‘Godspell’ Opens UNK Theatre Season Thursday

Susan Deiger
UNK Theatre, 308.865.8406

The Department of Music & Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will kick off the 2005-06 theatre season this month with the musical Godspell.   

  is the musical retelling of the Gospel of St. Matthew, and UNK students will portray it against the backdrop of the terrorist attacks in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. The musical was originally set on a playground as created and directed by John-Michael Tebelak, with music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.

The musical will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29-Oct. 1 and Oct. 6-8, with a matinee on Sunday, Oct. 2, at 2 p.m. All performances will be in the Miriam Drake Theatre. Tickets for the show are $10 for adults; $7 for students, seniors and UNK Faculty/Staff; $5 for groups of 10 or more; and $3 for UNK students with a valid ID. Tickets may be reserved through the UNK Theatre Box Office at 308-865-8417 or at boxoffice@unk.edu.

With the exception of Director Daniel Jones, UNK coordinator of theatre costumes, and Musical Director Dr. Anne Foradori, the entire design and stage management team for the production is made up of students.

Jones said that he chose this musical to start off the year, because it is a story of maintaining faith and hope in the middle of any situation. He said that he wanted to set it in the framework of the 9/11 attacks, because it is an opportunity to utilize a context that is very familiar to all of us.

“It [the show] has an even more powerful message when it is set in something that we can relate to,” he said. ” I also chose to use this musical, because it is a strong show, with a very recognizable name. It’s good for us to start out with something that we know our audience will enjoy.”

During the run of the show, a representative from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) will attend a performance. Upon his or her recommendation, the production may be considered for an invitation to perform at the KCACTF Region V Festival in Fargo, S.D., in January. If the production is successful at that level, it would then move on to the National Festival at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in the spring. In addition, student designs in the show may compete for awards in the various design competitions at the KCACTF Region V Festival.

Members of the cast of Godspell,  listed alphabetically by hometown, include:  
 – Steve Ingemansen, junior, Judas/John the Baptist  
 – Katie Miller, senior, company  
 – Jordan House, junior, company  
 – Jenna Johannsen, senior, company  
Grand Island
 – Russtanna Faimon, junior, company ; Grant Pyper,
freshman, company; and Rutheah Williams, junior, company  
 – Joseph Knispel, sophomore, Jesus  
North Platte
 – Brette Covington, senior, company

Round Rock
 – Chance Hartman, senior, company

The artistic/production staff, listed alphabetically by hometown, includes:

                 Elgin – Shauna Warren, senior, stage manager  
Hay Springs
 – Joshua Hermansen, senior, choreographer  
 – Sarah Schreiter, sophomore, assistant stage manager  
 – Kris Haack, senior, lighting designer  
 – Jim Sagehorn, sound designer  
 – Brad Perez, sophomore, assistant stage manager  

Round Rock
 – Chance Hartman, senior, makeup designer

 – Mikako Toda, senior, costume designer  

 – Takashi Morimoto, senior, scenic designer