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BOD Spring Production Announced

Bishop O’Dowd’s Drama Department has announced the spring production, the Tony Award winning theatrical blockbuster, A Chorus Line. Performances will be April 29, 30, May 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15.

A Chorus Line is a musical that centers on seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line. The musical is set on the bare stage of a Broadway theatre. A Chorus Line provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers.

A Chorus Lineopened on Broadway July 25, 1975, and was directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett. The show has music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and a book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante. An unprecedented box office and critical hit, the musical received twelve Tony Award nominations and won nine, in addition to the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The original Broadway production ran for 6,137 performances, becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history at that time.

For students interested in auditioning for the show, there will be an Audition Workshop in the theater Tuesday, December 8th, and Wednesday, December 9th from 3:30-6:30 PM.

Official auditions for A Chorus Line are scheduled for January 4, 5, and 6, with callbacks on Friday, January 8. For questions, please contact Mr. Kohles at

Actor Profile-Aliyah Turner

What is your theater background?
“I began theater at the age of seven at Redwood Christian Elementary. I became involved with an afterschool drama program called Neighborhood Youth Theater. My first role was the baby elephant, Hathi, in the musical The Jungle Book. After finding an outlet that enabled me to practice three of my favorite things: singing, dancing, and acting, I fell in love with theater and the thrill of being on stage.”

Describe how Godspell differ from other shows you’ve been in?

Godspell is the first religion based show I’ve been in. It’s different from other shows because of the content it’s based on. All of the reenacted stories are parables that come from the bible.”

Describe your role in Godspell.

“My role in Godspell is a seductress who reflects temptation. My character is a member of the group who is learning from Jesus. Through different parables, she represents temptation, swaying from what is right by God.”

What themes from Godspell are reflected in our School’s charism?

“There are many themes in Godspell that correspond with Bishop O’Dowd’s charism. One example is diversity. O’Dowd’s student body consist of endless backgrounds and nationalities. It is a place of acceptance where people of all races can feel comfortable, respected, and appreciated as part of the school community. Similarly, in Godspell, Jesus’s group of disciples is made up of various cultures that are all connected through the love and harmony of Jesus.”

Describe students in BOD Theater?

“BOD theater kids are outgoing and free-spirited. They’re not afraid to be themselves, and extremely friendly.”

Godspell Performance and Opening Night Photos

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Actor Profile Fall 2015 – Seth Moure

What is your theater background?

“I did plays with Blue Moon Theater Company and Piedmont Performing School of the Arts as well as a short film by college students at UCSF. I’ve also done plays at Berkeley Rep Youth Dept. At O’Dowd, I’ve acted in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Hairspray.”

What is your role in Godspell?

“I play Jesus in Godspell. Jesus, as you know, was a teacher and a spiritual man who created a worldwide religion. He taught peace and love in a time of violence, hate, and corruption.”

Describe how Godspell differs from other shows you’ve been in.

“Godspell is different from every show I’ve done because I’ve never been a male protagonist in a show before. I’ve also never sung a solo in a musical before. I’m very excited to do so.”

What themes from Godspell are reflected in our school’s charism?

“Godspell is a musical play about Jesus and his struggle to teach love and peace in a modern world. He was the ultimate teacher of social justice. And, like our charism states, he taught with great joy.”

How would you describe students in BOD Theater?

“Everyone in BOD Theater is great. They’re super-supportive of each other and a really funny group of people. Everyone brings their own personality to what they do which gives depth to the play and work in the classroom.”

Actor Profile-Julian Nesbitt

What is your BOD theater background?

Sugar-Ensemble, Little Shop of Horrors-Customer, Rent-Ohlone Theater Festival-Tom Collins, Hairspray-Seaweed J. Stubbs

What is your role in Godspell?

“I’m in the ensemble where students play more than one part. At the same time we’re playing essentially ourselves. A few cast members have solos. My solo is called On The Willows, which I sing right before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.”

Describe how Godspell differs from other shows you’ve been in.

Godspell is definitely an ensemble show. Everybody is on stage the entire time, which, in itself, is different. Everybody in the cast has a chance to shine in the show, be it acting in a parable or singing a great song.”

What themes from Godspell are reflected in our school’s charism?

“Based on stories from the Book of Matthew, Godspell naturally fits with O’Dowd’s charism. Themes of strength of character, social justice and joy are interwoven into the structure of the script and the score.”

How would you describe students in BOD theater?
“Bishop O’Dowd students who perform in shows and take drama class seem to be creative, innovative, and very hardworking. Wealso have tons of energy. Audiences at performances see only one side of drama kids. You’d be surprised at the level of friendship and support that goes on behind the scenes. For me, theater has created relationships I know will last for many years.”

Actor Profile-Nathalie Rivera

What is your theater background?

“I’ve been doing musical theater all my life. At O’Dowd, I played Sandy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and last semester I played Brenda in Hairspray.”

Describe how Godspell differs from other shows?

“Godspell is unique because it’s based on stories from The Bible. It brings a sense of comedy to these tales. I guess you could say it’s fun and inspirational at the same time. The show does have emotional moments. The humor is a way for audiences to learn the message of the play.”

What is your role in Godspell?

“We’re all playing version of ourselves, so I guess you could say I’m playing me. I get to sing a really upbeat song called Oh Bless The Lord. Even better, I get to belt as loud as I want.”

What themes from Godspell are reflected in our school’s charism?

“Finding God in All Things is exactly what Godspell is all about. Throughout the show we act out parables from The Bible, which, in theatrical terms, calls us to Joy, Social Justice and Community in Diversity. It’s a perfect fit for O’Dowd.”

How would you describe students in BOD theater?

“Students in BOD theater are some of the most open-minded, accepting and loving people I’ve met at school. I’ve got high energy and a flamboyant personality, which, at O’Dowd, are qualities that are welcomed and celebrated by other drama students. I feel at home with everybody and know I can always be myself.”

Godspell is Cast!

After a week of auditions that had students singing, dancing, acting and improvising, the cast of the fall production of Godspell is now official. Taking leading roles of Jesus and John the Baptist will be Seth Moure ’18 and Xavier Brown ’19.

Additional cast members include Sundiata Ayinde, Maddelena Baldo, Gaia Bostick, Claire Dyer, Sophia Friedman, Jody Gao, Nina Goncharova, Julia Hanson, Nora Hurley, Sierra Jimenez, Lauryn La Duc, Ariel Li, Sophia McHugh, Cameron McLaurin, Devon Meyer, Julius Moridis, Julian Nesbitt, Sean Nettleton, Maddie Parsnick, Ruby Perez, Nathalie Rivera, Jett Roberts, Sofia Rodriguez, Giuliano Sanchez, Aliyah Turner, Beatrice Velline, Liana Willis, Gabby Yao, and Eric Yu.

Godspell is a musical based on the Gospel of St. Matthew. The light-rock score is by composer Stephen Schwartz, composer of Wicked. Performance dates of Godspell will be November 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, including two Sunday matinees. Tickets can be bought at the door or purchased by printing out a ticket order form on the Drama Page.

Fall Play Announced

Godspell will be the 2015 fall production presented by the BOD theater department. Godspell is a musical composed by Stephen Schwartz with a book by John-Michael Tebelak. It opened off Broadway on May 17, 1971, and has played in various touring companies and revivals many times since, including a 2011 Broadway revival. Several cast albums have been released over the years and one of its songs, “Day by Day” from the original cast album, reached #13 on the Billboard pop singles chart in the summer of 1972.

The structure of the light-rock musical is that of a series of parables, mostly based on the Gospel of Matthew. 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. It started as a college project performed by students at Carnegie Mellon University and moved to La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in Greenwich Village. It was then re-scored for an off-Broadway production, which became a long-running success.

Performance dates for Godspell are November 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, including two Sunday matinees.

Auditions for Godspell will take place Monday, August 24 at 3:30, and Tuesday, August 25 at 2:00 in the theater. For further information, contact Mr. Kohles at dkohles@bishopodowd.org.

Hairspray Opening Night

Photos by William McNeil

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Actor Profile – Nora Hurley

Actor Profile – Nora Hurley

Role: Tracey Turnblad

Describe Your Favorite Memory from BOD Drama.
“Memories I have from drama are in class. My favorite assignment was Fractured Fairy Tale because I loved taking a popular fairy tale and putting our own twist on it. I became really close with my group members. I think that together we were able to create an awesome fairy tale. The assignment I learned the most in was Pantomime. It was a whole new experience I’ve never tried before. I really loved all of my classmates and it was very nice to be part of such an accepting and fun environment for my first semester.”

Describe Your Role in Hairspray.
“Tracy is a girl in the 1960′s. She’s not yet a modern woman because she still depends on having a boyfriend, but she is ahead of her time because she accepts everyone no matter what their race.”

What Part Of Our Charism Does Hairspray Embrace?
“Hairspray embraces many parts of our school’s charism, including community in diversity, social justice, joy, and strength of character. Hairspray is all about being confident with who you are, accepting everyone, no matter what his or her race is, and about being happy. All that Tracy wants is for everyone to dance together because it will make them happy. This dream comes with challenges including social justice. There is also strength of character and joy in the characters of Edna and Penny. Both of them go through changes in order to be more confident with who they are.”

Why Should Students Take Drama Class?

“Students should take drama to challenge themselves creatively, have fun and meet new people.”

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert is yet another look at society, in this case big business of the 1960's. A satirical musical comedy with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, this popular, often revived show follows the comic pursuits of one eager man's unconventional rise to the top of the business world. The show made stars out of Robert Morse in the original, Matthew Broderick in 1994, and currently stars Daniel Radcliffe in the latest Broadway revival.

Performances begin April 27 and conclude May 13.



Adam Gildea

Shows performed at BOD

Sweeney Todd, Working, Fiddler On The Roof

What are your favorite roles?

"Some of my best experiences in drama came during the spring semester of my junior year. I was cast in two large roles; Motel the Tailor in Fiddler on the Roof, and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet for The Ohlone Competition. I was thrilled but nervous performing a monologue from the famous balcony scene. Both of these roles forced me to step outside my comfort zone. They were challenging but the experiences were very rewarding.”

What elements of the BOD charism do you find in Six Degrees of Separation?

"One of our charisms is social justice. This issue is prevalent throughout the play. For instance, I play a Mormon who, with his wife, come to New York City to pursue acting careers. We meet the character of Paul, a supposedly homeless man. In an attempt to help him, we offer him friendship as well as money and a place to stay.”

How would you describe life as a Bishop O’Dowd Drama kid?

"The drama department is a very tight-knit group. Doing shows and taking classes allowed me to connect with many different people from all grade levels. These are students I might not have met otherwise. Looking back at the past three years, I would have to say a lot of my closest friends I met in our drama department.”

Hayley Jackson

Productions at BOD

Godspell, Once Upon a Mattress, Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

What are some of your favorite roles?

“Annie Sullivan is the most significant and challenging role I’ve dealt with. It’s demanding a lot from inside me. I’m finding the deeper we get into rehearsals, the more I’m beginning to feel like Annie. Being in the chorus of Sweeney Todd was also a highlight of my Bishop O’Dowd theater career. I’ve always been comfortable playing exaggerated and physical characters in the classroom, so it was a dream come true to twist and contort my body and face as a menacing ensemble member of 19th century London.”

How does the BOD charism relate to The Miracle Worker?

“The Miracle Worker displays a tremendous reflection of inner-strength: the strength to overcome seemingly unbeatable handicaps, the strength to love someone regardless of those handicaps, the strength to work to change the life of another. The play also embodies social justice because in order for the miracle of teaching a difficult student can happen, there has to be a give and take that occurs between the teacher and that student. My character cannot simply just do her job and teach Helen Keller words. She must first truly understand Helen. It’s the concept of working with rather than working for.”

Describe life as a BOD Drama Kid.

“Spending fourteen hour weekends rehearsing The Ohlone Competition or the daily three hour period of rehearsals in the theater does something unique to a drama kid. It unites us all in a way other activities may not. It’s a very emotional experience making yourself vulnerable to criticism. We all go through the experience together. I feel the work we put in is often underestimated and misunderstood by other students. I will always have a common connection with the theater students, several of whom are my best friends and I’m sure will remain lifelong friends.”

Unity Act - Night Rally - Cinderella - A 2 Part Playlist

This was a phenomenal finale to Night Rally festivities. It's a fractured fairytale about a modern day Cinderella, and really reflects the talent of the O'Dowd drama department.

Ticket Order Form


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Drama Teacher Profile


Profile of Drama Teacher Dennis Kolhes

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Finding God in All Things

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