SMC presents ‘Godspell’ this weekend

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, March 24, 2022

Southwestern Michigan College presents its spring musical, “Godspell,” four times this weekend in the theater of the Dale A. Lyons Building on SMC’s Dowagiac campus.

This production is open to the public, with shows scheduled: Thursday, March 24, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 25, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 26, 7:30 p.m.; and closes out with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, March 27.

General admission tickets cost $7 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, with SMC students admitted free at the door with their ID.

The show is composed of various musical parables from The Gospel According to Matthew, with Jesus Christ (Watervliet business major Coby Henslee, usually playing trumpet in various SMC bands) recruiting a group of followers and teaching them lessons through song and dance.

Nine other cast members include William LaFleur, Judas/John the Baptist; alumna Da’Shanae Vinson, Dae; alumna Lisa Chilton, Lisa; Hannah Weaver, Hannah; Eliza Johnson, Eliza; Emily Potter, Emily; alumnus Dakota Stump, Dakota; Logan Lampe, Logan; and Sam Loomis, Sam.

Conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak in 1971, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, the show employed the archaic English spelling for gospel, which means good news.

Director Tucker Curtis interprets today’s “Godspell” as a sort of pandemic parable about the two-year “come-to-Jesus” moment just lived through which tested faith, shattered community and piled up questions with few answers. Slowly, footing was found as we cheered and honored those who kept us going.

The disciples carry small suggestions of the brave essential workers from that time of uncertainty and rebuilding, putting faith in things learned as children: treat others as you wish to be treated, a light heart eases a heavy load, love thy neighbor.

Curtis’s production staff includes Assistant Director Andrew Fisher; Liz Baumann, choreography; David Carew, producer and music director; and Mark Hollandsworth, pit orchestra conductor.

Hollandsworth’s musicians include guitarists Chris Chapman, Don Savoie and Dustin Lowe; Kenneth Creameans, bass; Christine Larson Seitz, keyboard; and Glenn McFarland, drums.

Rounding out the production staff are: Susan Coulston, costume assistance; Morgan Nickolae, stage manager; Anne-Marie Latourette, assistant stage manager; Lincoln Clark, technical director; Landon Clark, sound technician; and set design and construction by Program Lead for SMC Construction Trades John Tinker and students Ivan Alvarado, Colin Bendiner, Yair Delgado, Alexis Huizar, Dylan Kuhnle and Ben Welch; and stage crew, Alicia Ferguson.

When SMC staged “Godspell” April 6-9, 1977, it was performed in the gymnasium of the Charles O. Zollar Building because the theatre and the Lyons Building had yet to be built.