by Jonathan Weaver
The cast of Armstrong Community Theater’s “Godspell” has two directors for this weekend’s show – one on-stage and one off.
Off stage, performers have seen Mallory Hayden Mousseau create the show, but the audience this weekend will see Joey Frollo, who plays Jesus Christ lead cast members through his parables.
ACT President Paul Wright explains.
“It’s the story of Jesus Christ as told by the book of Matthew, but it’s sort of adapted to whatever time frame you’re doing it in,” Wright said. “The whole basis of it is how a group of people can become a community. We all love the theatre, so (Mousseau) decided to make the interpretation of it being auditioning, being cast and preparing for a show.”
Cast members are born from different shows, including “The Wizard of Oz,” “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and “Hello Dolly.” Wright tries to communicate Charlie Brown as a ‘goofball.’
Wright saw an interpretation by Kiski Area High School students a few years ago where students wore jeans and T-shirts for their spring production
“You would never think to associate it with the story of Jesus Christ, but it does,” Wright said. “It’s a very fun show, but it’s very moving at the end.”
Choreographer Jessica Bure directed an interpretation of the show in 2005 during her senior year at Clarion University amongst the Alpha Psi Omega theater fraternity.
“We put a fall show on every year, so my senior year, I decided to take that challenge on,” Bure said.
Even though this version is different for Bure – who teaches dance at the Center Stage dance studio in Ford City – she thinks the cast is prepared for opening night.
“This cast is very dedicated and worked very hard. In community theatre, you have different levels of dancers, where someone might not have the same experience as someone else, so I think they really worked together and stepped up to the plate,” Bure said.
The cast has practiced since before Memorial Day for this weekend.
Mousseau also participated in a different version of “Godspell” with the New Kensington Civic Theater when she was 14. She is now the director at Propel Braddock Hills High School in Homestead.
Jacob Grantz portrays Judas and John the Baptist – who is the stage manager – during the show.
Kittanning Senior High School Musical Director Emily Crossley will perform on her home stage this weekend as well.
Troy Davis, who will be a senior thespian at Ford City High this fall, loves the music orchestrated by Monica Dudek so much he hopes to recommend it to be his last show.
“I absolutely adore the show – incredible music,” Davis said.
This weekend’s shows begin at 7:30PM Thursday, July 19-21 at the Kittanning High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased at The Quality Inn Royle in West Kittanning, Baer Beauty in Ford City or at the Worthington Community Library.
For more information, visit www.armstrongcommunitytheater.org