By Madison Petro
East Stroudsburg University’s Theatre Department presents “Godspell” this week. The musical combines multiple parables from the Gospel according to Matthew.
While Jesus Christ teaches lessons to his followers through song and dance, audiences do not need to be religious to enjoy this show.
The actors bring out elements of their characters that audiences are sure to find someone they connect with.
“I play the ‘sexual’ women who I, as a character choice, also made bisexual,” says sophomore theatre major Marti Goodfellow. “To me she is strong, confident and a great example of an individual who does what she wants without thinking twice.”
Goodfellow sings “Turn Back O’ Man” in the production. Many of the roles in “Godspell” do not have names and every actor is onstage throughout the entire show.
The musical does not have a regular script, though, so the actors and director rely on collaboration.
“It’s all give and take and depends entirely on the cast as a whole,” says Goodfellow. “Because of this great concept, the cast had a large involvement in the creative aspect of the show.”
“We all have to feed off each other’s ideas, along with our director’s, to really make the show ours,” adds junior musical theatre major Marcell McKenzie.
“There is really just a base and the rest is for us to build, whereas most standard shows have everything filled in for you.”
McKenzie sings “Light of the World” in the production and is the dance captain assisting Tara Coyle, an ESU theatre alumna. McKenzie also choreographed “We Beseech Thee.”
Many cast members from freshman Na’zir Postell to senior Cherval Royster remark that the choreography is their favorite part of the show. Postell and Royster are both musical theatre majors. Postell sings “We Beseech Thee” and Royster is the ensemble in the production.
Although the choreography is a favorite for the cast, the theme behind the dance moves “Godspell” seeks to enlighten both the cast and the audience members.
“There’s no greater message,” says McKenzie, “than building together and becoming one in the face of hatred and isolation.”
“Godspell” performance times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 through March 3, and 2 p.m. March 3 and 4.
Performances are in the Smith-McFarland Theatre at Fine Arts.
Admission is $12 for general; $10 for senior citizens, faculty and staff with I.D.; $7 for students with I.D.; and $5 for youth 13 and under. This production, however, is recommended for ages 8 and up.
Tickets can be purchased online with credit cards only at esu.edu/theatretickets.
Remaining tickets can be purchased with cash or checks at the box office one hour before performance times.
Email email@example.com or call 570-422-3483 for more information or reservations.
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