By Morgan Goddard, Contributing Writer
Get ready for a show stopping performance this week as the Hilltop Players of West Liberty University bring Godspell 2012 by Stephen Schwartz, to the Kelly Theatre. Director of the show Michael Aulick, who is also the director of theatre here at the university, has a lot to say about the upcoming performance.
“It’s not really about Jesus’s life,” said Aulick. “Its more about the formation of a community that went on to affect the world. It’s a collection of parables and teachings of Jesus. So it shows the progression of this community being built.”
Aulick also commented on the amount of effort that was put into getting the show done. “This show, more than any other show I’ve done here has been a collaboration between the College of Arts and Communications. We have music majors, theatre majors, and even broadcast majors all coming together,” said Aulick.
It is a very playful, improvisational show from a genre known as Storytelling Theatre. This means that actors will be acting but sometimes narrating as well and there is a lot of audience interaction people can look forward to.
“It isn’t an alter call, it isn’t anything as serious as that,” said Aulick. “We have beads that if people want to be part of the community they can take. It’s a fun way to connect people to the story.”
There were of course some difficulties getting the show ready.
“The music program has been terribly active so we had to really create an interesting rehearsal schedule,” said Aulick. Another difficulty was the music itself. “The new version, the 2012 version, has some updated music. And the music in the original Godspell was pretty easy,” said Aulick. “There is a number of songs in the new version where all 12 people are singing different lines. So it’s really a lot more complicated.”
The set was designed by Meta Lasch, Assistant Professor of Theatre. The show was also co-directed by Melinda Kriseburg, Associate Professor of Biology. The cast is Elijah Boyle as Jesus, Nathan James as John the Baptist/Judas, and an ensemble company consisting of Gabrielle Bennett, Elizabeth Conley, Geena Diomedi, Brady Dunn, Alex Franke, Chad Brubb, Brent Kimball, Sarah Lemley, Meaghan Macey, and Amanda Tamplen.
Godspell 2012 runs April 14th, 15th, and 16th at 7:30pm, and the 17th at 3pm. For tickets and information call the box office at (304) 336-8277 or order online here.