The Catholic University of America

Feb. 10, 2014

Bible Stories Come to Life in "Godspell"

Parables from the books of Matthew and Luke will come to life on stage this month as the Musical Theatre Division of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music presents its spring musical, “Godspell.”

Performances are set for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22, at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28 and March 1, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 2, at 2 p.m. in Ward Recital Hall.

The musical, which was written by Stephen Schwartz,( Wicked, Pippin) with a book by John-Michael Tebelak, depicts a series of parables interspersed with Schwartz’s soft rock/contemporary music, which he has become so famous for. The production will be directed and choreographed by Pauline Grossman, dance coordinator for the musical theatre program.

“It’s an opportunity for me to show [the students] what versatility can do for them, to teach them how to be multifaceted, and show them how they can do that and be successful at the same time,” she said.

Because “Godspell” focuses so heavily on stories from Scripture, Grossman has encouraged cast members to live out the virtues discussed in a more focused way. She asked students to keep kindness journals recording acts of kindness toward themselves and others. She also encouraged them to take part in community service as a group.

“The story is about creating a community and how we can create a community for good and how we can implement it for good,” she said. “We’re really trying to practice what the story preaches every day, allowing ourselves the opportunity to really learn from the story, the lessons from the Bible, and the lessons Jesus is teaching us, and learning to implement them through simple things we do each day.”

The show will include a 12-person cast and live musicians, including Musical Director Marc Bryan Lilley, B.M. 2006. Through the show, the actors will provide an interactive experience for the audience, dancing in the aisles and encouraging crowd participation.

“People underestimate ‘Godspell’ because they look at it and it’s carefree and it’s loving and bright and full of kindness, but there’s so much technical work in figuring out how to do that, how to string these stories together so it makes sense, so it doesn’t feel disheveled,” Grossman said. “I do hope that people in the CUA community come and see the show because it’s something they will love.”

“Godspell” will be presented at Ward Recital Hall, 620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C. Tickets are $20 for general admission; $15 for CUA alumni; $10 for seniors, non-CUA students, faculty and staff; and $5 for CUA students and children under 10. For more information or to buy tickets, visit or call 202-319-5416.




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