“Godspell” is no stranger to Staples High School.
But Players’ 2 previous productions of the parable-based musical were performed as student-directed studio theater pieces.
Next week, “Godspell” spills across the main stage.
Over 50 students — all between ages 14 and 18 — present the vibrant show July 23, 24 and 25.
A cast that big presents challenges, notes director David Roth.
The original production includes only Jesus, Judas and 8 followers. Roth and co-director Kerry Long expanded that core group, then added an ensemble. They listen to Jesus’ words, and join in the celebration.
This production is also special because “Godspell” enjoyed a major Broadway revival in 2012. It featured new vocal arrangements, and script changes with plenty of modern references. There’s rapping, puppets — even a game of Pictionary.
This year’s Staples version includes those additions, along with a song not previously used on stage, “Beautiful City.”
Roth says he grew up loving the show. Its upbeat message of love and tolerance make it a great summer choice.
“Some of our recent productions, like ‘Cabaret’ and ‘Sweeney Todd,’ were very moving, but also very dark,” Roth adds. “‘Godspell’ is equally poignant, but in a joyous and exuberant way. It’s also a great show for the entire family, regardless of your religious beliefs.”
With opening night near, Players are working hard to make this the best summer production ever — day by day.
(“Godspell” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 23, 24 and 25, and 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 25. Tickets are available at www.StaplesPlayers.com, and at the door.)