August 18th, 19th & 20th
Hello and welcome to the inaugural musical for Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church!We are in the beginning stages for Godspell. This musical will take place Friday, August 18th –Sunday, August 20th, 2023.
Godspell was the first major musical theatre offering from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Children of Eden); and it took the world by storm. Godspell features a parade of beloved songs and centers around a group of people who help Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and a hefty dose of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, is employed as the story of Jesus’ life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus’ messages of kindness, tolerance and love come vibrantly to life. We have multiple opportunities for people to get involved in the production and those opportunities are grouped into two different areas: Onstage and backstage. Below each are outlined.
Other Important Information
A show doesn’t happen without people behind the scenes who oversee the props, build the set, design the costumes and so much more! If you are interested in working in a backstage/crew capacity, please fill out this form.
The rehearsal schedule is still being finalized but will be available soon. Rehearsals will be held in the evenings at Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church. The first rehearsal for Godspell has been decided though and they will be Tuesday, June 13th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm in the Little Theatre.
We understand that participating in this musical requires a commitment. Please consider all activities and work schedules when thinking about joining this production. Make sure that this is an activity you can commit to before auditions. Please note that mandatory rehearsals will occur the week before the show opens and the production week of the show.
Synopsis of Godspell
Godspell began as a student master’s thesis project at Carnegie Mellon University in 1970. The original production was a collection of improvised scenes based on the gospel according to St. Matthew and music based on traditional hymns created and directed by John-Michael Tebelak. The show transferred for a ten week run to New York City’s la mama Experimental Theatre Club in 1971. Producers interested in opening the show Off-Broadway approached composer Stephen Schwartz about writing new music and lyrics. With a new score, Godspell moved to Off-Broadway where it soon became one of the longest-running Off-Broadway musicals, before moving to Broadway in June 1976. It ended its run in September 1977 with a total run of more than 2,600 performances. The show centers on a group of followers who are called to gather together to create a community following a very loving and knowledgeable teacher. By sharing stories about living good lives and singing about love, joy, gratitude, judgement and redemption, the group of disparate individuals band together with a common purpose to face challenges and obstacles as they are tested along the way. In this innovative 40th anniversary revival, director Daniel goldstein has grounded his vision for the play “in a dilapidated theater” as 10 people come out of a storm “both literally and figuratively.” These characters find “love and community through the teachings of a charismatic individual.” The show is being staged in the round which is new for this musical and contains new arrangements and music from Stephen Schwartz. The ensemble is charged with bringing a range of stories to life for the audience utilizing a host of theatrical devices including vaudeville, puppetry, story theater and varied song stylings. The goal is for the audience to experience through Godspell the “spirit of community and the idea to always treat others as you would have them treat you.”
Character Descriptions for Godspell
Below you will find descriptions of all characters appearing in Godspell.
JESUS -Must be the most charismatic individual in the cast. High energy, charming, funny, gentle but with strength. He is the sort of person others instinctively follow. ITS-8
JOHN THE BAPTIST/JUDAS – He has attributes of both Biblical figures: he is both Jesus’ lieutenant and most ardent disciple and the doubter who begins to question and rebel. Like Jesus, he is also charismatic, but in more of an overt revolutionary way. Usually played by someone handsome and masculine, with an undertone of sexuality. He is the most “serious” and intellectual of the group, though as with all the actors, he must still possess a good sense of physical comedy. ITS-6
NICK – Very high energy. Impish and playful. In the original, he played several musical instruments, including concertina, recorder, and guitar. ITS-6
TELLY – Not the brightest in the bunch, he is a little slow on the uptake. But there is a great sweetness and innocence about him. Because he sings “All Good Gifts,” he must be a very good singer. ITS-6
GEORGE – The comedian, the class clown. The guy who can do a hundred voices and imitations. ITS-6
ANNA MARIA – A bit of a tomboy, but basically open and sweet. Perhaps the youngest of the group. She is the first of the group to commit to following Jesus in the song “Day by Day.” ITS-6
LINDSAY – The confident one, the show-off. The first one to volunteer, sometimes she jumps in before she really understands what’s going on. ITS-6
UZO – The shy one. Sometimes a little slow to get things, but when she does, she commits all the way. Has an “earth mother” kind of warmth to her. ITS-6
MORGAN – Sassy and slightly cynical, the most urban of the group. Also the ‘sexy”one, but her sexiness contains a large element of put-on, in the manner of Mae West or Madonna (who in fact once played this role.) ITS-6
CELISSE – The female equivalent of the class clown. Goofy and a cut-up. In the 2012 Broadway revival, she played several instruments, including conga, ukulele, and guitar. ITS-6
The only character that is gender specific is Jesus. He will be male. All other characters are not gender specific in our opinion.