Drama Club to perform Godspell
Drama Club has begun preparing for their upcoming fall musical production, Godspell, a modern-day version of the Gospel according to Matthew.
Godspell is a full ensemble with 10 cast members. Playing the role of Jesus will be Grady Suggs Jr., accompanied by Aaron Cochran (John the Baptist/Judas), Parker Suggs (Nick), Adam Kirk (Telly), Wil Gastier (George), Hope Kennedy (Anna Marie), Taylor Mills (Lindsey), Hannah Reikowsky (Uzo), Isabelle Cannon (Celisse) and Jaryn Lindenmuth (Morgan).
Music Dept. member Emily Patterson and her father and former Science Dept. member Todd Patterson will be co-directing the production.
Patterson said Godspell is deceptively difficult to perform, but she believes the cast can pull it off.
Suggs Jr. (12) also looks forward to performances and his opportunity to play the lead role of Jesus Christ.
“I think it’s going to be a tremendous opportunity and learning experience,” Suggs Jr. said.
Drama Club is coming off the summer production, The Sound of Music, which involved over 100 cast members as part of a community partnership.
The sheer size of the summer production played a role in influencing the Pattersons’ decision to go with Godspell, which is known in the theater community for being minimalistic and having a small ensemble, according to Emily Patterson.
Retelling the Gospel of Matthew through song and dance, Godspell is a contemporary story of young men and women in New York City who give up their jobs to follow and learn from Jesus Christ and traverse the city to spread His message of love and tolerance.
However, Patterson says the religious characteristics of the musical had no influence on its selection.
“There are actual director’s notes written by the original author that says regardless of the context of the work, the overall theme is love and community. We are not pushing any religion; we’re not saying this is the thing to do or this is the thing not to do,” Patterson said.
Patterson said this theme of endearment and community is the perspective she and Todd Patterson took when presenting the musical choice to principal Tyler Keener, who approved it.
Both Patterson and student director Taylor Williams (10) hope the production is not met with opposition because of its religious association.
“I can understand where people would have a problem if it encourages religion, but that’s not what anyone is trying to do whatsoever,” Williams said.
Performances of Godspell will take place Nov. 11 through Nov. 15 in the WHS PAC.