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Department Of Theatre And Media Arts

Celebrate Christian Friendship, Loyalty and Love with 70’s Pop-Rock Musical Godspell

The Broadway Musical Will Take Center Stage at BYU’s New West Campus Theatre

The Broadway-revived musical “Godspell” is a “timeless celebration of Christian friendship, loyalty, and love based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew.” As BYU Theatre’s mainstage musical this semester, it presents the beloved New Testament parables praising the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist (Alex Joyner), Brooke, Jesus (Oakley Thacker) and Bailee sing about the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Photo by BYU Theatre and Media Arts

“Godspell” was created in 1970 and was composed in just five weeks. “Many of the featured songs made it onto the hit charts, such as ‘Day by Day’ in 1971,” said Director Timothy Threlfall. The show was revived on Broadway in 2011-2012 and BYU will present the reworked version, including new arrangements for the songs.

Threlfall said that the musical explores the life of Jesus Christ from a “youthful and energetic point of view,” presenting the Savior from the start of His ministry through the crucifixion and resurrection. “The script allows for a modern twist of humor to be added to the scenes,” he said. “There will also be contemporary references specific to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

“Godspell” will be the first fully-mounted production in the newly created Mainstage Theatre; including lights, costumes, and a live band from the School of Music. The production will also use a “three-quarter thrust,” where the audience is seated on three sides of the stage.

Jesus (Oakley Thacker) shares a parable with John the Baptist (Alex Joyner), Bailee and Brooke.
Photo by BYU Theatre and Media Arts

“This type of staging creates a more intimate feeling between the audience and the cast,” Threlfall said. “It is vital since ‘Godspell’ will include audience participation in several places. Volunteers from the audience are sought after three different times in the show. The volunteers will be brought onto the stage to perform certain scenes with the actors,” Threlfall said. “The audience is also invited to mingle with the cast in the lobby during the intermission.”

The musical is divided into two acts. Act One features some of the Savior’s parables, with the script calling for them to be acted out in various ways. Act Two casts a serious tone as Jesus Christ and His disciples prepare for the last few days of the Savior’s life.

Threlfall further emphasized his desire for audiences to focus on the Savior as a main part of the musical. "The hope is that audiences will recognize the humanity in the Savior,” he said. “What He did for every man, woman, and child that has ever and will ever walk this earth."

We are all Team Jesus
Photo by BYU Theatre and Media Arts

As a bonus to the production, after two of the Saturday matinees, four faculty members from the Religion Department will highlight the image of Jesus as illustrated in the musical “Godspell.” Saturday, March 18 and 25th at 4:30 in the Main Stage theatre following the performances.

The performance will be held on March 11, 14-18, 21- 25, and 28-31 at 7:30 p.m.; with matinees on March 18 and 25 at 2:00 p.m. shows. They will be located at the West Campus Mainstage Theatre and will not have general admission but reserved seating. Ticket prices range from $15-20, and can be found at the Marriott Center Ticket Office, by phone at (801) 422-2981, or online.

Preview video of "Godspell".