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March 27-30, Goodrich High School PAC

March 12, 2014 - The liturgical season of Lent will come alive later this month with the musical "Godspell."

A musical by Stephen Schwartz and a book by John-Michael Tebelak, "Godspell" opened in 1971 and is a series of parables, mostly based on the Gospel of Matthew; however, three of the featured parables are recorded only in the Gospel of Luke. The parables are mixed with a variety of modern music set primarily to lyrics from traditional hymns, with the passion of Christ at the end of the performance.

"It's always been one of my favorite plays," said Steve Mitchell, GHS theater director. "I'm a Christian myself and the characters in the play really come to life for me."

While a student at Central Michigan University, Mitchell played Jesus in "Godspell" during a performance at Mid Michigan Community College located in Harrison.

"Of all the shows I've been a part of over my 13 years in productions I've noticed the cast of 'Godspell' become a tighter, closer family," he said.

"Of course there's good and bad with any production, but the memories will last a lifetime—it actually transcends the day-to-day interactions. When an actor takes on a character like Jesus or John the Baptist, they become part of that person. Given the personality of the disciples you just can't help but get involved—we truly explore the characters. Consider, too, the sacrifice of Jesus and the emotions when an actor starts playing that role."

Mitchell said the GHS play includes a cast of 30 who are on the stage 95 percent of the time.

"Yes, the play is about Jesus, but really everyone is important and we use an ensemble," he said. "The original show was like a circus theme that gives the illusion of the Big Top circus freaks, a bearded lady, strong men and a lion tamer."

Christ is played by GHS junior Gage Webster and John the Baptist is GHS junior Spencer Everhart.

"Another reason I selected this play is we have so many strong voices at Goodrich," added Mitchell. "These are some of the finest I've had in my 13 years at Goodrich."

"Godspell," Goodrich High School, Raymond C. Green Auditorium, 7500 Gale Road, March 27-30.

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