‘Godspell’ offers contemporary take on New Testament

By Randee May, Staff Writer

What do you do when a fight breaks out in the middle of a play? Do you rush up onto the stage to help break up the fight, join in with the cast as they cheer or simply sit back and enjoy the show?

The answer is quite obvious when it’s the Armstrong Masquers presenting “Godspell” – you just let the pieces fall where they may.

“I’ve seen a version of Godspell before, but this one was way better,” Catherine Rice, a Liberty County High School student, said. “It was fun and I liked the music.”

Originally a play that was meant to teach others about God and what it means to accept others and yourself, the Masquers added in their own flavor. The young actors turned “Godspell” into a play that taught the audience about God, but also allowed for the audience, consisting of all ages, to understand a valuable lesson while having fun.

“We came to watch the One Act play, but our teachers bought us tickets to see Godspell,” Damara Soto said. “I love the choreography.”

Little did she know, the mastermind behind the dances, Demark Manigo, was only two seats down from where she sat.

“So far they are doing very good. I helped with the choreography so I had to come see my babies dance. I’m proud of each of them,”  Manigo said during intermission.

Carl Brown, another student from Liberty County added, “I like how we’re able to see the construction. It looks realistic with the street lights and buildings.” He was, of course, referring to the stage which was set up like a construction site, meant to symbolize how the actors and actresses were “rebuilding” themselves.

A few of the scenes included Daniel J. Hilton as a man who spoke about tearing down his buildings to build them higher with different types of corn: “Mmhm, I’ll fill them with corn, popcorn, crème corn, Abercorn, candy corn….” The list went on and on before he was dragged away for his greed.

Justine Scrutchins, Jonathan Handley, and Avianc’e Gainey each performed songs that left the crowd wowed.

The play started drawing to a close once Judas, played by David Willis, betrayed Jesus, played by Walter Pigford during the Final Supper.

By the end of the musical the majority of the cast were in tears, including Laney Thompson, MaryCaitlin McMahon, Diana Richardson, and Amie Schulz as they watched fellow cast members Josh C.S. Lewis, Gabriel Michael, and the other actors carry Jesus off the stage.

“All of them could sing and act. They gave the illusion that they weren’t acting at all. It was so natural for them,” Liberty County junior Brandon Pack said. “The show was amazing and beautiful. It was a job well done.”