‘Godspell’ being presented by St. Sebastian CYO
A modern-day train station is the setting for a remake of the 1970s musical “Godspell.” The performance will be presented by the St. Sebastian Catholic Youth Organization in Ross as part of its annual show April 5-7.
Director Craig Kreutzer said the cast has 36 members from 12 high schools and nine parishes. They have been rehearsing since December.
In “Godspell,” Jesus Christ recruits a group of followers and teaches them lessons through song and dance from the Gospel according to Matthew.
Emma Sennott, 17, of Ross, plays an apostle.
“One of my favorite components of the show is the teamwork among (the cast),” said Sennott, an Oakland Catholic senior. “As the show progresses, those once strangers simply living their lives are brought together due to the presence of Jesus Christ.
“As we were all introduced to Jesus, we begin to leave selfish thoughts to learn from Christ, as we are all brothers.”
Kreutzer, the director for 21 years, said it is the 46th year the organization has presented a biblical show. For the past 15 years, “Godspell” has been part of a four-show rotation that includes “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and a revue.
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” was set in the 1970s last year.
The Rev. John Rushofsky, from St. Sebastian, said the show is enthusiastically supported by parishioners and the community.
“This is my 12th musical since I became pastor and I have immensely enjoyed every one of them,” he said. “Although the cycle is repeated every four years, each production is always something new and exciting.
“These young actors come from nine different parishes and yet, because of their cohesiveness, one would think that they have all known each other for many years.”
Ann Sennott of Ross said her daughter and three sons formed lifelong friendships after participating.
No tickets are sold. Seating is general admission.
Shows will be held 7:30 p.m., April 5; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., April 6; and 2 p.m., April 7 at the Holy Cross Academy Gymnasium, 307 Siebert Road, Pittsburgh.
Donations will be accepted. Kreutzer said at least $30,000 is raised every year.
Proceeds will go to the CYO’s Project HOPE trip and the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s Chimbote Foundation.
Erin Bottomlee, executive director of the St. Vincent Mission in David, Kentucky, where the CYO goes every year to do home repair, said the fundraiser is unique.
“I love the idea, because you have many people who aren’t into home repair, but have other skills to use as service,” Bottomlee said. “They might not come on the trip, but they are still a vital part of the service work in that they were part of the musical that raised the money to come.”
Sheri Giger Miller, the show’s assistant director, said cast members give up much of their time to be part of the show.
“They are truly altruistic,” she said. “They sense a bigger purpose to all of this, which is great to see in high school students.”
For details about the show, contact Katie Dorman at 412-364-8999, ext. 8520; or email her at [email protected] parish.org
Karen Kadilak is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.