)
Cost: $30 (cost includes a copy of the play, which will be mailed to participants)

Over three nights, gather with other Jesuit Media Lab fans to perform scenes from Stephen Adly Guirgis’ play “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.” Meditate on the mystery of God’s mercy by immersing yourself in a vibrant exploration of God’s love incarnate in the lives of saints and sinners.

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” imagines the afterlife as a courtroom and one very overbearing mother (St. Monica) is appealing for an unlikely prodigal to have his day in court again — Judas Iscariot himself. Guirgis’ play peels open the Paschal Mystery and the Communion of Saints by telling the story of Jesus through the eyes of Judas and poses the question at the heart of the Cross: Does God’s mercy ever cease?

Content Advisory: Participants will be reading aloud from a play that contains adult content and profanity.

The Plan

Take Lectio Divina and make it Drama Divina.

Each night we’ll do a workshop-style reading of one of the three acts of Guirgis’ play.

  • We’ll begin with prayer and a short overview of what the act is about.
  • We’ll read through the act (no memorization needed).
  • After reading through the play together, we’ll hold a period of discussion to share our impressions of and questions about the characters, language and themes of Guirgis’ play. During a short period of silent meditation and/or private journaling, we’ll reflect on how those themes speak to us in our own lives and our walk with God.
  • Finally, we’ll read through a portion of the act again ~10 minutes that spoke most to or resonated with the majority of the group or that we as a group found most challenging and focused our discussion around.

After a short debrief, we’ll share a quick preview of what’s coming up the next night and then adjourn.

After our retreat is over, during the Easter season, we invite participants to share a short written reflection with the group about how their liturgical experience of the Paschal Triduum and Easter was touched, transformed or challenged by their performance of the play in community. The reflection can be prose, poetry or even an imagined dramatic epilogue to Guirgis’ play!


Dates: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, March 25-27; 8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT
Location: Zoom
Time Commitment: 90-minute sessions.

Facilitator: Renée Darline Roden

Renée Darline Roden is a graduate of Notre Dame twice over. She has an undergraduate Bachelor of the Arts in theatre and theology (with a minor in Catholic Social Thought) and a graduate degree in theology. She has taught theatre for nearly two decades, to preschool thespians, high school students, college students and seminarians. She has directed productions at the University of Notre Dame, and off-off-off-off Broadway in New York City. She is a playwright whose work has appeared at staged readings and festivals in Milwaukee (“Pedro & Galileo”), New York City (“The Last Hurricane”; “Genna the Goldfish Solves it All”), Chicago (“Cali-for-No-One”) at the Catholic Imagination Conference (“Is the Internet in Color?”) and has been produced in New York City (“SHE”).

Renée is a Catholic Worker (meaning she has a personal commitment to voluntary poverty and lives alongside and for her friends and neighbors who are among America’s 600,000 homeless) and a journalist (which makes the voluntary poverty part very easy) who writes frequently for and its newsletter, Roundtable. She is an alumna of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Renée got ruined by the Jesuits while teaching at Cristo Rey New York High School in East Harlem after her 2014 graduation from Notre Dame and is forever grateful for that. She finds constant inspiration in the mantra of Fr. Joseph Parkes, SJ, the first Jesuit who gave her a job: “Courage.”

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