Classic Godspell returns to CNY Arts Center with auditions

A rehearsal scene of the song Day by Day from the 2017 production of Godspell at CNY Arts Center. The production will return March 25-April 3. Auditions are scheduled from noon-4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan 15. Pre-register to audition by emailing Nancy CNYArtsCenter.com or call Fox at 315-591-7626. For further information visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 315-598-ARTS(2787). Pictured from left, front row: Natasia Lee, Matthew Gordon, Lisa Balles and Dana Comfort. Back row: Bevelry Poznoski, Michael Gerth, Christine Ashby, Brenda McAuslan, not seen Chuck Teska and Josh Taylor.

FULTON - With a 2012 debut, CNY Arts Center has presented Godspell on stage every five years. Auditions for the third anniversary of the classic musical will be held from noon-4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15. The Arts Center is located at 121 Cayuga St. in downtown Fulton. The returning classic will launch the 2022 theatre season March 25-April 3.

“Godspell recently celebrated 50 years of delighting audiences,” said director Nancy Fox, “and we have contributed to that history over the years. I first directed it in 2007 at Port City Theatre in Oswego, then in 2012 when the Arts Center established our first stage at State Street Methodist Church in Fulton.

“We brought it back in 2017 at our Cayuga College venue, and now, after another five years, it’s time to present it again on our very own permanent stage,” Fox continued. “We are excited to renew this timeless classic.”

Godspell is a musical retelling of the Gospel of Matthew, typically set in New York City. It has a strong fan base among actors and audiences alike with a score composed and/or adapted by Stephen Schwartz for the book by John-Michael Tebelak. Godspell opened off-Broadway on May 17, 1971, and has since been produced by multiple touring companies and in many revivals, the most recent on Broadway 10 years ago.

“While many see the musical as a fun, often hippie version of the story of Jesus, the story line plays out in a very real experience for everyone involved, from cast, crew and musicians to the audience. While acting out stories of the character and lessons he taught, a playful bond is established between actors as they learn to trust each other and devise impromptu schemes to illustrate each lesson.

“When the story moves to the horrifying death of their teacher, very real emotions are stirred. The leaderless group becomes a unified body, a family in grief, to carry on the message and love, of their beloved Jesus.

Fox continues, “The audience is quickly caught up in the antics and fun of the playful lessons and as quickly drawn into the tragedy that unfolds before them. The familiar story comes alive through the total commitment the actors make in their portrayals and the vivid emotions are real. Although the resurrection is not included in the story line, when the actor portraying Jesus returns during a jubilant final number, relief and the joy of resurrection is fully real. It is a joyful reunion and a powerfully moving story we love to revisit.”

To audition, actors are asked to prepare 32 bars of an upbeat song. Because of the potential for weather or COVID related delays, pre-register by emailing Nancy@CNYArtsCenter.com or call Fox at 315-591-7626. Actors will receive a call, text or email in the event of postponement. Blizzard-backup date for auditions is from noon-4 p.m. on Jan. 22.

Until further notice, masks are required per NYS mandate. The Arts Center is located at 121 Cayuga St. in downtown Fulton. For further information visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 315-598-ARTS(2787).

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