‘Godspell’ cast members including, from right, Travis Westbrook, Jordyn Kess and Hayden Hotchkiss rehearse for the McLeod Summer Playhouse production, June 23-26, at the McLeod Theater on the SIU Carbondale campus. (Photo by Russell Bailey)

June 17, 2022

‘Godspell’ is coming to SIU’s McLeod Summer Playhouse, June 23-26

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Step back in time when the McLeod Summer Playhouse presents the rock musical “Godspell” at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s McLeod Theater.

Structured through a series of parables and stories from the Gospel of Saint Matthew, the show features music with lyrics of traditional hymns in a modern setting. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. June 23-25, with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 26. The theater is in the Communications Building, 1100 Lincoln Drive, on the SIU campus.

The critically acclaimed musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by John-Michael Tebelak, was first performed by Carnegie Mellon University theater students in 1970 before open on Broadway in 1971. It made its Broadway debut five years later.

The 2022 performance at SIU Carbondale features 11 current students or alumni of SIU Carbondale.

C. Rion Towery, who recently completed his Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre, said he was honored to direct and choreograph the production, the first musical production for McLeod Summer Playhouse in two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.

“My take on ‘Godspell’ centers on a group of outcast misfits who, drawn to the charismatic teachings of a character named Jesus, end up following him on a whimsical, wacky journey,” Towery said. “During this journey, these so-called ‘undesirables’ form an unexpected community that together discovers the beauty of mutual compassion and goodwill.”

The music for the show is under the direction of Jackson Love, a music theory/composition graduate student from Huntsville, Alabama.

The cast, by hometown, are:


Beecher: Lucas Reilly, sophomore, musical theater.

Carterville: Travis Westbrook, SIU Theater Graduate.

Chicago: Jordyn Kess, graduate in musical theater from the SIU.

Marion: Nate Sanders, sophomore, musical theater.

Herrin: Mitchell Brandon, sophomore, musical theater.


Orlando: Gillian Corpuz, junior, musical theatre.


Highland: Amethyst Fanning, senior, musical theatre.


Bay City: Aubree Jean, senior, musical theatre.


St. Louis: Abby Ohlau, sophomore, musical theatre.


Nashville: Sydney Adkison, Freshman, Musical Theater.


Menomonie: Hayden Hotchkiss, second year, musical theatre.

Tickets available now

Additional show and ticket information is available at playhouse.siu.edu or 618-453-6000 or the Saluki box office at 877-SALUKIS (725-8547)

Single tickets or subscriptions that include the All-Southern High School Theater Production of “Grease,” presented by Artspace 304, July 28-31 are available

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