The USF theatre department has hit the ground running on their upcoming production, Godspell. The contemporary musical written by John-Micheal Tebelak is a fun, yet powerful way of telling Jesus’ story.
Unlike most musicals, Godspell is an upbeat and modern retelling of the gospel. Each character will sing memorable modern music from traditional hymns that tells parables from Jesus’ ministry, based mostly from the Gospel of Matthew. Sophomore Elizabeth Enalls says that playing one of the disciples is rewarding.
“It’s fun but it’s hard,” says Enalls. “I really need to know my part, otherwise it messes up the person who is next to me. So it’s very collaborative, which I like.”
With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and spoken dialogue by Michael Tebelek, Godspell is sure to lead the audience on both a musical and spiritual journey. Hit songs from the original performance in the 1970s like “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” and “We Beseech Thee” will tell the story of the last days of Jesus.
“It’s really energized and big. But in the bare bones of it, every single song has keep meaning to it that points to Jesus,” says Enalls.
With Godspell being an award-winning Broadway musical had over 40 students auditioning for a part ultimately having 13 selected cast members. Every character aside from Jesus, John the Baptist and Judas go by their real name, portraying the original disciples of Jesus. Sophomore Gillian Cheney says that from auditions people were picked because they were different from each other.
“They were looking at the descriptions of the characters and then they were basing who they cast for that character on personality types that were written in the script,” says Cheney. “So [if] this person is really bubbly and always happy, we better find someone who is usually pretty jovial.”
The collegiate performance is coming up soon, so be sure to reserve your seat.
Godspell will be shown in the Meredith Auditorium, May 3rd thru the 6th at 7:30pm with a matinée on May 7th at 2:00pm. Tickets are available online for purchase at usiouxfalls.edu.
Story by Ellie Herman