Huntington, Ind.—Student actors and musicians from Huntington University will launch the summer tour of “Godspell” with a show at College Park Church of the United Brethren in Christ in Huntington at 7 p.m. on June 8.
Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend the performance.
For the third consecutive run of the production, director David Shamburger has incorporated a “Survivor” meets “Castaway” theme.
“While the ‘stoic’ thinkers of the past and present find themselves locked up in their ‘ivory towers’ and eventually falling to their knees, our band of players find themselves on a deserted island in what might be considered ‘Paradise,’ free from the rigors of legalistic thinking and exploring a new kind of journey led by a native islander named Jesus,” Shamburger said. “With references to such classics as ‘Fantasy Island,’ ‘Hawaii 5-0,’ ‘Gilligan’s Island’ and ‘Tarzan’ to the more familiar ‘Survivor,’ ‘Lost,’ ‘Cast Away’ and ‘The Amazing Race,’ we hope to achieve another fresh take on the Gospel of Matthew that will entertain, inspire and transform!”
The Huntington University production will feature powerful acting and vocal performances as well as a live band with guitar, piano, keyboards and drums. Leading up to the production, students completed a semester-long course and a two-week “boot camp” to prepare them for the rigors of approximately 40 shows between June and August in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.
“Godspell” has appeared on both Broadway and off-Broadway stages. The production includes almost word-for-word retellings of several of Jesus’ parables from the Book of Matthew.
Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the music for “Godspell,” infused hymnbook lyrics with 20th century rock ‘n’ roll. Familiar favorites include “Day by Day,” a song that received renewed attention when it was recorded by Christian music group dc Talk.
The cast and crew of “Godspell” include Matthias Austin of Wheaton, Ill.; Phil Black of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Alicia Bonham of Upland, Ind.; Nathan Capriglione of Auburn, Ind.; Bethany Edlund of Roanoke, Ind.; Andrew Edmonds of Beloit, Wis.; Eric Geders of Huntington, Ind.; Patrick Harding of Avilla, Ind.; Lindsay Rae Hoops of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Pat Irick of Huntington, Ind.; Kristen Lynne Kohaut of Mount Olive, N.J.; Peter Owens of Indianapolis, Ind.; Rebekah Posegate of Lake Villa, Ill.; Zechariah Reuter of South Whitley, Ind.; Ted Stavrou of Greencastle, Pa.
The production team is led by David Shamburger, director and associate professor of theatre arts. Kristi Shamburger, adjunct professor of theatre arts, is the choreographer, and Brad DeYoung, a 2008 Huntington graduate from Lansing, Ill., is the scenic and lighting designer. Company manager Joshua Ryan Dawes is a first-year graduate student at Louisiana State University studying acting. He is also a 2006 graduate of Huntington University.