|Theatre Arts opens 2009-2010 season with "Godspell"|
The Cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks have become a tight community over the years through flood fighting efforts and even in their support of the local sports team. Well they have the chance to come together once again and support UND’s Departments of Theatre Arts as they produce "Godspell," a show all about the creation of a community and how people can come together and support each other through the good times and the bad. "Godspell" is the musical version of Jesus Christ’s teachings and his crucifixion, but underneath the surface it is the story of how a community is created and how that community joins together to support one another.
"Godspell" is the Theatre Department’s first show of the season and they are coming in with a bang. Godspell was written by Stephen Schwartz and was first performed in 1971; it contains several well known songs including "Day by Day," and "We Beseech Thee."
Director Gaye Burgess is bringing a new perspective to the timeless classic by setting the musical in 1990s urban blight. The characters start off as individuals each thinking only of themselves, Burgess describes everyone as being an “island on their own.” However, as the the show advances, the characters begin to bond with one another while acting out some of the parables based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew. As the characters make discoveries about Jesus and themselves they become a community of believers. This metamorphosis is made clear through changes in costumes and lighting.
Burgess along with choreographer Lon Hurst have also made another addition to the show, a chorus. Originally Godspell was made up of only a 10-character cast, but Burgess and Hurst have added a five-person chorus to help boost the sense of community the show encompasses. They want audience to see the community created in "Godspell" as representative of humanity as a whole.
Although the musical is centered on Christianity the plays themes go beyond religion and comment more on humanity and how by working together we can move beyond what we can do on our own. So no matter what your belief, "Godspell" is a must see.
Performances at the Burtness Theatre on the UND campus are Oct 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students with a valid student I.D. Groups of 10 or more people receive a $2 discount. Reserved parking will be available. For ticket information and reservations call the Box Office at 777-2587.
-- Alyssa Thompson, UND Department of Theatre Arts Publicity Assistant, Department of Theatre Arts , email@example.com, 320-221-0588