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Draper Journal

Juan Diego Catholic High students to kick off theater season with “Godspell”

Oct 02, 2017 03:48PM ● By Julie Slama

The cast of “Godspell” rehearse in preparation of performances starting Oct. 26. (Joe Crnich/JDCHS)

Juan Diego Catholic High School’s theater season will take audiences from a royal palace in 14th-century Elsinore, Denmark where young Prince Hamlet learns his mother already has remarried his dead father’s brother, to the retelling of the Gospel of Matthew set in modern-day New York City.

First up for about 20 Juan Diego Catholic High theater students this fall will be to perform “Hamlet” Thursday, Sept. 28 through Saturday, Sept. 30 in the 41st annual junior high and high school Shakespeare competition, hosted by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University in Cedar City.

“‘Hamlet’ is the greatest play ever written and after seeing it in the round, I fell in love with it,” said Juan Diego’s theater director Joe Crnich. “It’s a fascinating play and the kids love performing Shakespeare. They read it this summer and hit the ground running with soliloquys ready to perform the first day of school.”

In addition to performing at the Shakespeare festival, students also will perform it Thursday, March 15 through Saturday, March 18, 2018 at the school, 300 East 11800 South.

Also in the spring, Juan Diego students will perform their one-act piece, “Why the Lord Came to Sand Mountain,” Wednesday, March 21 at the regional competition.

Created by American dramatist Romulus Linney, the short play tells about Jesus and St. Peter looking for a place to spend the night with a family in Kentucky. While they may not approve of the family’s lifestyle, they are warmed by the hospitality and tell their life stories.

“It’s really a funny and moving story that we will also showcase here at the school in early May,” Crnich said. “This season we’re trying to expose our students to more varieties of great literature to perform.”

This season’s shows are amongst the shows Crnich wants students to learn during their four years at the school: Shakespearean pieces, classic American dramas, contemporary pieces and classical musicals.