The St. Charles Drama Department will present its spring musical, "Godspell," at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 1-3, and 3 and 8 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at the campus theatre, 2010 E. Broad St.

The St. Charles Drama Department will present its spring musical, "Godspell," at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 1-3, and 3 and 8 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at the campus theatre, 2010 E. Broad St.

"Godspell," an archaic spelling of the word gospel, is a 1970 musical by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak and is a celebration of the Gospel According to St. Matthew, said Doug Montgomery, St. Charles drama director.

In 1980, the musical became a "signature piece" for the school, Montgomery said.

"Being a Catholic school, it's a favorite," he said. "We do it about every four years; every (theatre) group that goes through St. Charles gets a chance to do it."

Montgomery said he never tires of the play because Tebelak encouraged people to update and personalize performances.

"The lesson of the probable remains, but how you enact and decide to reflect the modern world changes," Montgomery said. "We are creative about updating the parables making them parallel to the current world."

For example, the parable of the widow and the unjust judge that teaches about being persistent in faith has been updated to "The Apprentice's" Amorosa as the widow and Donald Trump as the judge, said Beth Ellson, a senior from Upper Arlington who sings "O Bless the Lord" in the play.

"We want it to relate to our peers," Ellson said. "We understand parables when they're in our language."

St. Charles senior Christopher Haas, who sings "All Good Gifts," said an important message of the play is that people need to develop good relationships with each other.

"The song is a reflection of what Jesus has given us, especially one another," Haas said.

St. Charles senior John Connor, who plays Jesus, said the play emphasizes how Christ was there for all people.

"In the Gospels he shows himself a part of the group rather than above it," Connor said. "The group dynamic is an important part -- the audience, cast and Jesus are all relating to one another. Jesus was not condescending."

Montgomery said that musicals allow actors to "stretch," because moving from dialogue to singing can be difficult.

"You're looking for talented people (when doing a musical)," Montgomery said. "We start with breaking down what's being said in the song -- reading through the lyrics, determining what it means before we get to the singing. It's about the message you're trying to convey; you're playing an intention and a message you want to get across."

Adult tickets are $10, students $5. For reservations, call the school at (614) 252-6714 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

bbutcher@thisweeknews.com