In our re-imagining of this classic story, we have set our production in the 1990’s at the forefront of the grunge music scene in Seattle. The 1990’s and the grunge music scene were instrumental in changing culture, and pushed boundaries of gender equality and cultural norms. This “third wave” of feminism was spearheaded in majority by the women born to the “second wave” of feminists who grew up in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.
The original “Godspell” was conceived and performed in 1971, at a time when peace and love and community became paramount in the face of the Vietnam war, civil rights, and the birth of rock and roll were driving culture, hippies were vogue, and Jesus emerged on the scene in both “Godspell” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” as a peaceful, loving leader who would save the people from this despair. Twenty years later, we experience the 1990’s, with the first war to hit the Gen Xers and our culture experiencing a new wave of change. Within it, an awareness of fighting to protect our freedoms, leadership by women coming of age in this era and entering professional workforces, the advent of a new music scene which spoke of anger, sadness, depression. It was a time before modern technology drove us all into the smaller world of our phones and social media.
In contrast to the original story of Jesus and Judas, our production envisions God sending his daughter, Jess, to spread a new message of hope, forgiveness, love and community to a group of people gathered in a famous Seattle bar in the early 90’s. In our production her closest friend and follower, Judy, betrays her and completes the story of crucifixion, and inevitably the death of humanity’s ability to stay united, stay on the path of love and forgiveness. We re-tell this ancient story in a contemporary setting, in our immersive theatrical space which by its nature engenders a feeling of community, and to inspire our audiences to push the boundaries of their own imaginations of this message, gender leadership possibilities, and their personal participation in leading their own small communities to choose acceptance, forgiveness, love and hope.