(COVINGTON, La.) — The Marian Players recently held auditions for their spring play, “Godspell”, a musical based primarily on Matthew’s Gospel, that features numerous musical styles, including rock ‘n roll, pop, R&B, ragtime, rap, and more. The cast often gathers around the character of Jesus as he tells different stories and sings about his teachings and the importance of love. This will be the school’s fifth production of this show.
“Each time we do the show, I love to see what each cast brings to the show. Each cast is unique, with their own gifts and talents so each show has its own character. I love that. I have repeated this show so many times because you can’t beat the message,” director Denny Charbonnet said. “It is about God’s love for us. It comes through loud and clear.”
Charbonnet will be assisted by her daughter Elise Angelette, who will do costume design and oversee choreography. Angelette also plans to choreograph at least one of the dances herself. The production will represent a comeback for both the Marian Players and Angelette, who has been battling cancer. The fall play was canceled because Charbonnet was focusing on her daughter and grandchildren during Angelette’s treatment.
According to Charbonnet, Angelette is doing well. She is finishing her last round of chemo and preparing for surgery the first week in January.
“She really appreciates all of the prayers and support from everyone on our campus. It has meant so much to her,” said Charbonnet.
“Godspell” is based primarily on Matthew’s Gospel, using some of the parables from Luke.
“It is the Good News and celebrates Jesus’ message of love and hope,” Charbonnet said. “The first two thirds of the play is fun, funny, and then it moves to the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. The Finale is incredibly powerful.
“It employs many musical styles and genres to tell the story as well as tremendous humor in telling the parables” said Charbonnet.
“This is something we can all use and never fails to touch hearts both in the cast and in our audience. It is beautiful, powerful, humorous, and totally entertaining and engaging. The Finale is incredibly powerful,” said Charbonnet.
Charbonnet and Assistant Director Barrett Baumgartner have selected the cast and are in the process in choosing specific roles.
“I love working with students and being involved in their enthusiasm for theater and for this show in particular. We had our first vocal rehearsal last Friday. It went very well,” said Charbonnet.
Biblical figures that make up the cast of characters include John the Baptist, Jesus, and Judas.
“Jesus, of course, is the principle character. John the Baptist sings ‘Prepare Ye’, and of course, Judas betrays him,” Charbonnet explains. “There are many, many characters, philosophers, etcetera, in the play, and I have the opportunity to balance the show, giving everyone multiple opportunities to shine. This is a truly ensemble show. The cast is on the stage the entire time, and everyone is involved in the telling of the story.”
Charbonnet repeats this show every five years so that every student will have the opportunity to experience its message.
“I don’t have a favorite show. I love them all and love to see what each cast brings to the process. Obviously, Godspell has a special place in my heart or I wouldn’t repeat it so many times,” said Charbonnet.
The show will open March 19, 2015, and run through March 30. Ticket information will be announced at a later date.