Assumption to Present Student-produced Performance of Godspell
Broadway returns to Worcester in February when Assumption College presents a student-run production of the 2012 revival of Godspell on February 28 and 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the state-of-the-art Jeanne Y. Curtis Performance Hall on campus, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $5 for students. (Assumption students, use the code ACSTUDENT to receive the discount.)
According to Music Theatre International (MTI), the 2012 Broadway revival is “a masterful retelling of the original sensation, injected with contemporary references and dazzling new arrangements.” Godspell, composed by Grammy- and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak, is a collection of parables, primarily from the Gospel of Matthew. MTI writes that Godspell follows “a small group of people” as they “help Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and a hefty dose of comic timing.” The story is punctuated by a musical score, based on traditional hymns, that has come to be well-loved, perhaps the best-known of them being “Day by Day,” which appeared on the Billboard singles chart in 1972.
“Godspell was first staged in 1971 by a group of creative students studying at Carnegie Mellon University,” said Joe Kwiatkowski, campus minister and director of liturgical music, who will direct the production. “Staying true to that concept, with the exception of my involvement, everything will be done by the students: lighting design, sound design, choreography, and set design. The goal of this production is to make it as much of a student-driven presentation as possible.”
According to Kwiatkowski, Godspell fulfills the need for a single-set production and leaves “room for comedic improvisation and audience participation. There's a genuine hunger from the student body for more creative outlets, and there's a great deal of talent at Assumption.”
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to choreograph and act in Assumption’s production of Godspell this year,” said Maeve McDonald ’21, a double major in secondary education and English who will be playing the role of George. “It is providing me with the chance to express myself creatively and be part of a remarkable creative community at Assumption.”
This will be the second musical theater production held in the Jeanne Y. Curtis Performance Hall, which is housed in the College’s Tsotsis Family Academic Center. Two years ago, students performed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and last year’s spring concert celebrated some of theater’s best songs across the decades. Prior to the construction of the Curtis Performance Hall, Assumption staged its musical productions at The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Worcester for several years, including Children of Eden, Fiddler on the Roof, The Fantasticks, Little Shop of Horrors, Oliver!, The Music Man, The Pirates of Penzance and Seussical the Musical.
The Jeanne Y. Curtis Performance Hall, with a state-of-the-art sound system, was built, in part, to showcase the vocal talent of Assumption students.
Adam Duval ’20 performed in the College’s productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Music Man, and participated in his high school’s production of Godspell as a senior. "When I first performed Godspell, I developed a special connection with the show,” said Duval, a music and accounting double major who will be playing Judas. “Now as a college senior, I want to rekindle that connection through the musical's message of love and happiness. The cast hopes we can portray Jesus's message of spreading love while also entertaining the audiences through various fun interactions."
Elizabeth Owen ’21 will be reprising the role of Morgan, one she played when she was 12 years old. “Performing in Godspell deepened my love of theatre and strengthened my faith as well,” said Owen, a psychology major and human services minor. “Now, nine years later, I am thrilled to be encountering it again.”
In 1971, Godspell was an off-Broadway smash and has been revived by a number of touring companies, made into a feature film in 1973, and was even condensed into a one-act version, Godspell Junior.
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