BRISTOL — Young actors from across central Connecticut charmed audiences over the weekend with their performance of “Godspell” inside St. Paul’s Catholic High School.
SPCHS Director of Performing Arts, Mark Mazzarella, is also the founder of Revolutionary Youth Theatre, the non-profit organization that presented the show.
“We have actors from at least 12 or 13 different cities,” Mazzarella said.
This included several SPCHS students performing with the theater.
“We had great audiences; people loved it,” Mazzarella said of the production.
Its intensive summer theater course allows young people to explore their passion for the arts while discovering their own identity through theater arts education.
The cast members spent a week in New York at the end of June to host a reading workshop with Broadway stars of Mazzarella’s original play, “Out of the Blue.”
It was a unique opportunity for all participants.
Godspell was originally conceived and directed by John-Michael Tebelak and composed by Stephen Schwartz. It is a musical based mainly on the Gospel of Matthew.
“It’s one of those fun classics to do,” Mazzarella explained.
The 17 cast members, plus the band and production team worked on the series for three and a half weeks before the weekend premiere.
They mastered 18 different musical numbers in a short time.
Mozzarella said a typical show would take three months to set up.
The Summer Theater Intensive offers young people an accelerated experience.
“It was so much fun,” actress Kirsten Ward told reporters ahead of Sunday morning.
“It’s such an interesting show with a lot of improvisation,” added fellow cast member Kendall Raymond.
“The cast is very close, so we were able to bounce things off of each other really well,” Ward added.
“The audience has been very responsive, very responsive,” Raymond said.
The production was sponsored in part by the McPhee Foundation and the Richard P. Garmany Fund of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
In addition to directing the performing arts program at SPCHS, Mazzarella also teaches fine arts.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at [email protected]