Middle School students are known for being athletes, pioneers of project-based learning, and, after their stellar performance of Godspell Jr., great actors.
For the past month, Malvern middle school students and Villa Maria Academy middle school students have been working on Godspell Jr.
The play is about the parables in the Gospel of Matthew, and, for many of the students and faculty, it has been an experience of getting closer to God and learning more about the Bible.
“I think the play served as a nice reminder of the simple yet powerful messages Jesus tries to tell us each day,” Dr. James Fry, who directed Godspell Jr. said.
J.D. Triolo ’20 played Jesus in Godspell Jr. He thought the religious aspect of the play was very important.
“It was interesting playing a religious [figure] because it raised my awareness of the Book of Matthew,” Triolo said.
Another aspect of the musical was collaborating with Villa Maria Academy students. The practices for the musical were weekdays, weekends, and late nights all week leading into the show weekend.
According to Sean Springer ’21, who played Judas and John the Baptist, the rehearsals were a great time to interact with friends from Villa Maria.
“I have a lot of friends from Villa that are in the show, so it was nice to see them every week,” Springer said.
Springer said it was a really interesting experience to act as somebody else.
“It was a really nice opportunity to not be who you are. All of the worries that you have in life go away, because you don’t have to be you. You can be somebody else,” Springer said.
Godspell Jr. was also a big team effort, according to Springer and Joe Lister ’21, who was a member of the ensemble.
“The cast put in a lot of work, and everyone put in a lot of time,” Lister said.
“A big part of [Godspell Jr.] was teamwork, in the way that the cast has to work together as one. They have to know when the cut-offs are, when lines begin, and know their cues,” Springer said.
Stage crew member Noah Buscaglia ’22 and members of the ensemble Chris Krein ’21 and Colin Campbell ’22 all thought the play was a great experience because they got to show their talents.
“It was a great experience for a sixth grader coming to Malvern. It was really nice to know that everyone was supporting you and cheering you on,” Campbell said.
“Malvern Theatre Society gave all students who entered the Duffy Arts Center a chance to let their light shine,” Buscaglia said. “Everyone had a big part in contributing to Malvern’s performances. They always find a way to include everyone.”
“I think the experience has not only helped me grow as an actor, but it has also helped me grow as a person,” Krein said.
Over 20 upper school students from Malvern, Villa, and Notre Dame assisted with the production.
Dr. Fry thought that the actors, actresses, and stage crew members did amazing in the show.
“What I always find interesting is the amount of incredible talent the middle schoolers bring to the stage,” Fry said. “It never ceases to amaze me how gifted and passionate the students are with regards to the arts.”