Holy musical twist

Sarah Eades, Photo Editor

 

Typically, musicals are laid out for their cast. They have specific lines, stage directions and characters to follow. However, this is not the case with Godspell, this year’s spring musical.

In North’s production, the cast took the musical and crafted it into what they wanted the musical to be.

Godspell, presented Feb. 6-8 in the Little Theatre, tells the story of Jesus and his parables through singing and dancing. Lead roles were junior Theo Triplett as Jesus and Ian Brinkley playing a dual role of John the Baptist and Judas. This was Triplett’s first lead role.

Godspell is designed for the director to make creative choices to make it fit for the cast, the school and the audience,” said choir director Mr. Baker. “It is meant to be timeless.”

One of the special qualities about North’s production of the musical is that it is quite different than the actual Broadway musical. The Broadway performance is set in the late 1960s in New York with Jesus as a circus clown and his disciples as hippies. The group runs around the city re-enacting the parables and spreading God’s message through song.

“We watched the actual movie of the play and that gave us a sense of which way to go,” said Triplett. “We took that and made it our own.”

The story was modernized by setting the musical in band camp on a football field, showing Jesus as a drum major and the disciples as fellow band members.

Classic parables like the Good Samaritan, Lazarus and Sower of the Seed were presented to the audience. Jesus was the main narrator as the band members acted out the parables.

The cast actually wrote how they would tell the parables through improvisations.

“We would come up with new characters and we ran [the musical] different ways until we got it the way we wanted it,” said cast member Haley Gibbons. “A lot of the things we stuck with was improv. If it works, why mess with it?”

Mr. Baker let the cast have creative control over how they wanted the musical to progress. When the cast created a certain persona for a character and really liked it, they ran it by Mr. Baker. Odds are, he would approve the character.