TUPELO It’s a tale of friendship, betrayal, loyalty and love.

Part of Music Theatre International’s Broadway Junior Series, “Godspell Junior” is a revised script of the Broadway classic “Godspell” performed by a younger cast.

This inspirational musical will be performed this week when the Tupelo Community Theatre presents its Summer Youth Theatre production of “Godspell Junior.”

The musical is structured as a series of parables that are primarily based on the Gospel of Matthew. It consists of traditional hymns with the passion of Christ making a brief appearance near the end of the show.

Each of the 11-member cast is a featured soloist during the show as well as taking on multiple roles in the parables.

The Tupelo Community Theatre will present three performances of Godspell Jr. July 15-17 at TCT Off Broadway located at 213 E. Franklin St. When: 7:30 p.m. July 15-16 and 2 p.m. July 17 Ticket prices: $10 for adults; $5 for students and younger.

For more information: (662)-844-1935.

Thomas Roper and Ethan Navarro are playing the two lead roles in “Godspell Jr.” Roper plays the role of Jesus, calling the experience fun and adventurous.

“I am thrilled and blessed to be playing Jesus in the production,” Roper said. “Playing this role has really touched my heart in so many ways... It has been very fun working with everyone in the production.”

Navarro plays both the roles of John the Baptist and Judas. He said he enjoys being able to switch up his acts in the play but takes a special care for his role as Judas.

“The thing I like most about playing John the Baptist/Judas, beside the final scene, is the polar opposite of the two,” Navarro said. “I come out as John with the most energy I can give, and come back five minutes later as Judas with a much more negative energy.

“I don’t think I realized the extent of respect that Judas actually had for Jesus, that there was such a deep regret,” Navarro added. “I knew he committed suicide shortly after he betrayed him, but there was a care for him that I hope I portray decent enough for audiences to enjoy.”

Director Liz Dawson said the musical brings back memories of when she was a child and hearing the story of the impact Jesus had on others.

“The music of Godspell was part of my childhood,” Dawson said. “The songs are inspiring classics that tell the beautiful story of the impact of the teachings of Jesus.

“It is a timeless tale of friendship, loyalty and love based on the Broadway musical that inspired a generation,” Dawson added. “It shares a unique reflection on the life of Jesus through music and engaging vignettes.”

Dawson said she hopes this production will touch the audience by way of spreading more kindness throughout the world.

“Watching them take on the challenges this show presents and excelling in their roles has been exciting to witness,” Dawson said. “I hope our audiences leave with new resolve to rise above all of the chaos in this world and share more love and kindness.”

Cast Members

Thomas Roper (Jesus), Ethan Navarro (John the Baptist/Judas), Hannah Buzzell (Celisse), Brice Stone (George) Caleb Bowers (Jeffrey), Maddie Englert (Joanne), Dawson Tackitt (Lamar), Annelise Fagan (Lindsay), Darby Gentry (Morgan), Anne Frances Atkinson (Robin) and Caleigh Martin (Sonia).

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