Ellen Burstyn, Co-President of The Actors Studio, holds a plaque delcaring March 13, 2017 "Actors Studio Day".
Ellen Burstyn, copresident of the Actors Studio, holds a plaque declaring March 13, 2017, "Actors Studio Day."
(© Theo Cote)

Mayor Bill de Blasio declared March 13, 2017, "Actors Studio Day" in recognition of the institution's 70 years of training actors. A plaque, presented to Actors Studio copresident Ellen Burstyn (Picnic) was inscribed with the following: "In recognition of 70 years of providing a place where professional actors could work together, continue to develop their craft and experiment with new forms in creative theatre work."

The day was chosen to coincide with the opening of the revival of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, developed by the Actors Studio, currently in performance at La MaMa. Estelle Parsons (The Velocity of Autumn) directs a cast of Actors Studio members in the production. Performances continue through March 26.

Ellen Burstyn and Estelle Parsons celebrate both "Actors Studio Day" and opening night of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.
Ellen Burstyn and Estelle Parsons celebrate both "Actors Studio Day" and opening night of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.
(© Theo Cote)

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is described as follows: "History's most famous double-cross is under the microscope in the provocative and irreverently funny The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis. Urban night court in 'Hope — a ghetto of purgatory' is the backdrop, with Judas on trial for his betrayal of Christ, his soul left in the balance. A trove of historic witnesses including Freud, Mother Teresa, Satan, and Pontius Pilate deliver their testimony with raw honesty and scathing humor. As the play unfolds we are forced along with them to examine our ideals and ideas of love, divine mercy, free will and forgiveness coupled with the notion that evil may not be the presence of hate but the absence of compassion."

Members of the cast include Richarda Abrams, Bob Adrian, Victor Almanzar, Erick Betancourt, Michael Billingsley, Fig Chilcott, Suzanne DiDonna, Lash Dooley, Timothy Doyle, Gabe Fazio, Gabriel Furman, Leland Gantt, Daniel Grimaldi, Shashwat Gupta, Con Horgan, Liana Jackson, Jay Johnston, Burnadair Lipscomb-Hunt, Beth Manspeizer, Javier Molina, Marcus Naylor, Myla Pitt, JoAnna Rhinehart, Delissa Reynolds, and Count Stovall.

For tickets to The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, click here.