LOGAN — Southern Coalition for the ARTS will stage two performances of the play “Godspell” Sunday Aug. 9.
This performance of “Godspell” is a tribute to former ARTS board member and cast mate, Jessie Elizabeth Murray who passed away earlier this year.
Rachel Noe-Maynard, artistic director for the ARTS, explained, when the ARTS staged performances of “Godspell” in 2014, it was Murray’s favorite theater moment and Murray pushed for a reunion performance of that production.
“When I asked the cast of our 2014 production of Godspell if they would like to stage a Reunion showing in honor of Jessie, the response was a heartfelt and resounding, ‘Yes.’ Everyone was hurting and missing our Jess and being able to do her favorite show one more time felt like a way to connect with her again and honor her and everything she held dear. She and I had been talking about working in a reunion show in the next year. We are never promised another day and I want to honor her wishes and her memory by doing this show for her,” added Noe-Maynard.
Jamie Butcher, Managing Director for the ARTS described Godspell saying, “The writer does a wonderful job of making the life of Christ more understandable for the youth at the time (1971) and the gospel more accessible to the masses. Jessie was known for two loves: God and Theatre, so Godspell was her favorite theatre experience, and it only seems proper that we do this for her,” Jamie Butcher, Managing Director for the ARTS said.
The ARTS will stage “Godspell” Sunday Aug. 9 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Coalfield Jamboree Theater in Downtown Logan,W.Va.. Tickets will only be available at the Coalfield Jamboree box office on the day of the show, and they will cost $10 for everyone and all money collected will go to fund the Jessie Murray children’s Theatre Camp.
“Jessie had three major loves in life, her Lord and Savior, theater and children. Jessie, as director of education, had pushed the ARTS to create a summer theatre camp, so we want to make sure that we complete this project in her honor,” said Dempsey Butcher.
The camp will be in the summer of 2016. More information on the “Godspell” tribute show or the ARTS can be found at the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/theARTSwv or by calling 304-785-0547.
— Jamie Dempsey Butcher contributed to this article.