A Conversation with Judas Iscariot

Andrew Donis ‘21, Contributor

For this interview, we talked with Thomas Potts ‘20, who had a starring role in BC High’s spring musical Jesus Christ: Superstar in the role of Judas Iscariot.

How has your role in JCS affected you on and off the stage?

My role of Judas in Jesus Christ: Superstar affected me in numerous ways. Although I played the role of the antagonist in the musical, I became extremely invested into my character and worked on developing him into the person that was presented on stage. I am forever grateful for Jesus Christ: Superstar, and the drama department in general, because the Dever Players have created a community of acceptance and compassion for one another. I always looked forward to going to rehearsals even though they were long and tiring because I was able to see my friends and immerse myself into the complex role that is Judas. The cast and crew of Superstar is truly a family, and that is thanks to Ms. PetitBon. Because of her we were able to become super close to one another, and that is why the whole cast worked so well on stage.

What was the most memorable moment from the preparation or the show?

My most memorable moment from the show would be during one of our “Senior

Speeches”. “Senior Speeches” occurred before each performance and consisted of usually 3 seniors who prepare to talk to the cast about their experience with the Dever Players and usually thank others for being there when the senior needed them the most. Veronica Aviles, who played Mary Magdalene, began her speech about acting at BC High. She stated that even though she has only been acting here for a year, she was extremely grateful to the amazing cast for including her even though it was her first year as a senior. I remember that she started crying because she could not believe that she would have to say goodbye to all of us, and then the whole cast, including me, became emotional too. JCS was a family, and to finally say goodbye forever to all of these seniors was extremely difficult. I cannot believe that next year I will have to say a senior speech and say my final goodbyes to next year’s cast.

How does your role in JCS compare to other roles you have had in the past?

The role of Judas Iscariot is my favorite role I have ever played in a production. He is so different and complex, and I have never portrayed a role similar to Judas. While developing my character I needed to learn where Judas’ anger and frustration came from, and what led him to killing Jesus and ultimately killing himself. I also needed to figure out how to display this immense anger and pain in a meaningful way. Judas was definitely the hardest role I have ever played, but finally being able to understand and portray him was extremely satisfying. Also, I would say that Judas was vocally the hardest role I have played. I come from a background of singing classical pieces of music, and so singing in the style of “Rock” was novel to me. My role included many high notes and vocally intense rock songs, and I had to learn how to balance singing strongly and not straining my voice. Even though it was difficult, I am extremely grateful for being able to play the role of Judas Iscariot.

How would you compare JCS to other plays you have been in in the past?

Jesus Christ: Superstar is so unique from any other musical that I have done in the past. It is a punk rock opera about Jesus Christ that ends with his crucifixion, not resurrection. Like, how much more bizarre could a musical be, but it somehow is an amazing musical with a beautiful musical score and story that keeps the audience compelled. The genius behind Jesus Christ: Superstar, Andrew Lloyd Webber, who also wrote The Phantom of the Opera, allows for the show to be the great musical that it is.