Cast shares parables, shows Jesus and disciples building a community
Photos by Tom Rivers
ALBION – Victor Benjovsky portrays Jesus in Albion High School’s production of Godspell. There are shows 7 p.m. Friday (March 23) and noon and 7 p.m. on Saturday at the middle school auditorium. Tickets are available at the door.
A cast of 22 students will perform. Nineteen of the cast members are disciples and will use their own names. The other three characters are Jesus, John the Baptist (Brennan Moody) and Judas (Enoch Martin).
It’s an ensemble production with all 22 cast members performing on stage throughout the show.
“Albion is blessed with many talented students, not only on the stage but in the pit and crew,” said Gary Simboli, the show’s director. “Everyone gets at least one featured solo.”
Besides the 22 cast members, there are 24 students with the stage crew and eight in the pit orchestra.
Brennan Moody, in his role as John the Baptist, baptisms the disciples, including Sophia Zambito.
Moody enters the auditorium from the back door, singing, “Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord.”
These disciples include, from left: Sophia Zambito, Miranda Smith, Zach Moore, Molly Wadhams, Kaylyn Holman, Jacob Ettinger and Hannah Van Epps.
“The show is designed to show how to build a community and a family and it has built a community,” Simboli said. “It has pulled these kids together. I can see them continuing these friendships after the show, which is the point.”
Kaylyn Holman, one of the disciples, has a solo, “Turn Back, O Man.”
The disciples, including Aubrey Boyer (center), put on colorful scarves to symbolize they are followers of Jesus.
Enoch Martin is in the role of Judas, who betrays Jesus and is overcome with guilt.
Riley Seielstad, a senior, is the disciple in center with the red dress. Seielstad has been in all the theater productions since sixth grade.
“It’s the camaraderie you feel,” she said about being in the shows. “We’re such a huge family.”
She said Godspell is a way to tell the parables to a contemporary audience. The message hasn’t been watered down.
“It’s about the big idea of loving each other,” Seielstad said.
Enoch Martin (Judas), Victor Benjovsky (Jesus) and Laiken Ricker (disciple) perform one of the high-energy songs in the musical.
Benjovsky is a senior. He was in his first musical, Honk, as a freshman after being coaxed by his two older sisters. Benjovsky said he has made some of his closest friends through theater and had the most fun.
This is the 67th show directed by Simboli and Kathy Winans. The two started working together 33 years ago. Their first show was Snoopy. This is the first time they are directing Godspell.
Chase Froman, a disciple, gets a turn in the spotlight.