By CODY HIGINBOTHAM
Prepare Ye, The Way of the Play. This year at Cumberland County College, the drama club will be performing the Stephen Schwartz musical Godspell. This broadway classic, follows God’s holy son Jesus as he takes followers on a journey through many biblical events, while putting a 70s disco spin on it.
The show is directed by Broadway-veteran Deborah Bradshaw. “When I was choosing the fall musical, I thought Godspell would be a nice way to bring people together during the tumultuous time in our country, through its message of peace, love and community,” Bradshaw said.
The plot of the musical includes various passages from the Holy Bible, ranging from the story of the Prodigal Son to the journey of Noah and the flood. “The story is based on the book of Matthew in the Bible and the stories are told through familiar parables. The first acts focuses on the formation of a community of followers of Jesus. Act II follows the Passion Story, through stories of the interrogation of Jesus by the Pharisees, the Last Super, interspersed with stories and teachings of Jesus,” Bradshaw stated, regarding the musical itself. Originally, CCC has only done musicals in the winter or spring season, as most schools typically hold them around that time. It wasn’t until recent years, that the school started doing fall musicals.
Bradshaw shared, “We began doing a fall musical and spring play to accommodate different personnel schedules. I actually like doing them this way!” Last year’s fall musical was the interactive puppet production Avenue Q, making this years musical an interesting change since the previous year.
The musical features some of the most catchy and entertaining songs from a musical including the ballet “Day by Day” and the upbeat-rhythmic “We Beseech Thee”. Regarding her favorite song, Bradshaw replied, “It is hard to choose but I love the song By My Side. It is a beautiful commitment to Jesus and the harmonies are full and lush”
While the musical only has three named characters that drive the plot, being Jesus, Judas Iscariot, & John the Baptist, the show can include a number of cast members as possible in the ensemble, with some shows casting as few as 10 actors to others casting an incredible 70 actors. Since most of the songs don’t specify who has to sing that song, this gives ensemble members a chance to sing for the audience.
Bradshaw is also no stranger to acting in the play either, “I did this show as a performer many, many years ago. I am still in touch with my cast mates. When I posted that I was going to direct this production on Facebook many of them immediately contacted me with wonderful memories. (1979)”
The performances will be November 16-19, at 3pm on the 19th, 8pm on 16th & 17th and 2pm & 8pm on the 18th. The admission prices ranges from $12 to $17. Be sure to come and see this spectacular production, because “It’s All For the Best.”