UW-Platteville theatre to present 'Godspell'

March 28, 2014

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Center for the Arts

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Department of Performing and Visual Arts-Theatre and Pioneer Players will present the musical “Godspell” in the Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall. Performances are Thursday through Saturday, April 3-5 at 7:30 p.m. and April 5-6 at 2 p.m. A matinee has been added on Wednesday, April 2 at 11 a.m. All tickets for the Wednesday matinee are $5. Tickets for other performances are $9 for general admission, $8 for faculty, staff and seniors, and $5 for students. The production is recommended for all audiences.

“Godspell” is a series of parables based upon the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. It is told through the relationship of the players – disciples – with their leader, Jesus, as they come together to build a sense of community. “Godspell” also presents the story of Jesus' last moments, beginning with the Last Supper and continuing through the crucifixion. Drawn from a variety of theatrical and musical styles including pantomime, charades, pop/folk rock, gospel and vaudeville, the musical is a contemporary reflection on the life of Jesus, focusing on his precepts of kindness, tolerance and love.

“Godspell” features a score by Stephen Schwartz and boasts a string of songs, including the international hit, “Day By Day,” “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man” and “By My Side.”

The cast includes UW-Platteville students Kyle James as Jesus, Elliott Frieden as John the Baptist/Judas, and ensemble members Savannah Bettin, Arianna Day, Lucas Ensign, Tori Fisher, Hillary Holland, Andrew Jonas, Sarah McCraw, Sara Mueller, Nicholas Varela, Emma Wilson, Cody Wisman and Amanda Zasada. Theatre majors Nina Kenefick and Lucas Pawelski are the stage manager and lighting designer.

Jeffrey Strange, assistant professor of theatre at UW-Platteville and the program’s technical director/designer, is the scenic designer for the production, and resident designer Sarah Strange created the costumes. Musical direction is by Dr. Susan Savage Day, and choreography is by Connie SaLoutos Furlan.

“John-Michael Tebelak, the show’s creator, and composer Stephen Schwartz both emphasize the importance of creating this sense of community in the show, so in developing the concept for the production, we first asked ourselves what situation creates this need for coming together and working toward a common goal,” said Dr. David Schuler, associate professor of theatre at UW-Platteville and director of the production. “What better way to address how people are forced to come together than during times of natural disaster? We decided to set the musical in a post-Katrina world to celebrate life, renewal and a sense of community commitment.” 

“The cast has had fun and been challenged with the show’s high-energy choreography and with physically sharing and recreating these biblical parables,” Schuler added. “Now considered a modern classic, ‘Godspell’ brings the parables of Jesus humanly and hearteningly to life.”

For tickets and information call the University Box Office at (608) 342-1298 or 1-(877) 727-1CFA, or go to tickets.uwplatt.edu.

Contact: Dr. David Schuler, Department of Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-1198, schulerd@uwplatt.edu

Formatted by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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