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Crook County High School casts Godspell

The many talented CCHS Theatre Department will perform the popular musical Godspell this weekend
This year's musical for the CCHS Theatre Department is the 70s rock musical, "Godspell".
   The musical stars Jesus, John the Baptist, and a group of disciples; the material is taken primarily from the book of Matthew in the Bible. However, for those who are expecting a traditional Sunday School lesson, this production may come as a surprise, as well as a delight.
   While the material and the message are traditional, the method of delivery is not. "Upbeat, energetic, and very positive" is the way Director Lexie Tombleson describes it. "Oh, and lots of fun _ for the actors and the audience."
   Godspell was conceived and originally directed by Micahel Tebelak; music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz; CCHS is producing the musical with permission from Music Theatre International in New York City, the authorized agent of the production.
   "Every time we do a play, we have to pay `royalties', or a fee, to the person or people who wrote the play, as well as to the publishers who publish the scripts", explains Tombleson. "In the case of a musical, you're also paying the person or people who wrote the music and the lyrics. The average play costs about $300 in fees; the average musical, about $3,000." She went on to explain that, fortunately, they usually make enough to cover these and other expenses, such as costumes, set, and props.
   "We always seem to have good audience turn out for musicals; I think that says something very positive about this community", she said.
   This year's musical production has a cast of experienced actors as well as several promising newcomers. The part of Jesus is played by senior Adam Tombleson. "He has worked his way up through the ranks like every other lead actor at CCHS", says Tombleson. "He's still a bit overwhelmed at this particular lead, as anyone would be."
   The dual roll of John the Baptist and Judas is played by sophomore Roy Hillman. "Usually a sophomore isn't ready for a part like this, but Roy, like (alumnus) Scott Brockett, is the exception to that rule," she says. They are joined by fifteen other actors who play the parts of various "disciples"_ in this case, women as well as men, who not only act out many of the parables, but sing and dance as well.
   Seniors Ryan Harrington, and Jeannie Pugmire; Juniors Meridith Lundy, Jessica Rau, Angie Severson, Sean Williams, and Chelsea Callan; Sophomores Lacey Barnhouse, Andrew Claflin, Lexie Grove, Lindsay Jones, Justin Surber, and Sara Wee; and Freshman James Connolly.
   The production also has a live band, comprised of Musical Director Blaine Cameron on guitar; Cindy Jones on keyboard; Yancey Fall on bass guitar; and senior Jason Callon on drums. Fall, incidentally, played Jesus in the 1986 CCHS production of "Godspell". This is also Blaine Cameron's third time to be involved with a production of "Godspell".
   An experienced crew has built the set and will be working behind the scenes including: Senior Deric Davis and junior Justin Radabaugh who designed and built the set; senior Julia Mittrucker is Student Director, assisted by sophomore Jamie Severson; Lights and Sound are by Alex Bjorvik.
   When asked why she chose this particular show, Tombleson explained: "There are lots of reasons. The core group of actors at CCHS decided last spring that they wanted to do a small musical this year, for the seniors who would be leaving the program, but they wanted a break from the big musical production (referring to last fall's production of "Camelot"). We can't field an orchestra, but we can do a small group like the one needed for "Godspell"; the play is well known among all the Baby-Boomers; it really is a modern classic in theatrical terms_ it's one of those plays that `anybody who is anybody' in theatre is familiar with. And, I felt I had the right mix of students this year to do this particular play. I thought they would enjoy the message and the music, and they do."
   The production, according to the Educational Theatre Association based in Cincinatti, OH, has been the most-produced musical among American high schools for the past two years.
   The high school's production is Thursday, March 8, through Sat., March 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Southwell Auditorium. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for students 12 to 18, students 11 and under are free. There is a matin‚e performance on Sunday, March 11, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door 45 minutes before each performance.