"The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" by Stephen Adly Guirgis. August 23- Sept 8th. Chicago IL. It's finally happening.
Now in these Last Days of the Judas Redux campaign, we're lining up two "stretchier" goals: to grow the team to include 1,500 backers, and to expand our production budget to $58,000.
The majority of this stretchier budget is focused on travel, housing, stipends, and union fees for performers. As we get further into the casting process, it's starting to look like we're going to have to allocate more for travel/housing and performers that we're excited to collaborate with that are union members.
If we reach our 1,500 stretchier backer goal, we will be inviting all of our backers to an exclusive Online Opening Night Party! See the last minute preparations and help us celebrate the project we've all put together!
If we reach our stretchier budget goal, we'll be expanding the Judas Redux Scrapbook into the Judas Redux Yearbook for you to download. We'll also be soliciting submissions from all our backers (and yes, YOU!) to share in documenting the experience.
If everyone on the team right now increases their pledge by just $6.30 we'll be able to meet this goal. And if everyone on the team gets just two tenths of a friend to back as well, we'll reach our backer goal!
If you haven't joined our team yet, these Last Days are your Last Chance! And whether you've just joined us or have been with us from the beginning thank you so much for being here with us! We're so close to the end of this campaign, which is just the beginning of the journey we're taking together!
P.S. International Reduxers! We're hosting a livestream tomorrow just for you! Log onto our YouTube channel at 1pm CDT on Tuesday, April 23 to ask us some Q's and hopefully get some A's!
In 2008 I (Julia) directed a production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis that had a certain magic to it. It was both an incredible process with an incredible team, but it also took place at this special moment in time before our professional and "adult" lives had really begun. It's a hysterical, serious, offensive, beautiful, heavy, life-affirming show about the hells we keep ourselves in, and the choices we make.
From the day the show closed we've talked about doing it again. Many of us have stayed closely in touch and continued to work together over the years, but somehow we always found ourselves talking about "Judas".
Now, five years later, I found myself feeling stuck. I couldn't remember why I'd pursued this career in the first place or why it mattered. As I began talking to others I realized many of us were in the same place in our lives; sitting on this thin line between wanting to give up but feeling like we really needed to dig in. Around that time three different people, randomly, reached out to me half-joking about us doing "Judas" again. It was a sign. As we re-read The Last Days of Judas Iscariot it resonated even more with us. We'd talked about doing this for five years- was this finally the time? We had a choice; to worry and complain about what we were doing with our lives, or to just do something, make something.
So we decided. Yes, now is the time.
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont Ave Chicago IL
Aug 23-Sept 8 of 2013!!
Executive Producers Julia Albain and Corey Lubowich
Producers Lauren Lopez, Brian Rosenthal, Joey Richter
Production Manager- Sarah Petty
Directed by Julia Albain
Scenic Design by Corey Lubowich
Costume Design by June Saito
Lighting Design by Sarah Petty
Redux: adj- Brought back, resurgent.
The rights came in instantly. The theatre of our dreams was available for exactly the time frame we wanted. We began reaching out to friends and artists that we knew all over: NY, LA, Chicago. People were giving us a resounding "yes" without even waiting to hear the details. Cast members that are confirmed are Joey Richter, Lauren Lopez, and Brian Rosenthal, with many more to come. We've even been working to try and get some special surprise guests of television, film, and stage.
Things That Make This Project Extra Cool:
- We are working with musicians to create an original soundtrack to the show! Plus we may even have a live band if we can surpass our goal.
- We are scheming and plotting and working to try to get the rights to LIVESTREAM the production. That's right, anywhere in the world you could watch the performances live each night with our Chicago audience! We can't promise anything, but we hope that if we can show enough interest and support through this Kickstarter, they will grant us permission.
So it's happening. We've fronted some of our personal money. We're so passionate and so committed at this point that there is no turning back.
But we're missing a team member: YOU! We want to bring as many people on this journey with us as we can, and we also want to add a new element to this project: to pull back the curtain. We want to invite you in on the process, starting today. All of the ins and outs and nitty gritty details that go into producing a show, rehearsing, gathering people from all over the country- all of it. We want you to take this trip with us, one we've been dreaming of for years. We'll be doing vlogs and updates, sharing photos, and inviting you to experience everything that we experience: the highs and lows of producing independently, the struggles of financing and scheduling, but also the thrills of coming together as a team of artists to reset and remind ourselves of why all of this actually does matter, and why we want to keep doing it.
We also hope to turn all of this footage and coverage into a documentary that represents it's own piece of work- the story of not just how we went about revisiting and rediscovering this show, but also why. Maybe it'll encourage you to 'just decide' to do something in your own life, and we want to hear about it!
The funds we are raising are going to pay for the theatre rental, rehearsal space rental, and very limited costume, set, and lighting budgets, as well as other miscellaneous expenses like insurance- producing theater can be complicated and expensive!
So far all of the actors and creative team members we've talked to have committed to taking no pay up front, only a modest stipend, in order to keep the budget tight and get the project off the ground- that's how committed everyone is to making this happen! There are 15 actors and at least 7 creative team members on this project! If we surpass our goal we'd love to be able to compensate the people better, but either way everyone is just amped to make it happen anyway we can. We're going to have people crashing on couches and air mattress- it'll be like sleep-away camp for grown ups! Don't worry, we'll take plenty of pictures and videos :)
Putting on a show of this scale would typically take about 4X the budget we are working with, but we want to be resourceful.
Truly, every single dollar makes a difference in this scenario. If you have any questions about where the money is going we are happy to answer them.
As a backer of this project you are now officially a part of the team, whether it is $1 or $1000! Welcome! We're so happy to have you.
Special thanks to Liam White for video footage. Music Credit to Karollo via Soundcloud.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
$36,000 is a huge amount of money to ask people to help us raise, we absolutely realize that. Of that $36,000, after fees and fulfilling rewards, we will have about $28,000 to produce the show on. It may seem like a lot, but it's actually incredibly tight. So we have a double challenge: we have to raise a huge amount of money, but also produce a massive show on a small budget. But we love a good challenge. We're just a group of independent creatives who are really passionate about making this show happen. We've already committed some of our own money into locking in a theatre and other expenses that had to be paid out early, so we are pretty much in do or die mode.
Also involved in doing some oneelse's work is licensing rights and permission. We were given the rights to perform the show, and now we would like to get the rights to livestream it and possibly even record it. That's where we are hoping the support from this Kickstarter can be used to show the playwright and his people that it is worth it to let us share this show worldwide.
Beyond raising the money, the biggest challenge will be producing a show that every team member and every backer is proud of, and also creating a process that is inclusive and supportive for both the team and the audience. Good works should spark conversation, and we want those conversations to start right now.
“The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” will not be on YouTube for one main reason: it is not our work. Out of respect (and legalities) of the playwright, putting the production online is out of the question and unfair. BUT here is the middle ground we are working for: we are going to fight like hell to get the rights to Livestream the production so that hopefully our supporters worldwide will get a chance to see it. When you perform a play written by someone else (the playwright) you have to pay rights. We have paid the rights to perform the play here in Chicago, but securing any form of video rights requires an extra step. We can’t promise anything, but it is one of our number one goals and we are really going to work for it. Cross your fingers! Pray! Send good vibes to the Universe! Whatever you believe works- send it our way!
Of the actual production- most likely no (see reasons above). We ARE planning a documentary though that will be available in yet-to-be-determined form which will chronicle our whole journey from idea and inception of the Kickstarter, all the way until the closing night of the show. This documentary will hopefully and most likely be available to ALL!
The short answer is no. We believe this show is equally touching for someone who is deeply spiritual or adamantly atheist. We do warn, though, that it is no church play- there is significant foul language and many intense and provocative moments. We suggest that if you have any doubts or concerns, that you seek out a copy of the script in advance to review and make your own judgement. We hope ultimately that you will find the overall messages as profound and captivating as we do.
How can I stay informed about tickets going on sale and other opportunities to connect to the process?
Our official website is http://www.judasredux.com/, which will either provide you with relevant information or connect you to where you need to be.
You can follow @Judasredux on Twitter for official information and updates, as well ashttp://www.youtube.com/judasredux for videos and clips of our process. If you are a Kickstarter backer we will work hard to give you up-to-date information on what is going on and preview access to ticket on-sales.
May, hopefully! Plenty of time to plan your trip. Trust us, Chicago is BEAUTIFUL in the summer, especially when it starts to blend into fall.
Because we wanted to. Because we needed it. Because the pieces started falling in and who’s to argue with that. Because we love the play- we so deeply love the play and it almost doesn’t make sense- but we love it still.
Because audiences deserve to be not just entertained, but challenged and asked- what do you think? Do you agree? Do you disagree? And why? Because community is a buzzword in the theater, but conversation is often shunned. Community is nothing without conversation- and lest we forget conversation can on-a-dime turn to controversy. Not talking about it out of decency, though, won’t solve it- so let’s talk.
Because there was Serendipity. Because the play is a magnet. And because it was time to take down some walls, lower the mask, pull back the curtain, and start conversing.