One day at Loyola Press I was given a manuscript to read and asked to give an opinion. Nothing unusual about that — but I was completely enthralled. (Now that’s unusual.) I read the whole thing in about three hours. It was one of the most artfully written, interesting, and entertaining manuscripts I’d ever read. The author was James Martin, SJ. The manuscript became the book A Jesuit Off-Broadway. It’s just been published in paperback.
It’s the story of Jim Martin’s six months as the theological consultant to a theater troupe rehearsing The Last Days of Judas Iscariot for its New York debut several years ago. The playwright, director, and cast had many questions about scripture, Jesus’ life and mission, the historical accuracy of the gospels, and many other topics related to the subject of the play. Martin’s account of how he answered them is delightful–sophisticated catechesis for a band of secular artists.
The other great pleasure of the book is its insider view of the life of theater people. You’ve probably heard of some of them. The play was directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Sam Rockwell played Judas. An excellent book. Buy it here.
Jim, it’s a great book! And, I saw the play during its 6 week run off Broadway. I went to visit our son at Fordham and he found tickets to “a play I thought Mom would like.” It was such a powerful experience, I still think about it. The book was a fascinating look behind the scenes. So glad it’s in paperback.
Reading the book made me want to see the play. Maybe someday I’ll have that chance.