Theater Company wraps up the year with powerful message of unity
The WHS Theater Company (T. Co) will conclude its award-winning 2017-2018 season with a modern musical classic, Godspell. Mixing rock, folk, and standard show tune musical styles, Godspell demonstrates the ways rituals and stories can bring people together.
Loosely based on the Gospel of Matthew, Godspell follows the journey of a community coming from a post-apocalyptic and broken world. According to one of T. Co’s tri-presidents and senior Georgia Harper, the growth of the community throughout the show is a key component of the musical.
“The prologue starts with an argument between people and that sets up how broken up we are,” Harper said. “[Godspell] is mostly about the importance of unity. Also, if everyone’s talking at each other without any listening, there’s no growth in the community.”
In the first act, the musical follows the community’s struggle to stay united. In the second act, one member of the ensemble is chosen to take on the role of Jesus and lead the rest of the group.
“You can see in the choreography and the vocal arrangements that people are getting closer and closer together,” senior and T. Co tri-president Terry Mullany said. “Then, the second act is the classic story of Jesus, [who takes] the lessons we learned and exemplifies them, showing that there is sacrifice for everything.”
Compared to the spring shows from the past, Godspell poses a unique opportunity for T.Co since the entire cast is on stage for the entirety of the show. According to the T. Co director, add whole titel John Minigan, this helps the play convey ideas about individuals.
“Everybody has moments when they’re a narrator, a leader of a story or a soloist. So it’s a way of valuing the input of everyone who’s in the ensemble,” Minigan said.
Minigan also noted how Godspell resonates to people in this day and age who are struggling with problems that the previous generation has left behind.
“We’ve talked about how [my generation] has left a really difficult world for your generation to come into,” Minigan said. “There’s a lot of challenges you are facing that we didn’t face, because we didn’t think about how to make sure the next generation will have it better rather than worse.”
Mingan hopes to use the show as a learning process to demonstrate how listening is key to rebuilding and improving the community.
“The show has a lot to say about people who are inheriting a difficult world, and the only way to make it better is to listen to each other and start to understand each other as people,” Minigan said.
With Godspell, Minigan will wrap up his 31-year-long career teaching and directing countless students at WHS. Mullany hopes Godspell will have a powerful message for people to hear, especially as Minigan and the seniors prepare to leave the community they have formed behind.
“Although we [the seniors] are leaving and Mr. Minigan is leaving, it’s about leaving the community better than you’ve found it,” Mullany said. “I know it sounds cheesy, but there is light on the horizon.”
Join the Weston High Theater Company for this powerful, funny, surprising, and ultimately joyous musical on May 3, 4, and 5 at 7:30 pm in the Weston High School Auditorium. Tickets will be sold in the cafeteria from April 30 to May 4 ($5 for students/seniors/military and $15 for the general public). They will also be on sale at westonschools.org and at the door. Call 781-786-5980 for further information.