Spring 2015: Godspell
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Book by John-Michael Tebelak
The structure of the musical is that of a series of parables, mostly based on the Gospel of Matthew (three of the featured parables are recorded only in the Gospel of Luke). The parables are interspersed with a variety of modern music set primarily to lyrics from traditional hymns, with the passion of Christ treated briefly near the end of the performance.
John the Baptist/Judas
"Day by Day", Ensemble
"Learn Your Lessons Well" , Ensemble
"Bless the Lord", Ensemble
"All Good Gifts", Ensemble
"Light of the World", Ensemble
"Turn Back O Man", Ensemble
"By My Side", Pahrisee #1, Ensemble
"We Beseech Thee", Pharisee #2, Ensemble
Socrates, Pharisee #3, Ensemble
Thomas Aquinas, Ensemble
Hegel, Pharisee #4, Enemble
L. Ron Hubbard, Ensemble
Jean Paul Sartre, Ensmeble
Marianne Williamson, Pharisee #5, Ensemble
Jet Von Liszt
Assistant Technical Directors
Head Lighting Designer
Assistant Lighting Designers
Run Crew Chiefs
Jean Paula Salac
Assistant Business Manager
Ashley Houze &
I'm often asked why, with the whole wide world of musical theater to choose from, I selected Godspell, a show with ostensibly little plot, no scene changes and a vocal score as complicated to learn as anything Broadway has to offer. Jokingly, my response is often that this has been FYP's required penance for mounting its production of Mel Brook's The Producers last fall. Certainly it is hard to imagine a more different show to round out this year's theatrical season.
In reality though, the process that led me to fall in love with this show and ultimately to its performance here for you tonight began four years ago, when I myself was a first year and found myself sitting on the steps of the Rotunda late at night being welcomed into an organization that would become my home and produce some of my very best friends in the world. As a part of the cast of FYP's The Music Man in the fall of 2011, what immediately struck me about this group is the love and connection that exists between all of its members. In other words I was struck by the incredible community that I was quickly becoming a part of.
As anyone in the cast will tell you, community is something that is very important to me. In fact it is entirely what Godspell is about. Its messages of love and kindness slowly bind its characters together into one cohesive whole where once few ties existed between them. By the end of the show the community is shown to be truly stronger than any one individual or just the sum of its parts. It is something altogether more powerful. At its core, this is a message that I believe that deeply resonated with me when I first saw this show close to four years ago.
Not only did it resonate with me personally, but it resonated with me as a powerful reflection of everything that I had come to understand FYP stood for. In many ways this show is FYP. When FYP was founded more than 30 years ago one of its first shows was Godspell. Since then it has been performed there more times, and this run will mark its fifth production. I have to believe that we keep coming back to it because we recognize something in ourselves on that stage. We are all of us at times drifting through life on our own paths, but when we stop for a moment and come together we can make something beautiful and that is what FYP, indeed what theater is all about.
So tonight we invite you to come on this wonderful journey with us and to become a part of our loving community if only for a little while. Know what we will always welcome you with open arms. Now sit back, relax and prepare ye to enjoy the show!
When our talented FYP director Joe Folds first proposed Godspell, a show I knew little about, I must admit I was skeptical at first. What would this show, which I imagined as being a deep, brooding religious musical, bring to FYP? Little did I know the power behind this incredible musical, with its themes of community and live and it’s catchy, compelling music that sticks in your head for days after. After a challenging and tumultuous year at U.Va, in which we were battered and unwillingly thrust into the national spotlight again and again, I believe there are strong, binding theme we can learn from in Godspell, not just of loving one's neighbor but standing resilient and together when facing strife. We are strongest not alone, but in unity. I encourage you to walk away from Godspell emboldened and inspired by these lessons.
Like Godspell, it took a community to make this show happen and I would be remiss to not acknowledge them. To every member in FYP who made this possible, from tech teams to the pit orchestra, from cast to the artistic staff, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Our production would be no where without the talented work of our Tech Director, Dan Barr, Pit Director, Allen Wong, and of course, Joe Folds, our Director and the man with the vision behind it all. To the Production Staff, I express my greatest gratitude and awe of working among such dedicated individuals. FYP's true value lies in the loving community that continues to grow with each show and I am proud to serve an organization that shares this love and joy with the audience.
So please: sit back, relax, and enjoy the Spring 2015 production of Godspell.