York Drama invites the community to “build a beautiful city” with its spring musical, “Godspell”
York Community High School proudly presents Godspell on April 28, 29, 30 at 7:30 p.m. and May 1 at 2 p.m. in the Baker Auditorium. A musical known globally for its uplifting music and powerful stories, York Drama believes this is the perfect show about joy, love, and hope for the entire community.
“The spring musical is officially back” Rebecca Marianetti, director, said. “As a community who deeply believes that the arts are at the center of who we are, this has been a long time coming. I am thrilled that our incredibly talented students get to come back to their home on the York stage for the first live spring musical in three years in one of the most beloved musicals of all time.”
Godspell, written by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippen, Enchanted) and John-Michael Tebelak , premiered in 1971, and since then has gone through several revisions and has been on Broadway multiple times. Godspell addresses current issues through parables and song, asking the cast to develop the parables into situations and struggles that they face in today’s world.
“Godspell asks, begs, demands us to love each other and to hold each other up as a community,” Marianetti said. “I cannot think of a more fitting musical for this time in our world or a more kind-hearted and inspiring group of students to bring this beautiful work to Elmhurst.”
The group of students involved in this production have taken these values of love and support into their own writing and imagination. This musical offers a broad creative license for company members to tell a story that is relevant to their specific audience.
"Godspell requires its cast to take a real and honest part of themselves and place it into the heart of this stunning story," Matt Bourke, assistant director, said. "Many of our upperclassmen have sat in the writer's chair in this process, workshopping new ways to share timeless stories. We are so proud of the love and empathy--and comedic genius--every single player has put in to bring this newest iteration of Godspell on York's stage to life."
Working with the most-recent 2012 Broadway revival, students have found their own voice while living through the text.
“Godspell is unlike any other production I’ve been a part of,” Coleman Goulding, student director, said. “The process of learning the piece and reworking the scenes to reflect the current day and the message behind it with the audience has been so rewarding. It demands such intense creativity and constant energy, but returns an incredible experience full of love, learning, and tons of laughter. Student directing has been an incredible opportunity to work with my peers, and ultimately to help paint the magical picture of Godspell on the York stage.”
During the rehearsal process, the cast had the opportunity to work with Nick Blaemire, who starred in the revival of Godspell on Broadway. Blaemire spent the afternoon with York Drama answering questions, playing improv games, and leading scene work.
“Working with Nick Blaemire was one of the coolest moments of my life,” Paige Greve, junior, said. “When working with Nick, he didn't tell us what to do; he guided us on our journey so we could find who we are within this show. I cannot wait for the audience to experience and be a part of this magnificent musical because it truly is the experience of a lifetime.”
With a show so focused on joy and self-expression, Blaemire assisted students in finding new ways to share themselves with the audience.
“He helped us with our presence and joy on stage in every movement and reaction,” Rianna Roberts, senior, said. “It has been exciting to watch scenes come together and energy build in my fellow cast mates throughout the process: Godspell is truly life and love”
As is true with life, there are many juxtapositions to this much-beloved musical: joy and grief, hope and loss, excitement and fear. Students took this challenge to not only better themselves as performers, but as a community themselves.
“I am beyond excited for the world to watch this stunning, imperative musical,” Meg Doan, student dance captain, said. “Godspell is full of laughter, sadness, joy, and grief; it is a bittersweet ending to high school and I am beyond blessed to have grown extremely close with the whole cast: a cast that loves and accepts everyone, a cast that is always there for each other, and a cast that is most definitely fit to build a beautiful city together.”
York Drama invites the community to come and build a beautiful city on April 28-30 and May 1. Tickets are $15 and go on sale April 18 at 9 a.m. at www.yorkdrama.org.
“The future is in incredible hands,” Marianetti said. “We cannot wait to share this story with our community as the spring musical finally returns to the York stage, with unadulterated joy. We know that the audience will leave with their bellies filled with laughter, hearts filled with love, and souls filled with promise.”