As I entered the high school building I was confronted by several anti-bullying posters. A welcome sign in this day and age. I was on my way to a rehearsal for the school’s Spring Musical. They are putting on Godspell this year. I was curious about how drama teacher and director, Kate Griffith would proceed with this play from the seventies.

Asked why she chose Godspell, Griffith replied, “It’s an ensemble piece with awesome music.” This year, she explained, she has a phenomenal number of talented students available. Rather than produce a piece that showcases only a few students, Godspell features everyone in a play that reflects on what community and solidarity really mean.

I commented that this reminds me of the school’s Fall play, A Wrinkle in Time. Griffith agreed that there are similarities. “In both plays, we see reflected in teen culture what we need everywhere—a breakdown of cliques and social strata.”

Since the play is built around the story of Jesus and his teachings, characters will have the names of Gospel characters, but they will be playing “dramatized versions of themselves,” Griffith explained. Senior Raina Tynis will be playing the part of Jesus.

“It’s different than a lead role,” Tynis assured me. “As Jesus I represent a leader of the community who wants to bring everyone together. The play has a strong message that we should turn from being conformists to being whoever we really are, loved for ourselves.”

Godspell is full of wonderful music, and the students tell me the dancing is “hard and fast and fun.” That alone is reason to come to one of the four performances being staged March 8 -10.

Plays about being one’s true self and building community? Posters about ending bullying? An atmosphere of welcome? — Could Marengo Community High School be onto something?

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