by Crossroads Church
This immensely successful rock opera needs little introduction, but when it was first produced on Broadway in 1971 it broke new ground in its stage treatment of the historical Jesus Christ. Based on the Gospel according to St Matthew it deals with the last days of Jesus, and includes dramatized versions of several well-known parables. And yet it is something more - a religious experience, a demonstration of joy, and a celebration of the family of man. The cast are conceived as clowns, improvising scenery and costumes, and using many well-known theatrical devices, pantomime vaudeville and varied musical styles to interpret one of humanity's greatest events.
The list of recognizable songs is long, and includes "Save the People," "Turn Back, O Man," and "Day by Day."
A group of 10 young people gather in a playground surrounded by a high wire fence. To stress their ordinariness, they are called by the first names of the actors. They carry with them a box filled with clothes. Each of the group puts on a T-shirt bearing the name of a famous prophet or thinker: John the Baptist, Jesus, Socrates, Da Vinci, Gibbon, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre and Buckminster Fuller.
The leader kicks off with a quotation appropriate to his T-shirt, and the others follow in turn with the accumulated enlightenment of the ages. These ideas range from Aquinas' "God is apprehended by the imagination" to Sartre's "Man is a complex of patterns, of processes."
Then John the Baptist steps forward to talk about the coming of the Lord and he effectively silences the gathering by the direct simplicity of his statement. When he has finished, the group take off their T-shirts, shedding the confused tongues of the theorists for John's simple wisdom. They don clown costumes and then they are converted and baptised by John. The leader now assumes the role of Jesus, his T-shirt bearing a large 'S', and he declares the purpose of Christ's mission on Earth is to save the people. The group are ecstatic as they pray to the Lord.
The group now retell various parables from Matthew and Luke. One sparks off a dialogue between Jesus and Judas about the gulf between the rich and poor. This eventually leads on to the parable of the sower and the seed, and a mood of thanksgiving for the simple things. After an enactment of the prodigal son, a celebratory note is sounded, a trestle table is set up on stage, and the audience is invited up for a drink of wine during the interval.
The second act opens with a song urging the gathering to change its ways. One of the players asks Jesus, "By whose authority are you acting like this?" Jesus proceeds to re-enact his last days on Earth.
As Pharisees, some of the group try to trick Jesus by asking him whether Jews must pay taxes to Rome, but he evades them. The next trap is set over the adulterous woman, but Jesus answers that "only the one who is faultless shall throw the first stone." After the woman is released, she asks to be one of Christ's followers.
To try to forget Jesus' approaching fate the company light-heartedly mock the way in which some people are converted. At the Last Supper, Jesus holds up a mirror to show them their worldly appearances. They remove their clown makeup as Jesus bids each of them farewell. He then climbs the fence where he hangs with outstretched arms as in the Crucifixion.
All audition material and links available at the Godspell page at the Crossroads Church website.
Audition Contract (found online) – to be PRINTED, FILLED OUT and BROUGHT TO AUDITIONS Musical & Dramatic Auditions – Saturday May 19 at Cross Roads Church, in the Sanctuary
● You will need to sign up via our online webpage for a time
● May 18th may be opened for auditions if need be...
Dance Auditions – if needed, same day
Audition results POSTED online – Saturday NIGHT May 19 by 8:00pm First FULL CAST meeting/read through – Sunday May 20
● Cast members will receive their calendar, their script, and additional important information. Everyone is required to attend.
Rehearsals will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm at Cross Roads Church beginning June 12 – August 9
ADDITIONAL Rehearsals –
● Saturday August 11, 9:00am-12:00pm
● Week of August 13 – everyday from 6:00-8:00pm
Because the cast is so small... EVERY REHEARSAL COUNTS. Please provide anticipated missed rehearsals FAR in advance throughout the summer. Extra rehearsals are absolutely mandatory. Show Dates – August 18t h and 19t h @ Cross Roads Church
Additional performances may be added if needed
JESUS -- Must be the most charismatic individual in the cast. High energy, charming, funny, gentle but with strength. He is the sort of person others instinctively follow. Tenor High G#
JOHN THE BAPTIST/JUDAS -- He has attributes of both Biblical figures: he is both Jesus? lieutenant and most ardent disciple and the doubter who begins to question and rebel. Like Jesus, he is also charismatic, but in more of an overt revolutionary way. Usually played by someone handsome and masculine, or an older slightly pudgy man. He is the most "serious" and intellectual of the group, though as with all the actors, he must still possess a good sense of physical comedy. Baritone E
JEFFREY -- Very high energy. Impish and playful. Tenor High D (falsetto)
LAMAR -- Not the brightest in the bunch, he is a little slow on the uptake. But there is a great sweetness and innocence about him. Tenor High A
HERB -- The comedian, the class clown. The guy who can do a hundred voices and imitations. Can be a little older or more heavy-set. Baritone E
ROBIN -- A bit of a tomboy, but basically open and sweet. Alto.
JOANNE -- The confident one, the show-off. The first one to volunteer, sometimes she jumps in before she really understands what's going on. Soprano High A
PEGGY -- The shy one. Sometimes a little slow to get things, but when she does, she commits all the way. Has an "earth mother" kind of warmth to her. Alto.
SONIA -- Sassy and slightly cynical, the most urban of the group. Also the "pretty" one, but her good looks contain a large element of put-on. Low Alto (D below middle C)
GILMER -- The female equivalent of the class clown. Goofy and a cut-up. Mezzo.
Contract (sign and bring to audition). DOWNLOAD
Audition Script & Sheet Music Materials:
JOHN THE BAPTIST/JUDAS
GODSPELL ENSEMBLE NOTE: (ALL GODSPELL AUDITIONS EXCEPT JESUS OR JUDAS SHOULD PREPARE THIS SIDE IN ADDITION TO ONE OF THE SONGS BELOW)
“ALL GOOD GIFTS”
“BLESS THE LORD”
“DAY BY DAY”
“LEARN YOUR LESSONS WELL”
“WE BESEECH THEE”
Audition Song Audio Downloads:
All Good Gifts – Full track
All Good Gifts – Accompaniment track
Bless The Lord – Full track
Bless The Lord – Accompaniment track
Day By Day – Full track
Day By Day – Accompaniment track
Learn Your Lessons Well – Full track
Learn Your Lessons Well – Accompaniment track
We Beseech Thee – Full track
We Beseech Thee – Accompaniment track