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‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ hits the stage

Aggies take the spotlight in popular musical

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014

Updated: Friday, January 17, 2014 13:01

Jesus

Shelby Knowles

Zach Reeves, who plays Jesus Christ, sound-checks during dress rehearsal for “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Jesus

Shelby Knowles

Randy Wilson, theater company artistic director, leads dress rehearsal.

For some, musicals may provide the gateway to catharsis and the medium for escape. For others, the dreams of acting and performing are made real by the opportunity to create that escape for an audience.

Aggies looking for their place in the audience or on the stage can find a seat or a spotlight at The Theatre Company of Bryan-College Station’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera, “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Randy Wilson, the artistic director for The Theatre Company, said he has played both Jesus and Pontius Pilate in previous productions of the musical, which depicts the last days that Jesus spent with his disciples. Wilson said he utilizes his former explorations of these characters to enhance his vision as a director.

“Like the movie ‘Passion,’ you really see what Christ went through,” Wilson said. “This is written as if the audience was there and watching.”

Both current and former students make up portions of the cast, including Jonathan Moore, junior electrical engineering major. Moore, who plays Pontius Pilate, said he has taken up activities such as musical theater and massage therapy in order to stay balanced and motivated in life. With the stress of engineering courses weighing down his academic life, Moore said he finds that a low-stress outlet, like musical theater, is good for him.

“Don’t be afraid to say yes to the things you are afraid of,” he said. “Especially with community theater. What is there to lose?”

Keith Owen, sophomore kinesiology major, is a member of the production’s chorus. He said the wide diversity of cast member helps keep the environment enjoyable.

“There is a great mix of people here,” Owen said. “You have people focused on musical theater as well as people who just enjoy what they do on the side.”

Derrick Lee, Class of 2012, plays Judas in the production. When asked for advice to give Aggies in regards to acting, he said to “just go for it and put all your heart and soul into it.”

Lee said being surrounded by actors has helped him hone his craft, and that it is vital to learn as much as possible from those surrounding you.

“I learned over the years from other people just by watching,” Lee said. “If you have the passion and drive, you will get better.”

Jesus Christ Superstar will be playing at The Theatre Company this weekend at 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. 

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