COLDWATER – Dancing across the stage with messages of kindness, community and love, Tibbits Summer Theatre continues its 59th consecutive season with “Godspell,” opening on June 30.
In this energetic and vibrant musical, a small group playfully brings the parables of Jesus to life through a variety of games, storytelling techniques and hefty doses of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville includes “Day by Day,” “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” “All Good Gifts” and “Turn Back, O Man.”
Director Chad Tallon says, “In today’s world, what can often be lost is the fact that each of us must rely on each other to become the best versions of ourselves. No matter what our background is, the community we build is what continues to move us forward. It is this building of community and love that resonates so deeply within the story of Godspell.”
He continues, “While this story is taken from parables in the Bible, it is the need for a strong, compassionate, and loving community of any shape, color, or background that resonates with everyone. Godspell is, at its core, the most feel-good of musicals that delights audiences based on the bonds that are built between actors and the audience. We are nothing without each other and we all continue to strive to make each other better. THAT is Godspell. THAT is the story we are thrilled to tell at Tibbits.”
With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (known for “Wicked,” “Pippen” and “Children of Eden”) and book by John Michael Tebelak, “Godspell” is directed by Tallon with musical direction by Lori Hatfield and choreography by Liz Davis and Dennis Dizon. The show features Tibbits Summer Theatre veterans Jack Hopewell, Liz Davis and Nile Birch, along with newcomers Gianna Branca, Dennis Dizon, Ruben Fernandez, Dominic Green, Rachel Schoenecker, and Kate Turner. Rachel Sarles will serve as a swing actor. The design staff features Aaron Bell as set designer and technical director, Kate Koskinen as costume designer, Jamie Gresens as lighting designer, props by Maddy Byrnes, Josh Rockwell as sound designer and Ariel Sheets as production stage manager.
Long-time supporter Parrish Excavating sponsors “Godspell.” Parrish Excavating has been around since 1972 digging holes, trucking topsoil, fixing roads, adding to the water lines and sewer mains, building septic systems, rehabilitating driveways, building new lawns and fixing old ones, building new apartment complexes and subdivisions, and developing land for new manufacturing and commercial entities.
Parish Excavating owner Brad Parrish says, “We are thankful to live in a community that trusts us and calls on us and uses us to supply these various needs. And we are thankful for the men and women who make up our team of service professionals. Without this team we don’t amount to much outside of a bunch of iron and engines, but with them we do some amazing work. That’s much like the Tibbits. From the theater’s management team to the professionals that bring us the shows, they do amazing work. We are all tremendously blessed to have such a rich cultural icon here in Coldwater.”
Tickets for “Godspell” range from $15-36 including fees. Discounts are available for Tibbits members, groups and students. Performances run June 30, July 1, 7, 8 and 9 at 7:30pm with matinees on June 30, July 3 and 6. Tickets are available online at Tibbits.org, at the Tibbits Admin Office at 93 W. Chicago Street 9 am to 5 pm weekdays, by calling 517-278-6029, or at the box office in the theatre one hour prior to all performances. All tickets are charged a facility/ticketing fee whether in person or not; there are no additional fees for ordering online.
Tibbits also receives grant funding from the Michigan Arts & Culture Council as well as the National Endowment for the Arts.
To add to the Tibbits experience, Tibbits Ghost Light Bar in the theatre’s lower-level art gallery is open before the show and at intermission. Patrons are also invited to view the rotating art gallery exhibits or the historic exhibit displays throughout the theatre.
All performances are held at the beautiful historic Tibbits Opera House, 14 S. Hanchett Street, in Coldwater. For more information call or visit Tibbits.org.