Holley performing Godspell as spring school musical season gets underway

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 March 2019 at 10:32 pm

Jesus is a Yankees fan, while Judas favors the Red Sox in Holley’s show

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – Matt Skehan, a senior at Holley, has the lead role of Jesus in the school’s performance of Godspell. He is shown during a rehearsal today.

Skehan suffered a fractured growth plate in his wrist during a basketball game about a month ago. The injury hasn’t kept him off the stage.

Skehan said the lead roles had to learn long lines, more so than in other shows, and they needed to be in sync with each other on stage to get the comedic timing down.

He has been in the musicals since seventh grade.

“There’s not a day it isn’t joyful,” Skehan said about the musicals. “It’s like one big family. Everybody cares for everyone.”

Holley will perform the show for the community at 7 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Middle/High School Auditorium. Tickets can be ordered online by clicking here.

Callie Updike plays Judas, a disciple who betrays Jesus.

“He deals with the emotional turmoil of betraying a trusted friend,” Callie said about her character. “It just rips you apart.”

Dan Burke is the director of the show. Burke, a science teacher at the school, also is the varsity baseball coach and a New York Yankees fan. Burke has Jesus wearing a Yankees shirt, while Judas wears the jersey for the archrival Red Sox.

Burke likes that the show allows the kids to have personalities and express themselves (and gives the director some leeway in the costumes).

There are 50 students in the cast, plus another 20 behind the scenes.

Burke has wanted to do Godspell for many years, and believes he has the right cast for the show this year.

“Godspell is a very difficult show to do,” he said. “There is timing and the actors have to tell stories on stage. It’s a powerful message.”

Mike Stoll plays John the Baptist and sings, “Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord.” Stoll enters the auditorium from the back of the room and walks down one of the aisles, turning to face the crowd. He then baptizes cast members on stage.

There are many high-energy songs and dances in the show. Allyson Skehan, left, and Lexianne Seewagen are among the cast members.

Matt Skehan as Jesus shares one of the parables from the Bible. Jesus urges kindness, tolerance and love.

Burke said the musical brings people from many backgrounds together in the school.

“If you want to get rid of bullying in schools, make them do musicals,” he said.

Adrianna Kruger stars as Robin and sings, “Day by Day.” Many of the cast members get solos in Godspell.

Tickets for the shows can be ordered online by clicking here or by going to the MS/HS main office.

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