‘Godspell’ debuts at Olivet

By Andrew Kriz

No script. Seven weeks. 10 actors.

Surely, that sounds like a recipe guaranteed for disaster but the spring musical was designed in order to push the limits of the performers’ creativity.

“Godspell” is the story of Jesus’ passionate last week alive and the retelling of classic parables through impromptu acting.

Professor Jerry Cohagan, theater director, oversaw the musical’s development.

“I’m really excited, it has been a thrill, people will hear the gospel and be entertained,” he said.

He also said that the preparation was deceptively difficult trying to find a rhythm, which he attributed to having no set characters to build off of.

The characters in “Godspell” are the actor’s real-life personalities; there are no lines or set actions to follow; only the raw energy produced onstage.

Cohagan mentioned there were many failures in testing new ideas but there were just as many successes. The rare failures, however, developed into inside jokes that brought the cast closer together.

Although the planning and reversal process was difficult at times, Cohagan is extremely proud of the crew and their diligence.

One such example was Hannah Jacobson, a junior, being promoted to co-director due to her dedication with the musical and her immense help with the choreography.

This will be the first performance of Stephen Schwartz’s “Godspell” in Olivet history since the musical first debuted in 1971.

Stephen Schwartz also produced the record breaking “Wicked”.

An article written by a broadway.com writer said that “Godspell” held 527 performances up until 1977 where it closed at the Ambassador Theatre in New York.

The writer continued that the musical was also adapted into a feature film version in 1973 starring Victor Garber as Jesus.

The adaption being performed at ONU will be using the 2001 contemporary rock version.

“Godspell” will be performed in Kresge Auditorium on Feb. 24, 25, and 26 at 7 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students.

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