Saint Martin's production of rock opera "Godspell" begins April 13

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Lacey - “Godspell,” the popular rock opera that has lit up stages across the world since the 1970s, will be performed by the Saint Martin’s College Theatre Workshop in April. Shows are scheduled for 8 p.m. April 13-17 at Olympia’s State Theatre.

“Godspell” is a contemporary and exuberant retelling of the last days of Christ through music, mime and comedy. Based on the Bible’s Gospel of Matthew, the show’s energy and vitality speak not only to the youth of America, but to people of all ages.

Production director Jana Tyrrell describes “Godspell” as an ensemble show, one in which all actors are on stage all the time. Actors play several roles, and rather than having traditional acts, the play moves from the telling of parable to parable as it recreates the story of Christ’s last days. Audience attention is focused squarely on the action through use of a minimal set design. The Saint Martin’s production places further attention on song and story through the use of contemporary costumes rather than the traditional “Godspell” clown-like costumes.

“It’s really an actor’s piece in that they get to be a different person in each parable,” Tyrrell said. “It’s success lies heavily on the creativity and imagination of actors to bring the next parable to life in a fun, creative imaginative manner that still allows a lesson to be taught. I think it’s a great way to teach the parables in the Book of Matthew in an all-embracing way.”

Tyrrell said the cast, drawn from the college and the community, is headed by Paul Purvine, a River Ridge High School graduate and familiar figure in local theater, who will play the role of Jesus. Music direction is by Saint Martin’s adjunct faculty member Wayne Bloomingdale.

“It’s a really strong cast, with powerful vocalists and actors,” she said.

For more information, contact the college’s theatre arts department, (360) 438-4345. Tickets can be purchased in advance by leaving a message at the same number. Prices are $10, $7 for students and seniors.

For more information:
Deanna Partlow
Media coordinator/senior editor
360-438-4541 or dpartlow@stmartin.edu