What Parents Should Know About "Godspell"

We've recently received many questions from parents wondering if Godspell will be an appropriate, enjoyable show for their children to attend. In general, Godspell is a family-friendly show full of hilarity and music that children will enjoy. The play is recommended for ages 6 and up, but we do recommend that parents and guardians familiarize themselves with the story and judge whether children will be comfortable through the show. If you decide that this is a show you and your child would enjoy, we're offering a Saturday matinee special: buy one adult or senior ticket, and get a children's ticket 1/2 off for the 2:00 pm shows on February 22nd, March 1st, 8th, and 15th. Get the discount by calling the box office at 763.422.1838.

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What Parents Should Know from Education Director Cassandra Proball

Godspell is a musical made up of improvised scenes based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew, and music based on traditional Episcopal hymns. The show centers on a group of followers who are called to gather together to create a community following a very loving and knowledgeable teacher. There are only two named characters: Jesus, the leader and one of the followers, a character called John the Baptist/Judas. The rest of the acting ensemble are called by their own names.

Kids will enjoy the way that the acting ensemble brings a range of stories, also known as parables, to life using a host of theatrical devices including vaudeville, storytheater, improvisational games, and a variety of musical styles. Kids will also enjoy the high-energy, playful style of performance; the tight harmonies and powerful choral singing; bold, exciting lights that often move and change colors; and the lively dancing.

Also to know: the ensemble does invite the entire audience to the stage during intermission for “wine”, but it’s really light grape juice. There are adult themes mentioned as part of some of the parables – adultery, murder, arrogance, greed, etc. – but most situations are treated comically.

dramatic lighting

Younger children may find parts of the second act a little disturbing, depending on their familiarity with story of the last days of Christ as told in the Gospel of St. Matthew. There are some scary moments: when the mob turns against Jesus and calls for his crucifixion and Jesus’s death on the cross. The mood and tone of the lights gets darker and the performance style becomes very realistic and serious. However, there is very little violence and all of it is theatricalized – for example – a red ribbon is used to represent blood. However, musical ends with an upbeat, hopeful note as Jesus is carried away with a peaceful song and the ensemble re-enters to close the evening with a joyful song and dance number.

 

Parents can also read more about the show and the cast on the Godspell webpage, and see clips of rehearsal and performances on our YouTube channel.