Club puts personal twist on Godspell

Woodland Regional High School senior Robert Weiner, center, and members of the cast of Godspell rehearse at the school May 16. The drama club will present Godspell May 1 and May 2. –LUKE MARSHALL

Woodland Regional High School senior Robert Weiner, center, and members of the cast of Godspell rehearse at the school May 16. The drama club will present Godspell May 1 and May 2. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland Regional High School drama club is taking on one of its biggest productions.

The club will present the musical Godspell the first weekend of May.

“They’ve been working really hard. It’s coming along very nice,” Director Kevin Pelkey said. “I’m very proud of them working really hard.”

Pelkey said he chose Godspell for this year’s spring production because it allows a lot of actors to have roles in the show.

“It’s an ensemble piece, so it’s really everybody. All the kids are involved in some aspect of it. They get to do a lot of interaction. It’s fun for the audience,” Pelkey said.

The musical is loosely based on the life of Jesus Christ and told through parables and songs. The club has put a twist on the production to make it more of its own. The names of most of the characters have been changed to the first name of the student playing the part.

Drama Club President Katie Steinbacher is playing the character of Katie, who is Jeffery in the original production. She said the production is coming along very well, which she attributed to how hard all the students have been working and the direction of Pelkey.

Although he has worked on sets for plays for the past few years, this is Pelkey’s first time directing at Woodland.

“It’s a new director, so it’s a fresh take on things. We’ve been working with the same director for while. So getting a new director is really scary, but also awesome,” Steinbacher said.

Robert Weiner is playing Jesus, one of two roles not named for the actor playing the part. Weiner said the entire cast is working hard.

“I feel like we are really working hard. This is the biggest show we’ve ever done,” Weiner said.

For Weiner and Steinbacher, who are both seniors, Godspell represents their last production at Woodland.

“Honestly, it is the best show we could have done for our last year because it is all about creating this beautiful thing together and really loving each other. Creating something beautiful and letting it go and saying, ‘Go, be this great theater when we are gone,’” Steinbacher said.

Weiner echoed Steinbacher’s comments.

“I feel like this show is definitely the best one to end my senior year,” Weiner said. “It definitely brings a lot of emotion, not just for myself but for everyone else around us because we’re a true family and we are working really hard to put on a big show.”

Weiner said the show works so well because of how much of their own personalities the actors are able to bring to the stage.

“We wanted it to be perfect even though the show kind of feels like we get to be ourselves. Well, except for me and another guy, Pat Vogel, who is playing Judas,” Weiner said. “The only two characters that have to be someone else are me and Pat. But, also, we get to be ourselves; we get to show our goofiness, we get to share our creativity. With that in mind the show definitely brings a spark to everyone. I feel like the audience will definitely see that.”

Godspell opens May 1 at 7 p.m. at Woodland Regional High School, 135 Back Rimmon Road. The club will also present two showings on May 2 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the school. For more information, visit www.wrhsdramaclub.com.

Steinbacher encouraged people to come see the show, saying it will be fun for everyone, regardless of religious affiliation.

“It’s not preachy religion. It’s more about telling the story of the Bible and relating it to your own life. You don’t have to believe in God to come see it, you can just enjoy a beautiful story, beautiful music and acting,” Steinbacher said.