In an interview with Director Leslie Biesbrouck this week, she said in spite of some public negativity, rehearsals are going well for Guilford Highs upcoming production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
She reiterated that her cast consists of some of the most talented kids she has ever worked with. A rumor that the show will be picketed is causing some discomfort. Biesbrouck feels the students should not be subjected to this when the ultimate decision to mount the play was hers. The principal is upping security at the school, and the show goes on.
Everyone involved is puzzled by the uproar. Originally staged in the 70s, the initial production received some negative responses, but since then has played all over the world and most recently in revivals on Broadway, and last April in Chicago with no public outcries! Puzzled over the local response, we wondered if the rock music was a factor, but Christian Rock has become a popular genre for many teen-agers.
One student in particular has been targeted for his role as Jesus, accused of being blasphemous. A bright young man, his response was, If I am blasphemous, then was the actor who played Jesus in Passion of the Christ also a blasphemer? The response: That was different.
Interestingly, auditions are currently being held by Mike Webb at Rock Valley College for Starlight Theatres Summer Season. Guess whats playing?… Jesus Christ Superstar. Biesbrouck has already auditioned, hoping for a role.
As our conversation ended, we both agreed that the arts are essential to student achievement. Results of scores in, of all places, Texas, verify the fact. More to follow…
Guilfords production of Jesus Christ Superstar is set for April 13-16.
From the March 30-April 5, 2005 issue