The Franklin theater production group Source One Five will be presenting Godspell this weekend, and the show’s director is looking forward to showcasing its relevance to today’s world.
“Godspell is a classic, but the writers of the show are so wonderful in giving each director their own artistic freedom and making sure their voices can be heard,” said Rachel Meinhart, who directed and choreographed the show and is one of the founders of Source One Five. “We’ve really been able to put our stamp on it.”
The production company — founded in 2019 by Meinhart, her husband, Conner Meinhart, and Anna Bovi — brings its own take on the 51-year-old musical. The local version of Godspell follows a small group of people as they explore different parables by using a wide variety of storytelling techniques. It blends song and dance, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, as the story of Jesus' life dances across the stage. In this show, Jesus' messages of kindness, tolerance and love come vibrantly to life.
“Our big focus has been on redemption,” Rachel Meinhart said. “We are really focusing on the communities represented and watching them go through these parables and learn their lessons of hope and love and inclusion, which I think is a message that our community could only benefit from right now.
“We’ve turned the show around to become relevant. Even though the words are old, they are relevant to this day. So we’ve been able to make it applicable to every person in the audience, and anyone can enjoy the show and gain from it.”
Meinhart said much of what makes this Godspell production truly special is the creativity of its set designers, Megan Hardgrave and Jordan Twaddle.
“They really put a focus on our location,” she said. “We have done a bombed out art museum that is featuring incredible works from various artists who created art for the oppressed and the broken. And as we move along in our story, they reflect lessons learned from our cast. Visually, it’s stunning and very impactful. It’s very exciting to give that to the audience.”
Musical direction is by Makai Keur.
Performances, which are being held at the Williamson County Performing Arts Center in Franklin, are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Visit here for more information and to purchase tickets.