By: Will Klatt-Breed ’24, The Crozier Contributor
O’Dowd’s fall musical, Godspell, was an emotional ride that took the audience through re-enactments of parables from the Bible and culminated in the betrayal and crucifixion of Christ. Through Stephen Schwartz’s amazing score and drama teacher Ashkon Davaran’s creative direction, this cast delivered a truly fun and engaging night of theater. Godspell was written by John-Michael Tebelak while he was still a student at Carnegie Mellon University. Stephen Schwartz, who might be better known to more current audiences for his music and lyrics for Wicked, created the music and new lyrics for this Grammy-winning show.
Set on a simple stage scene, the actors, musicians, and tech crew collectively brought the play to life - breathing in joyous music, heartfelt acting, and unique special effects. This year’s live band included vocalists who provided harmony for some of the musical numbers, elevating the performance and the powerful delivery. The 18-student tech crew worked together to prepare the stage and provided lights, sounds, and special stage effects during the show’s run.
Current events and characters were woven into the script, providing a modern spin to the original 1973 play that helped the audience connect with the material. Each new parable was presented in an accessible way - delivering the message through sometimes silly humor, as well as touching portrayals by all the actors. Incorporating members of the audience and bringing them on stage for certain scenes was a nice touch, and added an improv feel to the audience’s experience. “Every show was a different and exciting experience thanks to the willing audience participation,” shared Jonathan Angeles ’08, Director of Theater Tech.
Tej Wong ’25 commanded the stage as Jesus, showcasing her acting, dancing, and singing talent - a true triple threat! Tessa Rosen ’24 as John the Baptist and Judas also delivered a stand-out performance showcasing her singing, acting, and emotional range. We will want to keep our eyes on both of these actors in the future, and we will all be able to say, “We knew her when!”
Supporting these two strong leads were the featured soloists, who brought each parable to life with strong performances. Every member of the talented ensemble also delivered memorable vignettes throughout the show. The vibrant rainbow of colors used in costumes and set gave the audience a visual treat that complemented the performances perfectly.
The cast should be proud of this amazing rendition of Godspell. O’Dowd’s next performance, The Wolves, will take place February 8-11 in the Kelly Family and Erin Jaeb Black Box Theater.