Perpich News

Students Perform Rock Musical “Godspell”

March 11, 2024

Using a variety of games, storytelling techniques, and hefty doses of comic timing, student performers brought to life the story of “Godspell” and transformed the Black Box Theater for an audience in the round. The students performed an eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, to share the story of Jesus’s life in the space. Messages of kindness, tolerance, and love came vibrantly to life.

“When we decided to do ‘Godspell’, we really wanted to go at it from the outlook of a leader coming into a community of marginalized people and showing them ways to live better in the world. With that goal in mind, we more than accomplished our task,” said Kevin Werner Hohlstein, Music Instructor. “The cast came together in beautiful ways and supported each other in ways that I have not seen with a young cast in a long time. So, I’m so proud of the work that they were able to do with this show.”

“As a music student, I had no idea what I was walking into when we started rehearsals,” said Mia Tanner (Music 2025). “I took this as an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, and I’m so grateful to the rest of the cast for making me a real part of the group. I feel very lucky to have helped build such a wonderful community!”

“Godspell was a production that I will never forget,” said Greta Kunene (Musical Theater 2025). “It was amazing to see how incredibly close everyone in the cast got by the end of it and I’m so grateful that I got to perform and play with so many amazing people.”

“Godspell” asked the question: What happens when a charismatic teacher comes together with a marginalized population and show them, through stories, the way to live in community? That is what the cast were hoping to show. “Godspell is a musical composed by Stephen Schwartz with book by John-Michael Tebelak. The show is structured as a series of parables, primarily based on the Gospel of Matthew, interspersed with music mostly set to lyrics from traditional hymns, with the passion of Christ appearing briefly near the end.

Godspellbegan as a project by drama students at Carnegie Mellon University and then moved to the off-off-Broadway theater La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in the East Village of Manhattan. The show was rescored for an off-Broadway production, which opened on May 17, 1971, and became a long-running success. Many productions have followed worldwide, including a 2011 Broadway revival.

Congratulations to all those involved in the show!