Students from St. Joseph High School in Red Deer are hoping to spread the message of acceptance through their production of Godspell this week.
Godspell is a musical based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew, and music based on traditional Episcopal hymns.
In 2012, a group on Broadway revived the play and gave it a modern twist. The production is said to centre on a group of followers who are called together to create a community and following of Jesus Christ. It’s described as sharing different parables by using a wide variety of stories and comedy as well as an eclectic blend of songs, ranging from pop, to rock, to jazz.
This is the first year St. Joseph has done Godspell, and only the second year that they’ve had a drama program. Students have juggled rehearsal in between other extra circulars and the workload that comes with being in high school.
“Since all of our cast is on stage all at the same time, it was hard sometimes to do rehearsals because people had other commitments and sometimes couldn’t come to every rehearsal so it was challenging working around that.” explained Emily Cassels, who is playing Ana in the production. “It’s like how can you do an entire show when you are missing key people? It made the days that we were there a little bit less productive but we think it’s come together beautifully.”
The students bring their energy and passion to the stage this week as they bring their production to life.
The play is a lively, interactive story that spreads the story of Jesus and his message of kindness, tolerance, and love.
Jennifer Cocolicchio, the director of the show and drama teacher at St. Joseph, says she hopes the community can all learn a lesson from their production.
“I love the story and I love the revival and I love the amped up music and the rock flare that it has,” she exclaims. “I love it and I just really love the story. It’s a story about love, and community and acceptance of all shapes, colors, cultures, and backgrounds.”
“It’s about Jesus’s message of love and I think that whether your religious or not anyone can relate to an inspiring man who devoted his life to that kind of message,” continues Cocolicchio. “I hope that they feel inspired to love their fellow man and to look at people with compassion and to have more patience and be more forgiving.”
Christopher Marcinek who is playing Judas, says he hopes people who watch take away the message they need to hear.
“I believe you can get a different message from the play depending on who you are as a person and what you need,” he points out. “Those who are seeking for something and aren’t really sure what exactly they’re looking for maybe can find that message here while they’re watching us. People will be able to take away whatever they need from this and that’s what it’s all about.”
Students and staff from St. Joseph are urging the community to come out and support them this week throughout their production.
People can check it out at the RDC Arts Centre from Mar. 13 - 16 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 and sold at the door.
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