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Upcoming Productions and Performances
Outside a run-down, inner-city church, an odd assortment of individuals gathers to hear the teachings of Jesus Christ. Through parables from the Gospels, they learn about life, forgiveness, compassion, and redemption. First produced on Broadway in 1971, this rock opera (with music by award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz and book by visionary playwright John Michael Tebelak) still touches audiences today. An eclectic range of songs from pop to vaudeville tells the story of Jesus’ life and message—and their relevance in our lives.
“We reconceived this musical to set it in 2022, portrayed as a dark time in our country’s future,” says Theatre Professor and the production’s Director Trish Brown. “Those who are not part of the privileged elite have been exiled from mainstream society. Into this world of exiles comes Jesus, an escaped prisoner from the world of privilege. Through his love and teaching, outcasts—and even a key member of the elite—learn to see themselves and others not by race, social class, or religious affiliation, but as beloved children of God.”
The stage and costume design are inspired by true stories from around the world about people who have nothing but castoffs and refuse, yet they still manage to make clothing, toys, musical instruments, and other life-affirming creations with what little they have. Thanks to Theatre Professor Leah McFall’s costuming and set design, as well as Technical Director Megan Lovegren’s lighting design, the production vividly comes to life. Music Professor Joe Van Riper directs a pit orchestra of student musicians.
Performances will be in Davis Black Box on March 8 at 9:30 p.m. and nightly March 9–11 at 7:30 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students; seating is general admission. Purchase tickets online or at the door.
Choreographed, designed, and staged with maximum student involvement, this event encapsulates the pure joy and transformative power of movement and music. Over 40 student choreographers and dancers perform each year, bringing you performances in a wide range of genres, including hip hop, African, and American swing!