Catholicism Made Entertaining

By Chelsea Markle

Derrick Whiten, playing Jesus, addresses his "children" about being selfless. (Photo by Deanna Misho.)

Kiski Area High School performed “Godspell” during this spring’s musical season.

“Godspell” is a musical based on the teachings of Jesus Christ with a rock and roll vibe to it. With Robert Capana directing, Kiski put on an amazing production.

The first scene opened with the entire cast in a large circle surrounding the audience using their cell phones. At first, you could see some curiosity in the audience’s eyes. Then David Hampshire, a junior at Kiski Area who played Judas, came down the aisle singing the ever popular hit, “Prepare Ye”, sending chills down the audience’s spines.

“This show was not about the teachings of Jesus as much as it was about the community that he built,” Hampshire said.
The entire show was a burst of color and enlightenment. The set remained the same through the entire show, and the cast members went by their own personal names.

Zac Steele, an alumnus of Kiski Area and a veteran of their musicals, attended the production.
“It was very easy to follow along with, and made it fun to learn about Catholicism,” Steele said.

Senior Derrick Whiten, playing Jesus, stole the show. This was Whiten’s first time being in a musical for Kiski, and his first time in a leading role. Although Whiten said he was “extremely nervous to fill such big shoes,” he took the stage like a professional.

When Whiten was no more than a year old, he played the part of baby Jesus in his church reenacted the nativity scene.

“It is very ironic,” Whiten said.

Robert Capana made many cultural changes to the script that really spoke to the audience. He put in small excerpts that referenced people like Justin Bieber and Charlie Sheen making it easier for the audience to relate to what Jesus was teaching.

The second act took a more serious turn when the cast and crew demonstrated the event of Jesus being crucified.
“It was hard to portray a traitor,” Hampshire said. “I felt bad because Derrick is my friend,”

It was very obvious that the cast and crew worked extremely hard to make this production so successful. It was even more obvious that they had a great time doing it. “I am definitely going to miss working with everyone every day,” Whiten said as he reflected on graduating in June. “I wish I would have participated in the musical the other three years, honestly.”

Shockingly enough, a musical about the teachings of Jesus Christ and the community he built was not one that put you to sleep. The audience was interacted with during the entire show, and the music was so upbeat that it was impossible to not be in a good mood.

Although Jesus and Judas were the main “characters” in the show, the talent shown by the entire cast and crew was show stopping.


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