Godspell JR.
Prepare ye for the timeless tale of friendship, loyalty and love based on the Broadway musical that inspired a generation.
Godspell Jr. is not available to license in Canada through MTI
Show Essentials
12
Roles
+ Ensemble
G
Rated
1
Act

Full Synopsis

The story begins with Jesus declaring himself as God and King, in whom there is no beginning and no end. John the Baptist enters and sings "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord." John the Baptist baptizes the company. When Jesus wishes to be baptized, John kneels and wishes to be baptized by him instead. Jesus brings John back to his feet and tells him that he is here to save mankind in the song, "Save the People."

The company returns in clown costumes and begins to put clown makeup on their faces. Jesus assures them that he has come, not to abolish the law of the prophets, but to complete it. While the company moves like stylized marionettes, Jesus informs them that those who keep to the law of God will earn the highest place in heaven. To illustrate this, he tells the story of the widow and the judge. The story shows that God is a good judge who will vindicate those who cry out to him day and night.

Jesus preaches the law of offering gifts at the altar before God as the company mimes making offerings. Then, as they all clap in rhythm, they act out the story of a Master whose servant owed him debt. The servant asked for the Master's pity, and the Master remitted the debt. However, the servant was owed a debt by another and, when he did not show the same pity that he had been shown, the Master condemned the servant to prison until the debt was paid. Jesus tells the company that the moral of the story is that one must forgive as God forgives. If one does not forgive, then God will condemn one to prison.

One of the company members sings "Day by Day," which is a prayer for clear vision. The company joins into the song. The company then does a pantomime of the Good Samaritan story for Jesus, who then tells them to love their enemies and not to make a show of religion. If good deeds are done in secret, the reward will come from God.

One of the company members sings "Learn Your Lessons Well," in which he warns of eternal doom if one does not learn the laws of God. Jesus tells the company that no one can be devoted to two masters, and that no man can serve God and money. One of the company members tells a story of a man who spends his life accumulating things, but dies before he can enjoy it. She then sings "O, Bless the Lord, My Soul," in which she praises a patient and wise God. Jesus bids the company to put away thoughts of material things and anxieties about tomorrow.

The company recites the beatitudes ("Blessed are the poor in spirit," etc.) and Jesus answers them in a call-and-response manner. However, Judas recites the final beatitude about persecution, directing it at Jesus. The company freezes with fear, thinking about events to come. However, Jesus quickly changes the subject and sings "All for the Best," through which he assures everyone that, even if life is bad, their reward will be in Heaven. Judas sings a verse of the song as well, and he and Jesus perform a soft shoe dance. The company joins their singing.

After the song ends, Jesus coaxes the shyest child to tell them all the parable of the sower and the seeds, which represent the word of God. To further illustrate the parable, one company member sings "All Good Gifts."

Jesus tells of a time when he will sit in glory and divide men into two groups like a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. His righteous sheep will enter Heaven while the cursed goats will face eternal fire. The goats beg for mercy and sing "We Beseech Thee." The company then acts out the story of the prodigal son. They sing "Light of the World," a song which encourages everyone to be shining beacons in the world. Jesus stops them, telling them that all that has gone before was in preparation — their real work begins now. As he turns away, one of the girls steps forward and sings "Beautiful City," voicing the realization that a new community has been formed by their coming together. When the song is over, Jesus announces that one of the company will betray him, and tells Judas to do what he has to do quickly. Judas runs off. Then, in a recreation of the last supper, Jesus gives the company bread and wine and announces that it is his body and blood; they will all eat and drink together again in the kingdom of God. Jesus bids farewell to his followers and prays in the garden. Judas returns and embraces Jesus, who is then crucified on the fence upstage while the company climbs the fence and wails.

In the "Finale," Jesus sings as he dies, and then all movement stops. The company removes Jesus from the fence and carries him off as they sing "Long Live God" in counter melody with "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord". Afterwards, the company reprises "Day By Day" as they take their bows.

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible Cast Size
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Jesus
Jesus is a natural-born teacher. Cast a performer who is a good singer and is comfortable taking on a leadership position without being bossy or judgmental. Jesus experiences a full array of emotions during the show, so you want to find a solid actor who can convincingly perform this range.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: D4
Judas/John the Babtist

One performer plays both of these roles, which is quite a challenge. This actor must be charismatic in the opening, headstrong and comical in the middle of the show, and eventually turn on Jesus at the end. All of this while being a great singer, too. You will definitely want to cast one of your strongest singers and actors in this role. Be creative. There is no reason Judas/John the Baptist can't be performed by a girl.

Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Day By Day
This song doesn't have a large vocal range, but it has great power and weight at the start and then livens up to a great celebratory number. Cast a singer who has the right vocal range, as well as the vocal control to lead the song from beginning to end.
Gender: any
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: C4
Learn Your Lessons Well Solo 1

The key to patter songs is to find singers who are great enunciators and engaging storytellers. It is less about the melody and more about the lyrics. 

Gender: any
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Learn Your Lessons Well Solo 2

The key to patter songs is to find singers who are great enunciators and engaging storytellers. It is less about the melody and more about the lyrics. 

Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: G3
O, Bless The Lord, My Soul
Pull out your big guns for this song. Cast a great musician with both vocal control and power.
Gender: any
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: B3
All Good Gifts
This heartfelt ballad sounds best when sung by someone who not only has a beautiful voice, but also can express honest, simple emotions while they are singing.
Gender: any
Vocal range top: F#5
Vocal range bottom: B3
We Beseech Thee
This high-energy number can almost be spoken if you don't have a great singer. It's the perfect song for the fun-loving class clown who enjoys performing but might not hit every note. Add a slight southern accent to liven the number up even more.
Gender: any
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: D4
Light Of The World
Here's another song that can be spoken in rhythm. Cast fearless performers who are not afraid to interact with the audience.
Gender: any
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Beautiful City
Look for a singer who can bring everyone together and deliver the message of the show in this beautiful, sincere song.
Gender: any
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Narrators
There are a whole multitude of Narrators throughout the show. Cast students with loud, clear voices who are comfortable being in front of an audience and telling a story.
Gender: any
Ensemble
These cast members are the heart of Godspell JR. They will enact all of the parables and eventually become a community led by Jesus. Find actors and singers who are willing to try anything and enjoy playing.
Gender: any
Full Song List
Godspell JR.: Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord
Godspell JR.: Save the People
Godspell JR.: Day By Day
Godspell JR.: Learn Your Lessons Well
Godspell JR.: O Bless the Lord, My Soul
Godspell JR.: All for the Best
Godspell JR.: All Good Gifts
Godspell JR.: We Beseech Thee
Godspell JR.: Light of the World
Godspell JR.: Beautiful City
Godspell JR.: Finale
Godspell JR.: Bows

Connect

Curriculum Connection

  • Parables
  • Storytelling
  • Communication
  • Religion
  • Tolerance
  • Biblical History

Billing

Based on "The Gospel According to St. Matthew."

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.

Author Billing – Godspell JR.

In accordance with the Dramatic Performing Rights License, all advertising, such as posters and program covers, must include the show logo as provided in the ShowKit® Director's Guide and all of the following author billing.

It is a violation of your contract if you crop or edit this logo in any way.

The [Licensee]
Production of
Conceived and Originally Directed by
John-Michael Tebelak
 
Music and New Lyrics by
Stephen Schwartz
 
Originally Produced on the New York Stage by
Edgar Lansbury   Stuart Duncan   Joseph Beruh
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included

Production Resources

Resource
ACTOR'S BOOK TENPACK
CUSTOMIZABLE SHOW POSTERS
FAMILY MATTERS
FAMILY MATTERS (PACK OF 10)
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT SMALL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT X-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT XX-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD SMALL
PRODUCTIONPRO
STUDENT REHEARSAL CD
VIRTUAL STAGE MANAGER