Godspell By: Jesse Sexton Why is Jesus hanging around the disciples and the company? This is the major dramatic question because in the beginning the audience is confused because of this question but as the action continues this question is answered at the climax of the play. This is a challenging play due to it being a musical aspect of it. The characters were able to portray this play in a fashion that I really thought was appropriate. The character that played Jesus really portrayed this sense of leadership and knowing while the company honestly gave off the image of being lost.Jesus refers to them as sheep a number of times while referring himself as the obvious Sheppard. Also The Pharisees with the combination of low toned music and an evil look about them were played well and almost reminded me of the wicked witch, with a twin sister, in the wizard of oz. This question and these imitations will serve as the foundation for my Critique of this play.
In Godspell the obvious protagonist is the character playing Jesus.Jesus’ goal throughout the play is to bring together the company and disciples to a common ground and understanding of God’s teachings so they are able to spread the word of God in the right way. Jesus’ emotion throughout the entire play shows that of compassion, leadership, and knowledge.
Even when pinned to the cross he is compassionate about the prophecy and stops the disciples and company from fighting with the Jews during his crucifixion. Jesus’ shows his leadership and knowledge by making the teachings of the bible so that the company and disciples understand also by bringing the others together on a common ground.This fit’s the spine of the play because without teaching the disciples and company about the bible and God’s word then the Jews would have never been compelled to crucify Jesus and bring about the resurrection as told in the prophecy. The protagonist uses examples from the bible such as the Story about the man that God has blessed and the Devil says to God that if he takes away all these things then the man will renounce his faith. God says go ahead and the devil takes all his things away. The man is angry at god but still remains faithful and all he ays is “God Giveth and God taketh away.
” In the end the man dies and is Glorified for eternity in heaven. Another story that is given is the story of the Sower and his Seeds which I wont go all the way through but pretty much sums up to that you yourself sow your own future whether you be prosperous; or land on rocks or in weeds. Another example was the story with the Father with two sons.
The first son always did what he was told while the second son never did anything right. In the end the Father and second son rejoice because he has found the light and does things right.I thought the acting was really good throughout the play. Jesus was portrayed well through his tone of voice and look. The company and disciples although not separated which was somewhat confusing acted appropriately and were sheep-like. The Pharisees played there parts well considering they were dark and the music pointed out that they are the antagonist.
The first song of the play I thought to myself that I was going to be in for a long night but as the play went on I thought the actors composed themselves, got the nerves out and got much better.The music was very appropriate although the first couple songs it dwelled out the singing to the point where I was sitting (near the back) I couldn’t understand a word. In the end though the music quieted down and allowed me to more easily understand what the characters were saying. The Antagonist of the play is the Pharisees.
The Pharisees wanted Jesus dead throughout the play because they believed he was blasphemy. The Pharisees bribe Judas with money and Judas tells the Pharisees how to obtain Jesus. The antagonist tries to stop Jesus from his goal by crucifying and killing him.The Antagonist fit’s the spine of the play because without the Pharisees, the company and disciples would have never truly came together like they did at the end without Jesus’ death. Although the Pharisees aren’t seen much the acting and mood was set well and like I said earlier they reminded me of the evil witch, with a twin sister, from the wizard of oz. This play was set in the time period of the 2000s. The modern clothing and how all the bible lessons in the play were put into modern day terms to where the current audience could understand them was clever.Using a “Green Mushroom” like in the Mario Bros game was hilarious when resurrecting Christ.
Numerous other examples were used like Farmville, with the father and two sons as I mentioned earlier. Another example was the use of big brother, choosing who was the one. The period and play really compliment each other well through the use of the examples, modern day clothing, and in some respect modern day speech at certain parts.
The period of the play really compliments the protagonists by making the “sheep” modern day while Jesus, “the Sheppard,” really doesn’t change much to fit the modern day role.But it worked out because Jesus was bringing the company and disciples together with the use of examples that Jesus gave: turned modern day such as The Seeds and the Sower, The Farmville Example with The father with two sons, Also The man that has all his things taken away and is eventually glorified in heaven. And the most clear one was the actual resurrection of Jesus using the “Green mushroom. ” How the antagonist is complimented was really the only confusing part just because they didn’t do much throughout the course of the play.They peeked there head in and had there say a couple of times and then in the end hang Jesus to what looked like a makeshift cross which doesn’t say anything modern day really.
I was reading and in other productions of this play Jesus is hung to an electric fence by The Pharisees. This I could relate better to modern day. The focus of the play was set largely upon the Protagonist, Jesus. You knew where to focus most of the time because of the lighting or having whoever was speaking/singing be center stage.Another example is when the Pharisees showed up the lighting went completely to the evil twins up in the top right corner of my view where I turned my attention immediately.
The director handled the subtext by using the examples that Jesus gave that were mentioned earlier in the essay such as the Seeds and the Sower, Farmville, and the man that was glorified in heaven, Big brother example where the man was chosen also The resurrection of Jesus using the green mushroom. These were used to make sure the audience really understood the underlying meaning of the real bible story’s.Other than that there wasn’t a lot of other subtext that I caught on to. Scenery did not change at all throughout the play. The only way you knew that the story was going from one picture to the next was an occasional change in clothing, music would be slightly different, but other than that the big thing that gave away a scene change was that the stage would go completely dark for a couple moments. In all I found Godspell to be very funny yet it got the plays point across. I would definitely go see it again if the opportunity arose but room for improvement is there.