Friday, July 20, 2012

Actor-Musician GODSPELL Coming to Chicago Fall 2012

The Brown Paper Box Co. will bring to Chicago a one-of-a-kind modern interpretation of Stephen Schwartz and John Michael Tebelak's GODSPELL. Using actor-musicians, this beloved musical brings the Book of Matthew to life in an intimate space: all performances will take place at Collaboraction Studio 300 in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 North Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622. Information can be found at Tickets to go on sale in late August.

Based on the Gospel According to Matthew, GODSPELL - with a score by Academy and Grammy Award-winner and six-time Tony Award-nominee Stephen Schwartz (WICKED, PIPPIN) and book by John-Michael Tebelak - uses improvisation and contemporary themes to illustrate a message of kindness, community, and hope that still resonates today. From the night it premiered on May 13, 1971, GODSPELL electrified audiences with such instantly recognizable hits as "Day by Day," "Learn Your Lessons Well," "Turn Back, O Man," "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord," and "Light of the World."

"We're setting our production in a mystical library study room," says director and designer M. William Panek (TO TREE, REEFER MADNESS! THE MUSICAL). "We meet our 10 characters in the midst of writing a term paper. While the ins and outs aren't completely fleshed out yet (specifics will come once rehearsals begin), the ensemble joins together as a community to tell the story of Jesus through music, emotional openness, and collaborative storytelling."

Don't expect juggling, clowns, or out-dated references in The Brown Paper Box Co.'s production of GODSPELL. Panek and his design team (including long-time musical director and collaborator Katie Colby) promise a one-of-kind rendition of this classic musical you'll only experience in Chicago. Panek declares, "We're treating this classic as a play with music. Be prepared to see and hear GODSPELL in a way you never have before."

The cast of 10 actor-musicians includes T.J. Anderson, Jeanne T. Arrigo, Megan Ensley, Veronica Garza, Michelle Limon, Andrew Lund, Jake Mahler, Pavi Proczko, Stephanie Rohr, and Nick Shoda

The production staff is composed of: M. William Panek* (Director & Set Design); Katie Colby* (Musical Direction); Daniel Spagnuolo (Choreographer); Eric Phillips (Lighting Design); Ian James Anthony* (Properties Master); Anna Schutz* (Production and Stage Manager); Michelle Kritselis* (Dramaturg); Patrick J. Butterfield* (Casting Associate); and Charlie Sheets* (Graphic Designer).

Founded in 2010 and based in Chicago, The Brown Paper Box Co. creates thought-provoking and accessible theatrical experiences without the glitz of overproduction. This scaled-down approach allows our artists to deliver an elevated focus on the text.

*denotes members of The Brown Paper Box Co.

Read the article here.

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