Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.

— Mark Twain, Humorist

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.”

Actor Profile – Alice Beittel

Role: Prudy Pingleton

BOD Background: O’Dowd Productions: The Miracle Worker, Sugar, The Laramie Project, Ohlone Theater Festival: Little Shop of Horrors, Monologue from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and scene from The Women

Describe Your Favorite Memory from BOD Drama:
I loved playing Shadow the DJ, in The Laramie Project. My favorite thing about theater is the opportunity to become personas entirely opposite from myself. With a seemingly endless creative liberty, it was exciting to work on Shadow’s physicality, voice, and speech patterns.

Describe Your Role in Hairspray:
Taking after her namesake, Prudy Pingleton is quite a prude. Her excessive properness appears in her strict and disciplined parenting methods and rigorous denouncement of integration and racial equality. Prudy dedicates herself towards bettering her daughter, Penny, even if that means calling upon extreme measures. Ultimately, Prudy realizes the importance of allowing Penny to chase after her beliefs and embraces the changes happening in the sixties.

What Part Of Our Charism Does Hairspray Embrace?
While Hairspray is an outrageously hilarious musical, it also illustrates the power of fighting for one’s dreams and hopes for the world despite daunting adversity. The characters and the finale song “You Can’t Stop the Beat” embody O’ Dowd’s charism of “Strength of Character” as they maintain the tenacity to confidently work towards a more equal and just world on and off television.

Why Should Students Take Drama Class?
Bishop O’ Dowd’s drama department teaches essential life skills that serve anyone and everyone. Taking drama class and participating in shows has taught me the imperativeness of hard work, commitment, passion, and determination, skills that serve me in academics and athletics. The lessons learned and values instilled will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Actor Profile – Shavonne Rogers

Role: Motormouth Maybelle

BOD background

“I took Performing Arts my freshman year. I performed in RENT at Ohlone Competition and Little Shop of Horrors at BOD. the school. ”

Describe Your Favorite Memory from BOD Drama.

“It would have to be the 2014 Ohlone College Theatre Festival, when we performed RENT. The entire process was extremely chaotic, but, in all honesty, that’s what made it fun. Running back and forth from the drama room to the theater, grabbing chairs, people falling on the way back, riding on a golf cart to carry chairs down small hills at Ohlone, and getting yelled at because we were playing tag on our breaks. The laughter and hard work we all went through together will never be forgotten.”

Describe Your Role in Hairspray.

“Motormouth Maybelle is a soulful, confident, and wise woman. She owns her own record shop and regularly hosts parties for the black community, but always welcomes other nationalities to join in. She wants everyone around her to feel as comfortable as possible. Motormouth strongly believes in integration and takes positive steps towards changing society.

What Part Of Our Charism Does Hairspray Embrace?

“Social Justice. Throughout the show my character fights for equal opportunity on the Corny Collin’s Show. Her family only gets one day a month because of their skin color. She constantly fights for equality.”

Why Should Students Take Drama Class?

“In drama class, students are able to gain a wide range of skills you cannot gain elsewhere in school. We encourage creative thinking. You are able to be yourself and allowed to have more than one answer to a question. Drama teaches amazing communication skills through fun exercises and games. Theatre develops confidence through acting, singing, and writing. People need to communicate clearly in society. The biggest reason why students should take drama class is because of the commitment it teaches you. You have to commit to understanding your character so you can portray that character correctly. These skills are useful in all careers.”

Hairspray Has Been Cast!!

After countless hours of singing, dancing and acting over four days, The BOD Drama Department is proud to announce the cast for this spring’s highly anticipated musical comedy, Hairspray.

Nora Hurley is cast in the leading role of Tracey Turnblad. Henry Loran will play Edna Turnblad, Drew Downs will play teenage heartthrob Link Larkin, and Shavonne Rogers will perform the role of Motormouth Maybelle.

Taking place in 1962 Baltimore, Hairspray is a musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray. The songs include 1960s-style dance music and “downtown” rhythm and blues. Hairspray is a social commentary on the injustices of parts of American society in the 1960s. The musical’s original Broadway production opened on August 15, 2002 and won eight Tony Awards. In 2007, a film version of the musical was released starring John Travolta.

Hairspray opens Friday, April 24 and will perform three weekends, concluding Sunday, May 10. For a ticket order form, please go to the drama page on the school website.

Complete Cast List

Maddy Allison, Jourdan Amen, Maddalena Baldo, Alice Beittel, Gaia Bostick, Rod Brown, Deirdre Carson, Morgan Cluff, Josie Boyd Conn, Christine Curulla, Taylor Daniel, Kalimah Davis, Corinne Deturk, Drew Downs, Sasha Durst, Meilani Edwards, Sean Ekstrand, Nathan Engel-Holmes, Banna Esaias, Tristan Ferioli, Zoe Foster, Cece Garofoli, George Goodhead, Isabel Hallock, Anya Hardiman,Elena Hausser, Juliana He, Nora Hurley, Fanya Imholz, Hunter Johnson, Christian Jorgensen, Cassidy Kepp, Henry Loran, Amasha Lyons-Clark, Mia Lyon, Cameron McLaurin, Maile Morrish, Maria Morrish, Seth Moure, Charley Nordin, Julian Nesbitt, Marcos Orozco, Cameron Park, Maddie Parsnick, Maya Payne-Schomaker, Ruby Perez, Arianna Pride, Sophia Rodriguez, Nathalie Rivera, Shavonne Rogers, Emma Shilliday, Shawn Schulz, Aliyah Turner, Beatrice Velline, Jasmine White, and Hannah White.

Hairspray The Broadway Musical – Auditions

Welcome to the sixties everyone! BOD Drama has announced the dates for Hairspray auditions. They’re happening the first week back from Winter Break, January 5, 6 & 7 in the theater. Auditions begin at 3:30 PM, except for Tuesday at 2:00 PM. If you sing, or dance or act, there are many fun parts available so come on out and share you talent for what promises to be a spectacular event. If you have questions, please contact Ms. Oliver, Mr. McNeil or Mr. Kohles.

Hairspray Auditions – Jan 5,6,7

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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


Order your tickets for "Godspell Ticket Order Form". Download and fill out the order form.

Drama Teacher Profile


Profile of Drama Teacher Dennis Kolhes

SF Chronicle - Read article...

Finding God in All Things

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