The Fine Arts Department of FUMC-Bryan has a proven history of giving top-notch performances of heart-felt plays. Its version of Fiddler on the Roof last spring was exceptional, and Godspell this year promises to be just as accomplished. Past performances by the church include The Sound of Music and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
“Many people will already know most of the stories in the play,” says Rev. David Henry, director of music and worship ministries at the church, and director of the play. “But they are presented in a novel fashion. When Jesus wanted to tell a story, he frequented used a parable to make a point and drive home the story. Godspell is a parable itself that tells a story through parables.”
Although Godspell was first performed in the early 1970s, it has continued to be a favorite for audiences nationwide. Several songs from the play will be familiar to play-goers, such as the song "Day by Day" which originally made the top twenty on Billboard’s pop singles chart. A 2011 revival of Godspell on Broadway ran for over six months. The play takes the form of musical interpretation of a number of parables from the scripture gospels of Matthew and Luke.
“I’ve enjoyed this play for over 20 years, and this is the fourth time I’ve directed it. In fact, it’s the second time we’ve performed it at this church. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the first performance we did here,” explains Henry. “I hesitate to throw around the word ‘timeless,’ but I truly do think Stephen Schwartz’ music in this play qualifies. I believe the audience will love hearing it.”
As with previous church productions, the play’s local cast and crew come mainly from church members, but other players from the community fill acting parts and backstage slots as needed.
“I’m enjoying working on the play with everyone, and getting a chance to share the Word. It’s a fun cast and certainly a wonderful play,” says Gary Thomas, who will portray the role of Jesus. While Thomas has stage experience in a local community theater group, some of the cast members are making their stage debuts.
Tickets to the dinner theater are $15 for adults and $10 for children age 11 and younger. Seating is limited, so buy early. Dinner begins at 6:00 p.m. each night with the play following. For more information, see the production’s Facebook page, contact First United Methodist Church of Bryan, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.