Opens in Hopkins County Civic Center
by: Bobby McDonald
The 1971 Broadway musical, "Godspell," will be available to theater-goers, in Hopkins County, beginning Friday night, as a local cast of characters have "tackled" the summer heat and difficult lines, to bring something unprecedented to the stage in the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center. Shining Star Productions, a local theater troupe, has prompted a busy summer schedule and sought talent from the ranks of former stars in Sulphur Springs High School Drama Department productions, who are home for the summer break, to deliver a very memorable and professionally done classic of the theater.
There are many around Hopkins County, that can remember the opening of Godspell, back in the 1970's, from the John-Michael Tebelak book, by the same title. Tebelak and Stephen Schwartz adapted the original manuscript to the musical, that enjoyed an off-Broadway opening on May 17, 1971. The song, Day by Day, from the acclaimed musical, reached #13 on the Billboard pop singles chart, in the summer of 1972, and was favored by a generation of young Christians, as one of the first Christian music selections that reached pop culture, ushering a way for an entire industry in future years.
The structure of the musical is a setting of a series of parables, based on the Gospel of Matthew and Gospel of John, adapted to the 1970's era culture and music, making the performance a classic piece that has "stood the test of time." A 2011 Broadway revival of Godspell, began on October 13, 2011 and just completed its run on June 24, 2012.
Tuesday night's prelude, Press Dress, featured a wonderful preview of the outstanding costumes, superb lyrics, and talented cast, that will take the stage for a "don't miss," theater opportunity in Hopkins County, this weekend. "It's been a challenge and a hard performance to prepare for, with our busy summer schedule," admitted Director, Amanda Brandenburg. "However, it definitely showcases the outstanding talent that we have here in Hopkins County, as we've captured many students who are home for the summer, and they have devoted the necessary hours to make this an outstanding production!"
Three weekend performances will be hosted, on the Civic Center Stage, Friday at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, at 7:00 p.m., and a Sunday matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. One hour before each performance, a children's activity center, featuring a circus theme, will be provided in the lobby, of the Civic Center Theater.
The Local Cast Includes:
Directed by Amanda Thompson-Brandenburg
"Godspell is being produced with this key purpose in mind and to spread the good news of our heavenly Father’s kingdom to the citizens of Hopkins County and the surrounding areas. All of the actors are local community members from age 10-60. The 27 cast members range from teachers to insurance agents, from stay at home moms to community leaders. The unique setting of Godspell and the way the story is told presents the familiar story of Jesus in a way that is accessible to church members and non-church members alike. Children will be attracted to the bright colors and high-energy performances of the acrobats and clowns, while adults will be drawn to the soaring songs and moving scenes of Jesus’ life and ministry. No matter what your background, Godspell is a show that is relatable to all people in all walks of life. "
Ben Watson - Jesus Mike Dodd - John the Baptist Lance Brandenburg - Judas
Blane Surber Ben Allen Bradley Edge Luz Hernandez Tiffany Stegner
Kate Davis Brooke Howard Cindy Lancaster Jaime Young Amanda Thompson Kim Baxter
Amanda Pollard Leim Pollard Monica Mejia S yndee Hawkins Riley Hale Sarah Harper
Matthew Harper Joshua Thompson Hayden Joslin Kate Hutley
"We encourage everyone to bring their children and experience one of the classic Christian based theater performances," expressed Ben Watson, who plays Jesus Christ in the production. "We quote scripture and offer the perfect Christian learning experience for children and young adults, as we tell the story of Jesus and His time here on earth, with music and song!"
"This was the perfect opportunity to enjoy playing a role, that I'd always wanted to perform," expressed veteran Hopkins County native and performer, Kim Baxter. "It's been a joy to develop the character and learn the music!"
"He is Risen!!!"