Godspell Theatre Production

Godspell Poster

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February 25-28, 2015
Wednesday - Saturday, 7:00 pm
Saturday Matinee, February 28, 2:00 pm
Blackbox Theatre

Book by John-Michael Tebelak
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Directed by Elissa Sartwell

Director’s Notes

The inspiration for Godspell came to author John-Michael Tebelak after he attended a disconnected, somber Easter service: “an old priest came out and mumbled into a microphone, and people mumbled things back, and then everyone got up and left. Instead of ‘healing’ the burden, or resurrecting the Christ, it seems those people had pushed Him back into the tomb. They had refused to let Him come out that day.”

He immediately went home and began to work on Godspell. “I wanted to make it the simple, joyful message that I felt the first time I read [the Gospels] and recreate the sense of community, which I did not share when I went to that service.” Within a year, Godspell was performed off-Broadway.

Since its premiere in 1971, Godspell has been revived, reimagined, and restaged countless times. Our production takes place in a diner that has seen better days. Despite its wear and tear, the diner continues to attract individuals from all walks of life.

When the lights come up on Dad’s Diner, we see each individual clinging to the words of an influential philosopher or scholar: Socrates, Thomas Aquinas, Galileo, DaVinci, Jonathan Edwards, L. Ron Hubbard, Jean Paul Sartre, and Marianne Williamson. These competing ideas reflect the futility of any human’s attempt to explain God and the universe. Against the chaos of this “Tower of Babble,” John the Baptist enters with the promise of a new way.

With the exception of Jesus and John the Baptist/Judas, the characters in Godspell go by their own names. Just like each individual’s response to God is unique to them, so each character has a distinct identity and reaction to Jesus.

Historically, Godspell features the same actor as John the Baptist and Judas. This choice illustrates how each follower of Christ has the capacity to prepare the way for the Lord or to betray Him, even to death. While this fusion of John the Baptist and Judas can be unsettling to us, it is also a painful reminder that in many ways, we each prepare for and betray Christ on a daily basis.

As you watch the performance, we invite you to rediscover the joy, the simplicity, and the powerful message of redemption found in this retelling of the good news. You may notice that the authors have taken poetic license with some of the lines and the order of some events. If you would like to get the whole story, we encourage you to read the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

The God Committee Scene

Jesus - Thaddeus Morris
John the Baptist/ Judas - Eric Henderson
John - John Alford
Zak - Zak Blatche
James - James Kenyon
Michaela - Michaela Bowen
Jessica - Jessica Ziegelbauer
Frannie - Frannie Maas
Madison - Madison Parrot
Courtney - Courtney Holifield
Understudy - Jasmine Calvert

Artistic Team
Director - Dr. Elissa Sartwell
Choreographer - Laura Morton
Assistant Director - Jasmine Calvert
Assistant Music Director - Jessica Ziegelbauer
Choreography Assistant - Lauren Tobin
Scenic & Lighting Designer - Kris Dietrich
Costume Designer - Becky Freeman
Props Designer - Frannie Maas
Hair & Makeup Designer - Becky Freeman
Sound Designer - Rebekah Bert
Stage Manager - Megan Cash
Assistant Stage Managers - Josh Noé
Videographer - Chad Harman

Drums - Justin Nipper
Bass - Byron Hammond

Technical Director - Rebekah Bert
Carpenter/Construction Crew - Zak Blatche, Lydia Cobb,
Quran Hasan, Amy Ott, Lauren Tobin, Connor Bingham,
Benjamin Grimes, and Meghan Burns

Faculty Advisor - Rebekah Bert
Lighting Crew - John Alford, Lydia Brandt, Laina Faul,
James Kenyon, and Thaddeus Morris
Light Board Operator - Lydia Cobb and Rachel Loftus
Sound Board Operator - Lauren Tobin

Faculty Advisor - Becky Freeman
Stitchers - Connor Bingham, Michaela Bowen, Lydia Brandt, Jasmine Calvert, Courtney Hollifield, Nikki Lee, Theo Lott, Madison Parrott, Stephanie Salinas, and Crockett Ward
Dressers- C.J. Riggs, and Marie Haynes

Faculty Advisor - Rebekah Bert
Properties Master - Frannie Maas
Props Construction Crew - Sonja Hakkinen and Morgan Hillman

Advisor - Kerri Sanders
House Manager - Alecia Gray
Box Office Staff - Anna Bryant, Sarah Harris,
Eric Henderson and Lizy Hurlbert
Program Cover & Poster Design - Chae Levy
Program Layout & Design - Sarah Harris and Lizy Hurlbert

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