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Madison Academy Performing Arts Department to present ‘Godspell’

MADISON – After a hiatus since 2013, the award-winning Madison Academy Performing Arts Department will present its full-length production of “Godspell.”

Cast and crew have been working in full rehearsals since January. Musical Theatre International describes “Godspell” as “a masterful retelling of the original sensation, injected with contemporary references and dazzling new arrangements.”

The musical illustrates the parables from the Gospel of Matthew with an ensemble of quirky characters. The production’s lighthearted storytelling and comic timing fades to a somber tone into the Last Supper and Crucifixion.

“Godspell” was the first major musical for Stephen Schwartz, three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner. “Day by Day” stands as the show’s theme, with other beloved songs like “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” “Learn Your Lessons Well” and “Turn Back, O Man.”

Terrena Mann is directing “Godspell.” Mann teaches drama, theatre production and technical theatre for grades 6-12 at Madison Academy.

“Godspell” will star Noah Olberding as Jesus. The cast includes Haden Lindsey (John the Baptist/Judas), Emma Grace Bailey (Lindsay), C.J. Kane (Morgan) and ensemble members Joy Baker and Jalen Arnold. Teachers Linzee Kerce and Bart Carter are portraying Pharisees.

“Jesus’ messages of kindness, tolerance and love come vibrantly to life. It has been awhile since Madison Academy has put on a musical of this length and size,” spokesperson Glen Laird said.

Mann decided to make Godspell a collaborative effort with all performing arts departments and boosters at Madison Academy helping to make the show a success. Shelli Rimes, Madison Academy’s Choral Director, is serving as Musical Director.

Mattie Earls, music and art teacher, auditioned younger students, and students in grades 2-6 will perform. This effort “has given students the opportunity to discover a God-given talent they may not have known they had,” Madison Academy Elementary Principal Missy Lusk.

Band teacher Jessica Hunt will play drums; she selected academy band students for the orchestra: Meghan Ashmore, bass; Noah Haggard, electric guitar; and Andrew Chase, keyboard. Parent Brian Mann will play guitar.

Dan Olberding is the show’s technical director. The crew includes Terri Speir, president of The Ladies’ Association, scenic artist; counselor Rachel Gross, producer; teacher Christie McKee, costumes; and Tom McKee, assistant for sets.

The cast will present “Godspell” at Madison Academy Performance Center, 325 Slaughter Road on April 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Tickets will be $12 at the event. To buy tickets, visit macademy.org and click the “Godspell” link.

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