The IGNITE Youth Group at Pine Valley United Methodist Church acted out the story of the Good Samaritan using inflatable floaties over a bedsheet.
And the Beatitudes were worked into a game show quizzing Jesus on some of his most famous platitudes.
The upcoming performances of "Godspell, Jr." at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday (June 10) will be a shortened version of the Godspell Broadway show and is designed to show Jesus' teachings in a more digestible format for younger audiences. Performances are free at the church,
Although the show was originally designed for 10 cast members, youth music director P.J. Bolduc adapted it to fit her IGNITE Youth Group's 48 students.
After Sunday's performances, the group is taking their show on the road on a four-day Godspell, Jr. Music in Missions tour of The Gateway Center, a large homeless shelter in downtown Atlanta, and Youth Villages Inner Harbour, a residential treatment facility for children and youth with emotional and behavioral issues. Students will visit with the guests, do face painting, playgames, and make snow cones for them.
"We typically do not perform at churches on our choir tour. We try instead to reach out to people who might ordinarily not hear the gospel – homeless shelters, nursing homes, youth homes, etc. It is very rewarding, and very eye-opening for our youth," Bolduc added. WilmingtonFAVS caught up with Bolduc to ask more about the show between her rehearsals this week.
Q: How have you adapted this Godspell to meet your cast or church's needs?
A: This version is Godspell “Jr.”, so it is an abridged version designed specifically for young performers. It is shorter in length, but still maintains the integrity of the original show and includes all of the most recognizable songs. It allows for the flexibility to accommodate as many performers as necessary, which is a great thing since I have 48 youth participating in a musical that was originally designed for a cast of 10.
A: I’m not sure of the exact reasons, but I have a few theories. Religion can be humorous, controversial, poignant, and emotionally intense, all qualities that most Broadway musicals strive for. More and more churches are using worship arts such as dance, drama, and contemporary music, so church-goers make a great audience because they are comfortable with and appreciate these types of productions. Also, perhaps some producers know that people never stop searching for spiritual guidance and the truth, and are trying to cater to that basic human need.
Q: What deeper questions does Godspell ask of its audience?
A: The lyrics of the well-known song "Day By Day," and the show in general, prompts audiences to think about how they can see Jesus more clearly, love Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly. They are encouraged to examine their own lives and think about issues such as judgement, money, forgiveness, and redemption as the community of believers learns about qualities such as love, joy, and gratitude.
Q: How can you use those questions to teach your youth at the same time they're learning their parts?
A: The script is basically the book of Matthew. The beauty of Godspell is that you can use whatever creative means you want to get all the parables and stories of Jesus across to your audience. But underneath all the pantomimes, skits, the game show, the puppet show and the silliness, the kids are learning the word of God, the biblical truths of Jesus Christ, and what that means in each of our lives.
Amanda Greene: 910-520-3958 or