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GODSPELL PRODUCTION NOTES

Sometimes, it seems, the Church takes itself much too seriously. As individuals, we learn it is healthy to laugh at ourselves sometimes. It should be no different with the churches to which we belong. The creator of Godspell, John-Michael Tebelak, tells of a visit to the Angelican Cathedral in Pittsburgh for the Easter Vigil. It was snowing and seemed a proper setting for a religious experience. But the people in the church seemed bored, and the clergymen seemed to be hurrying to get it over with. Tebelak felt that rather than rolling the rock away from the Tomb, they were piling more on. Thus inspired, he completed the original manuscript in a nonstop marathon, creating this masterpiece of energy and passion.

This production is a celebration of the life and teachings of Christ. In fact, the word "godspell" is the Old English for "gospel." Simply put, it's a modern musical retelling of the story of Christ and His parables, taken from the "Godspell" according to St. Matthew. It is not a pitch for Christianity, but rather the telling of an age-old story. By using a variety of outrageous staging techniques and a collection of beautifully written songs by Stephen Schwartz, Godspell's message of love and happiness denies any real sectarian boundaries that might be expected in a play about Christ and His teachings. It has been applauded by all denominations - not just Christians - for it brings life and beauty to some powerful ideas: Live, don't merely survive. Love yourself and love your neighbors, friends and enemies alike. And be joyful - above all things, be joyful!