Theatre of Dare Brings Saint Matthew To Life In ‘Godspell’

When it comes to the 1971 rock musical Godspell, it can be easy to get caught up in the music score, the colorful costumes, and the stage shenanigans. But when the curtain goes up on Theatre of Dare’s production of the popular retelling of the Gospel of St. Matthew on March 6, the cast and crew will be working hard to make sure the audience does not miss out on the message.

The cast of Theatre of Dare’s 'Godspell': Top row: Larissa Roughton, Steven Devaney. Center row: Lara Parks, Katie Bender, Rob Jenkins, Missy Eppard, Daniel Ziegler, Bridgett Nesfield. Bottom row: Tim Hass, Kat Morgan, Kelsey Thompson, Jimmie Lee Brooks III, Jared Eng-Hong.

The cast of Theatre of Dare’s ‘Godspell’: Top row: Larissa Roughton, Steven Devaney. Center row: Lara Parks, Katie Bender, Rob Jenkins, Missy Eppard, Daniel Ziegler, Bridgett Nesfield. Bottom row: Tim Hass, Kat Morgan, Kelsey Thompson, Jimmie Lee Brooks III, Jared Eng-Hong.

Godspell, of course, is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ,” says co-director Don Bridge. “But at its core, it’s the story of all of us, how we need to take care of each other, how we are all, in essence, a family. That’s a message that should be applicable to people regardless of their spiritual inclinations.”

The methods of conveying that message are unconventional, to say the least. A sock puppet show here, a vaudeville act there, music that ranges from searing rock guitar to torch song to the cheerful pop melodies of Day By Day (and the audience is always invited to sing along). But the stories are familiar: the Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan, the Beatitudes, and many others.  

“I think Godspell helped pave the way in telling classic Biblical stories in new, non-traditional ways,” said Rob Jenkins, who plays the role of Jesus in TOD’s production. “Back in 1971, it was probably more than a little controversial. But today, a lot of churches use rock music and multimedia to get their message out to newer generations. And, after all, it is the message that’s most important.” 

Godspell will be performed at the COA Auditorium on March 6, 7, 13 & 14 at 7:30 p.m. with matinees on March 8 & 15 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and are available at the door or online here.

Theatre of Dare presents 'Godspell' in March 2015.

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