‘A good story:’ CHHS Theatre to present ‘Godspell’ April 15-16
Published 9:34 am Monday, March 14, 2016
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
CHELSEA – Chelsea High School Theatre’s spring musical in April might lead to a religious experience for audience members.
More than a dozen CHHS choir and theatre students will blend their musical, theatrical and dance talents in three performances of “Godspell,” a widely known musical written by Stephen Schwartz that is composed of parables from the Gospel of Matthew.
“It was written in the 1970s, so it’s got a hippie twist to it,” CHHS Theatre Director Francie Gardner said. “It’s such a neat show.”
The script follows the liturgy of an Episcopal church service and depicts various lessons Jesus taught to his disciples, along with his crucifixion.
“The crucifixion is handled in a serious way,” Gardner said, adding the production ends on a happy note with references to Jesus’ resurrection. “All the parables are told with a silly twist. It’s told in a way that’s surprising and fun to watch.”
Eleventh grader Bonnie Watts, the stage manager for the production, described it as “a good story,” “a fun experience” and “a goofy take on something that’s very well-known.”
“Godspell” mixes drama, comedy and music, including singing, ukulele and a rap and beat boxing segment.
Audience members might recognize songs like “Day by Day.”
Students are allowed to incorporate their own elements of dialogue and more through improvisation.
“We have done a lot of improv throughout,” Gardner said. “A lot of these ideas on stage will be the kids’ ideas.”
The audience will be encouraged to participate at certain times, too.
“This show … has really stood the test of time,” Gardner said. “I think there’s a lot more understanding now.”
Gardner praised the students involved in “Godspell,” calling them “a really great team.” They have been working on the production since January.
“It’s a great group of kids,” she said. “They really want to be here. The creativity and the energy are super, super high.”
Show dates and times are as follows: April 15 at 7 p.m. in the CHHS auditorium; and April 16 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults.