The upcoming Spring Musical, “Godspell,” is a 1970s classic rock musical, providing a genre and style of music different from recent Hannon Theatre Company (HTC) productions. “Godspell” follows various parables from the Gospel of Matthew, told by strangers of the modern era. These strangers take the role of New Testament icons such as Jesus and John the Baptist.
Story Theatre, the production style of “Godspell,” involves movement and voice. This allows actors to express themselves and individualize their scenes in creative ways. Fine arts teacher Walter Wolfe said, “Mr. Speciale needed singers with a real sense of rock and roll in their singing as the music for the show is very complex and rhythmic. Having actors who have a strong sense of harmony and have a more conversational delivery is key.”
Wolfe, fine arts teacher Steven Speciale and English Teacher Daniel Robles ‘02, the directors of “Godspell,” take many factors into consideration when choosing the musical each year. Wolfe said, “Frankly, after twenty-four years producing musicals for HTC, I was running out of musicals that I hadn’t done.”
Along with finding quality and novel productions, Wolfe must make sure that the students are excited and passionate about their work. The importance of passion in the deciding process cannot be understated, as passion fuels the actors to work to the best of their ability. In addition, the experience for the audience is a top priority when choosing a musical. “Godspell” gives the audience a unique and joyful experience.
Auditions for “Godspell” tasked the young actors with creating a rendition of a famous tale from Aesop’s fables. Junior Eli Mars said, “Auditioning for Hannon Theatre is a crazy experience. The auditions are held for 11 hours in the form of dancing, singing, acting, playing games and interacting with fellow actors.” The actors that demonstrated the right style and technique made the auditioning process quick and efficient.
Wolfe said, “We were expecting to see students struggle with this more loose, less structured form of auditioning, but at the same time, we were hoping to see some real creativity.”
The auditions, which occured Saturday, Jan. 13, promised a bright future for HTC.
Each project by the HTC holds new experiences and challenges unique to every production. Each cast brings new techniques and personality to the show, and that is why each one is so different.
Wolfe said, “If I could pin down what the experience is every time I produce a musical, it wouldn’t be fun anymore.”