Critique Of Godspell Theatre Critique On the night of April 19, 2000, I attended Godspell, written by John-Michael Tebelak, and produced by the Gainesville Alliance Theatre. It was a musical based on the gospel according to St.
Matthew. The director chose to add a modern twist to the classic production. The beginning began with us–mothers too busy for anything other than work, the alcoholic, a child without her father, children captivated by video games and rock star boys–everyday people with problems and obsessions. Everyone was too busy and blinded by their sin to stop and pay attention to what is most important. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. / We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
/ We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. / These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. / It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom, a time when technology can bring this message to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit ‘delete.’ / God help us. God help us. is what George Carlin said, and the cast of Godspell shared the good new of how God has helped us.
The actors told of how Jesus came to us, gathered all people, lived with us to become our teacher, and died for us so that we may come to live with him. What a powerful message they displayed–Love your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor the same. Whatever you’ve done for your brothers, you’ve done for me. People who live by the light of God and repent of their sins are His righteous sheep, and they shall be rewarded in Heaven, sharing eternal life with God, our Father.
The setting began in modern day America, and the actors revealed our hectic lifestyles. Jesus was amongst them all along, and he called to them many times before they began to listen. He went to each character to show him or her the peace that he could bring, and as they encountered Him, they began to recognize their sin, one by one, as streaks of paint were placed upon their faces. Jesus came to them to live amongst them, and share the good new of eternal life.
Together, the cast revealed the gospel that is found in the New Testament of the Bible. Jesus taught by example, and the audience saw this as the cast went through the parables of the lost son, the two sons who worked in the vineyard, a prostitute, and of Lazarus. As time went on, the Pharisees began to persecute Jesus, and they went to Judas, a disciple, and paid him thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus. Eventually, Judas blew the horn, and Jesus was taken into captivity to be crucified.
This was the emmaculent plan that Jesus knew of all along. He was to come to Earth, live a righteous life, and die at the hand of man, so that man could come to God the Father, through Christ Jesus, and live eternally in Heaven. The play’s central concern and the intent of the playwright was to reach out to modern America, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that the production did an excellent job and achieved this intent. The musical element of the play drew on our emotions to show the intimacy of the subject matter.
This was a personal message that used music to enhance the feelings of chaos, excitement, joy, and sorrow. For me, the musical elements and dance reached inside of me, and held on tightly. I felt the craziness of the whirl-wind life we live, and the excitement and peace that is found through Jesus, and the heartbreak of saying goodbye to someone that you spent every day with and love through-and-through, and then the power, ache, and joy that is found in the cross. I believe that my emotions were shared by many, but as a christian, I feel that my background knowledge and personal relationship with God made this play even more astounding. I really enjoyed the performance, and I would recommend it to others. The costumes of the actors were real to their prototype, fitting the characters of old days with the dress of modern life.
Certain characters such as the crazed teenager, the perfect body monger, and Jesus, the magician, did an exceptional job of staying in character throughout the entire play. The scenery was used very well by the actors, and it was used to add meaning and emphasis to the play. I particularly enjoyed the jail cell, the goodbye stage, and the use of the cross. I also found the lighting to be effective as it was bright with excitement or pale at somber times. The use of the back wall graphics at the cross was exceptional, and it put the nail through the heart of the issue. It was intense and powerful.