By Christian DiMartino
The original Godspell was performed on Broadway in the 1970’s, but this adaptation is based off of last year’s Broadway revival. “I saw it last year and really liked their concept for it and the way it was produced,” said theater director Robbie Steiner. “That production has influenced a lot of what we did for this production.”
The musical, starring junior Collin Jackson as Jesus and junior Clay Gulley as Judas, is based on the biblical gospel according to Matthew, but it is set in modern day. The story focuses on the development of the community and the relationship between Jesus and his followers.
However, this version is much different than the 1971 original, “[It is different] because the play is set in the 70’s and we’re putting a more modern twist on the music,” said junior Jade Dailey, who plays one of Jesus’s followers.
With the exception of Jackson and Gulley, every other actor in the play gets to play themselves. “Usually, I have to play characters, but this time I don’t. But it’s fun,” said senior Kathryn Pryor. “I have to show my vulnerable side though.”
The cast and crew have been working on Godspell since last fall. They first had auditions, sang the songs, casted it, and then began rehearsals once a week, both during class and after school. “For the show in general, I had to build up stamina,” Dailey said.
The tech team helped to create the unique new stage, which is an ovular stage with seats that surround it on the current stage. The set includes fog machines, trampolines, and a pool.
It’s nonsense, but it’s good nonsense,” said senior Cherrish Curry, the lighting designer.
The cast admits that there were some challenges along the way. “The biggest challenge was building the stage and choreographing all of the many dances in the show,” said junior Jackson Bishop.
Another challenge is that student actors must take on roles beyond their maturity. Gulley admits that playing the role of Judas was difficult to comprehend. “What’s difficult about him is that he is more than meets the eye. His reasons for his actions; what would it take for someone so loyal and so close to turn his back on Jesus,” said Gulley.
The venue gives the actors a chance to interact. “[I’m looking forward to] the audience’s reactions, because the show involves a lot of the audience’s participation,” junior Ainsley Spencer said.
Despite all of the challenges, the show still creates excitement among the cast. “I’m looking forward to performing in the round,” Dailey said,” It’s a new experience and you have to rely on yourself because you don’t necessarily have someone right next to you.”
“One of the highlights of the show is music; it really is awesome, and I’m looking forward to seeing the audiences react to it,” Bickett said.
The cast and crew admit that the show’s title sounds a little off putting, but they say that it is anything but. “Even if you aren’t religious, you should still come and see the show because it’s something that anyone can enjoy,” Bickett said.
The high-energy show offers something for everyone. “If you want to see a highly dynamic, fun, and spontaneous show with religious stories, then Godspell is the show you want to see,” Dailey said.
Feb. 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 2, 9 and 10 at 2:00 p.m.
$12 for adults, $10 for students, and $6 for senior citizens.