Godspell (2012 Revised Version) - August 04 - August 08, 2020

Little Falls Summer Musical

  Producer's Note  

A Perfect Show for this Moment in Time


I don’t believe in fate or destiny. I try not to indulge in metaphysical thinking. But I can’t help but feel that the show you are about to watch was destined to happen.


First, the directing team selected Godspell for our 2020 show months before the year began. We reserved our license with Music Theatre International (MTI) last fall. We spent the winter preparing for what looked like a relatively straightforward production that would be sure to attract a good audience at the Charles D. Martin Auditorium. Everything seemed like smooth sailing – until COVID-19 struck.


Most of the people involved with LF Summer Musical understandably assumed we would have to cancel the show, given that virtually every live theatre production in the country was being canceled. But in April 2020, when we had to decide whether to throw in the towel or get cracking, we realized that we still had options for moving forward – and many of those options were made possible by the selection of Godspell as our show for 2020.


For one thing, Godspell has a relatively small cast and virtually no stage requirements. It’s the most freeform Broadway show imaginable, and easily could be adapted to an outdoor setting. Indeed, the 1979 movie version was filmed outdoors.


But more importantly, the theme of Godspell focuses on how people come together to form a loving community. Godspell’s writer Stephen Schwartz emphasizes that if a Godspell show fails to convey this theme, then it has failed to realize the writer’s vision and purpose for the show.


On the surface, Godspell seems to be simply a quirky and modernized retelling of the Book of Matthew from the Bible’s new testament. But what becomes clear in producing and performing the show is that Godspell dives deeply into some serious questions, such as: How can strangers learn to love each other? When people in a community have radically different viewpoints, how can they come together around common values and goals? And when injuries and assaults threaten everything that community is supposed to represent, how can that community survive?


Godspell provided the opportunity to explore those themes with our community here in Central Minnesota just as it faces deeper divisions than ever before – and when coming together in mutual respect and support is more important than ever before. We could think of no more appropriate show to produce during this global pandemic.


Additionally, when George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in late May, we were just launching our video audition process. While we awaited actors’ submissions to determine whether sufficient talent would come out make the show happen, we – along with many other Minnesotans – took a long, hard look at ourselves in the mirror, and faced our own inequities.

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