April 13, 2010
Regent Theatre is capping off our 2009/2010 season with an exciting, innovative production of Godspell, directed by the Theatre Department Chair, Eric Harrell. Read his Director's Notes below for a sneak peek into our upcoming production. The show runs April 23-May 2. Remember that during the first weekend, we're offering a special price of $10 a ticket for church groups of 10 people for more. Call the box office for tickets or more information: 757-352-4245. See you at the theatre!
"Whether you are a Godspell enthusiast or a first-timer, there is one thing we all have in common: this is the first time you’ve seen Godspell told quite like this. But that is, after all, one of the most compelling aspects of this show – every production is entirely unique. The creators of Godspell give full license to each company to make their own creative mark on the piece. I’ve heard of Godspell productions developed around popular TV shows and even one set in a McDonalds! Sorry folks, no American Idol or Quarter Pounders here tonight.
During my directing research, I was struck by two things that inspired the writing team of Godspell. The first was their desire to illuminate the inherent joy in the Gospel story, reminding audiences that the discipleship of Christ was not meant to create a dour life but one of joyous redemption. The second was the power of Christ’s teachings to unify disparate individuals into a fully functioning community of believers. As I focused on these two elements, I arrived in the world of our production: a global playscape, a joyous world where the discipleship of Christ builds trans-ethnic community.
As each company member represents a unique, international culture, they explore the teachings of Christ through a multi-cultural lens: African tribal dance, Indian Shadow Theatre, the Noh Theatre of Japan, Native American folklore, even vaudeville and sketch comedy. Parts of the opening number have been translated into seven different languages. The result is a testament to the power of Christ’s teachings to transcend cultural and racial boundaries. However, transcending ethnicity does not negate our unique cultural heritages; in fact, the body of Christ is enriched as the teachings of Jesus are applied through multi-cultural understanding and respect for our inherent differences. By the beginning of Act Two our company has learned this important lesson, and they unify their storytelling to unfold a simple yet stirring interpretation of the Passion narrative.
As a Christian artist and story-teller, the parables of Christ have been foundational in my both my faith and artistry. Having the opportunity to explore them in a new way for our production of Godspell has been a rewarding journey. I pray you rediscover the joy of the Gospel story - and the power of the master storyteller."
April 5, 2010
As part of what we call our Secondstage Season, the Regent Theatre Department has several openings each semester for a lab show--a production entirely put on by the students. (For more information about lab shows, click here!) Our most recent lab show was the original full-length musical "Disorientation of Butterflies," written by 3rd year MFA Acting student Alaska Reece Vance, composed by 2nd year MFA Acting student Nathan Schmidt, and directed by 1st year MFA Acting student Whitney Rappana. The cast was made up of several MFA and BA students, as well as a graduated MFA Acting student and an incoming MFA in Acting student. Click here to read a reflection on the show from a theological perspective, written by Regent's own academic advisor, Michael Difuccia.