Buckhannon — West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present the hit Broadway musical, Godspell with music and lyrics by Steven Schwartz and book by John-Michael Tebelak, as part of its 2019-2020 season. The show will run Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at 8 p.m., with an additional matinee on Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. at the Virginia Thomas Law Center for Performing. Godspell is a retelling of the parables of Jesus Christ based on the Book of Matthew, mixed with songs, dance, and vaudevillian comedy.
Directed by Associate Professor of Theater Arts Thomas Schoffler, with musical direction by Associate Professor of Music Dr. R. Daniel Hughes, the show’s set and lights will be designed by Director of Technical Theater Keith Saine. The department is also working with guest choreographer and costumer, Donald Laney, who is the producing artistic director of the West Virginia Dance Company. Senior Wesleyan pre-drama therapy major Julian Marshall will be assistant director.
The cast of Godspell includes freshman Jackson Johnson as Jesus, Charleston, W.Va.; freshman Timmy Walker as John the Baptist/Judas, Charleston, W.Va.; and freshman Brennon Weese as himself, Beverly, W.Va.; sophomore Pippa McGinley as herself, Morgantown, W.Va.; freshman Derek Hess as himself, Bridgeport, W.Va.; freshman Ashton Cork as herself, Salem, W.Va.; freshman Raeanne Morgan as herself, Clarksburg, W.Va.; freshman Carly Vickers as herself, Hurricane, W.Va.; freshman Meg Alderman as herself, Hedgesville, W.Va.; and sophomore Taylor Conrad as herself, Sutton, W.Va.
With the large ensemble cast consisting of eight freshmen and two sophomore Wesleyan students, the cast was asked how the rehearsal process has been for them and what they’ve gained from the experience of creating Godspell. “This is the most work I’ve had to put into a show for singing and dancing, and for that I have to thank Dr. Dan Hughes, our musical director, and Donald Laney, our choreographer,” said Johnson. “Eight out of the ten actors in Godspell are freshmen, and I admire their guidance and patience with the younger talent, such as myself.
Their hard work and diligence for this production has pushed me to work harder and more frequently outside of rehearsals, and I’ve learned that should be the action I take in future productions.” When asked what has been the most memorable or exciting part of working on Godspell, “The most exciting part of rehearsal is when we all just get something for the first time,” said Conrad. “When we all understand how something needs to be delivered and reacted to without being told and were together to convey something so powerful. It’s amazing.”
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors or non-Wesleyan students, and $5 with WVWC ID. Tickets will be available at the door, one hour before show time.