I’m Andy Sutton, the stage manager for Godspell. My theatrical endeavors began in 1998 with a couple of roles on the Ankeny Community Theater stage: first as Nikki Crandall in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, and then as Myrtle Mae in Harvey. Shortly afterward, I moved to the Big Apple to study acting at the New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts (formerly the School for Film and Television). Despite my love for drama, I developed a disdain for business side and chose instead to pursue degrees in English and teaching at Adelphi University on Long Island. I’ve been an English teacher and assistant drama director at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines for five years now, and have directed and assisted in a variety of shows, most recently Twelfth Night and Animal Farm. I was thrilled to learn my church community was putting on Godspell and jumped (perhaps a little too enthusiastically, if you ask my husband) at the opportunity to be a part of the experience.
We are now six weeks into the rehearsal process. It is exciting to sit back and watch the actors grow into their roles. While there’s obviously more work to be done (we are after all only half way there!), the dancing, singing, dialogue, and personalities are gelling quite well. Jeff quickly molded himself as the kind of Jesus you can casually hang out with and crack punny jokes. Sebastian is working diligently to manage complicated dance steps with wordy lyrics. And every night, we all sit back and watch, hoping John the Baptist doesn’t completely lose his head.
See if you can figure that one out when you see the show! The whole cast works well together, helping each other out with which side of the stage they should really be on for the drill sergeant choreography, boosting up each other’s facial expressions while reacting to each of the lessons, and general good-natured encouragement.
I’ve been working closely with Anna Sunstrom, our costume designer, to create the extras that help bring the characters to life. It’s been exciting to catch the ideas that come bubbling up as we watch the rehearsals! In addition to dressing the cast, we’re looking for a few items to dress the stage. If you have 5 gallon buckets or large cardboard boxes you’d like to donate to the show, we’d love to have ‘em. Items can be dropped off at New Hope United Methodist Church, Monday –Friday between 9am and 3pm. Please call ahead first: (515)-278-2097.
In the blogs to come, two of the cast will be highlighted each week sharing their favorite moments and growing excitement for the upcoming performances. Keep checking back!