For Your Godspell Productions
Notes For Performers and Directors
See also the full Godspell page for sheet music, CDs, etc.
For the rights to perform Godspell in your school, church, theatre group, or other setting, contact one of these two agencies. For a licensing fee, they will provide the script, score, and support materials.
1) Music Theatre International Godspell Licensing
Not only does Godspell have two licensing agencies, but MTI has two separate versions of the show — the traditional and the 2012 revised version that was recently performed on Broadway. Each has its own script. Visit the MTI website for a detailed description and ordering information for your Godspell production.
MTI provides supportive resource materials for Godspell that include "RehearScore" - propriety sequencing software for Windows and Mac that supports the rehearsal process with show music. It allows a music director to point-and-click to transpose keys, conduct dance or choral rehearsals at varying tempos and parts, separate parts for rehearsal in Karaoke style, and more. MTI also makes available a stage manager's script that can be personalized with your own production notes even though it is part of the rented materials, and "transpositions on demand" for adjusting the music to virtually any key resulting in an easy-to-read computer print out.
2) Theatre Maximus Godspell Licensing
Theatre Maximus has licensed Godspell since 1972. They send out the materials three months in advance and do not require a deposit. The package includes 12 libretti with chorus, bass drum and quitar, 2 piano scores, production book, beautiful city, and the permission to use the original Godspell logo. They also license the Spanish version of the Godspell script.
Theatre Maximus, 1650 Broadway Suite 601, New York, NY 10019, 212-765-5913. Theatre Maximus (link opens a new browser window). Contact them for details on their offering in English and Spanish.
by Carol de Giere; Foreword by Godspell composer Stephen Schwartz!
“Any director, amateur or professional, who is considering helming a production of Godspell should read this book as it gets to the heart of the creators’ intentions.” -- The Examiner
This book includes show history, a chapter for each song with fascinating comments, 90 photos, comments on the show's meaning from original cast members, and much more. 384 pages!
VISIT The Godspell Experience or order the book directly from Amazon.com: The Godspell Experience: Inside a Transformative Musical
Stephen Nathan, who played Jesus in the original New York production of Godspell at Cherry Lane, had been a fan of magic for many years. He knew that a few magic tricks could make a show seem more entertaining. He brought in props from his own collection, and many of them are suggested in the script.
Godspell props: Appearing flowers, Color changing scarves, Appearing Cane, Streamers
Appearing Bouquet MAGIC APPEARING BOUQUET or APPEARING FLOWER MAGIC TRICK sometimes used by the actor playing Jesus after speaking the lines: "Consider the lilies of the field. They don't work, they don't spin, and yet I tell you, Solomon in all his splendor was not attired like one of these."
Magic Color-Changing Hanky - Easy Magic Trick with Silks Actors playing Jesus sometimes use this during the phrase "…don't let your right hand know…what your left hand is doing."
Get ready for "All for the Best" soft-shoe dance. Find "Appearing Cane" or other illisions on Amazon.com: Appearing Cane
In productions of Godspell, Jesus and Judas often use the magic trick of the appearing cane and then dance with the cane in the part of the song. You can see an example of this on a Youtube version of the song sun by original cast members Stephen Nathan and David Haskell about 20 or 30 years after their first performance. All for the Best - Opens in a new browser window
Colored streamers for "Bless the Lord" Ribbon Wand Set, 3 Feet to 6 feet
In the original production of Godspell, JOANNE sang from a platform as the other cast members picked up long ribbon streamers and began to twirl them, rhythmic gymnastics style. At the end the streamers were tossed into the air.
In the original production, the actor playing Jesus wore a Superman tshirt such as like this one: SUPERMAN "CLASSIC SHIELD" Long Sleeves Royal Blue Licensed Tee and rainbow suspenders Contractor Series 2" Wide Colorful Suspenders (Rainbow)
"...The point of the costumes in GODSPELL, whatever their style, should be that these eight people are replacing their daily clothes with something hastily put together which sets them apart from society and becomes an outward manifestation of their decision to follow the Jesus character. In the original production, the characters were never intended to be hippies, but rather to have chosen to put on bright, more colorful and slapdash raiment to match the sort of "contemporary clown" look that Jesus had....." -- Stephen Schwartz notes from his discussion forum.
Special Instruments for Godspell
Shofar - The Shofar is blown at the introduction to "Prepare ye the Way of the Lord." The shofar was traditionally used to announce holidays and at other times. Natural Ram Horn Shofar
Sing The Broadway Musical Godspell (2-Disc Karaoke CDG) - This is probably the fanciest version. Practice with Godspell Karaoke - background music for performers. Here is the company's blurb about it: "Our accompaniment/karaoke CD of songs from Godspell features 32 tracks. Tracks 1-16 contain the background tracks and guide vocals; tracks 17-32 contain the accompaniment tracks alone. This album is a re-recording in the original show key and show tempo."
The Broadway Box- 80 Songs From 51 Shows. Here's a 5-CDG box set that contains 80 classic songs. Includes songs from Pippin and Godspell - 51 top shows in all. Great gift item
Gifts and Games Ideas for Godspell Casts, Directors...
1) Copies of The Godspell Experience or Defying Gravity, the Stephen Schwartz biography, unsigned or signed by Stephen Schwartz. Defying Gravity - Schwartz biography signed copies
2) Now there's a board game for theatre geeks.
Current Productions of Godspell - Show Schedule
Yes, Godspell is on DVD as a movie but the movie has a whole different feel than the stage production. So you want to see it LIVE. Check two places: One is on the Godspell pages at MTI. Look for the blue tab that says "Upcoming" - click on that to find dozens of productions. Another licensing agency also has productions, and those will be listed on StephenSchwartz.com's show schedule.
Vocal Ranges for Godspell roles
According to the frequently asked questions post on Musicals.net Godspell forum they are as follows:
What are the singing ranges of the characters?
Jesus - Tenor High G#
WHO SINGS WHAT - The whole troupe joins in for most songs, but lead singers as as follows:
Prologue/Tower of Babel: All
Auditioning for Godspell
Auditioning for GODSPELL?
See Vocal Ranges info below and
Question: "I need to prepare 2 contrasting songs from a musical of a similar style to 'godspell'"
Answer from Stephen Schwartz: "I would think any pop song that shows off your voice would be a good choice. If you must do something from a musical (and I don't know why that would be necessary), it seems obvious you should choose something from one of the more pop-oriented scores, of which there are several: for instance, RENT; TICK, TICK, BOOM; AIDA; LION KING; JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR etc.; all the way back to THE ME NOBODY KNOWS. But as I say, unless the people doing the show are insisting on a theatre song, any rangy pop song ought to do. Good luck! Sincerely, Stephen Schwartz"
Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on Stephen Schwartz's official site. He answers these questions:
Schwartz FAQs . Also see the Godspell forum archives PDF file for Godspell Directors. The Godspell files in the archives also answer questions like How much of the script can you change? www.stephenschwartz.com/forum/the-forum-archive/
Inspired answers to some of the questions in the Music Theatre International Study Guide for Godspell
LOGO AND SHOW DESCRIPTION NOTE:(From Music Theatre International's description. Logo and description used with permission. Copyright by Music Theatre International. All rights reserved. MTIShows.com)