CFA depicts Gospel’s parables from Matthew, Luke in “Godspell”

Wading through the masses that filled the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Center for the Arts on April 4, audience members struggled to find open seats for the musical “Godspell.”

According to the university’s website, the production of “Godspell” constitutes a series of parables based on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, along with the relationship of the disciples with their leader Jesus.

Senior fine arts major Kyle James, who played the role of Jesus in the musical, thoroughly enjoyed his participation in his eighth production.

“It was awe-inspiring to see how everyone broke down their personal barriers and came together to perform this amazing show,” James said. “After the first couple of practices, I could already see in every member of the cast their willingness to be fearless and confident in being vulnerable, knowing that the rest of the cast had their full support.”

The cast members were heavily engaged in the production of “Godspell” and its musical community during and after the show.

“‘Godspell’ was a new challenge for the students because it’s unusual in a musical for the cast to remain on stage for the entire show,” Associate Professor of Theatre and Director of “Godspell” David Schuler said. “The telling of the parables also requires pantomime and improvisation skills by the performers, and it was fun to watch them add and embellish bits of business throughout the run. They were complete, gelled and successful. I couldn’t be more proud.”

The elaborate set enhanced the mood of the show, and smooth transitions between individual scenes heightened audience members’ attention throughout the show.

At the end of the performance, the crowd filled the hall with laughter and an applause.

“Overall, the desire and energy from my castmates heightened my ability for this show,” ensemble member and senior fine arts major Cody Wisman said. “Each of us needed to be able to develop personal characters and be willing to share ourselves.”

“It [the production] was an interesting mix of religion, along with life lessons. I was impressed with the division of parts in ‘Godspell,’” senior business administration major Brian Blanchette said. “By the end of the show, each cast member had made an impression.”

“It doesn’t take a theatre major to be a part of a production, just the willingness to let yourself feel those fearful emotions that we all suppress. During one of the final scenes of our last performance, we all broke down in tears, knowing this was the last time we all would be together in this moment,” James said. “That would have never happened if we were not willing to let ourselves be completely vulnerable with each other and fearless of our emotions.”

The next production will be “One Act Festival: An Evening of Short Plays,” which will be held in the CFA Theatre on May 1–3 at 7:30 p.m.