The female characters in Jesus Christ Superstar play a key role in supporting the ‘backstory’ of the show. This week’s blogger from our featured New Zealand production gives her perspective… Click the links to read part one and part two of Wellington College’s Jesus Christ Superstar blogs.
My name is Katherine McIndoe, and I am in Year 12 at Wellington Girls’ College. Along with 10 other girls from my school, I was lucky enough to be chosen to join the boys from Wellington College in this year’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Most of the performers, myself included, are fans of the musical. And by ‘fan’ I do mean fanatical. The chance to perform the songs we know so well is one we did not take lightly, and the auditioning process, for most of the girls at least, was almost a matter of life and death. But we made it, and as the loosely defined “Apostles’ wives and Mary” (i.e. the only girls in the musical), we are having a ball.
As our characters aren’t specifically written into the musical, it has been interesting to try to define and shape them ourselves. Our director Mr Savage envisages that the girls form a close-knit group of steadfast friends, who gather round Mary Magdalene and support her when times get tough, somewhat in the manner of the Pink Ladies from Grease (minus the bad attitude and tight jeans).
To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about how important it would be for us to have clearly defined characters – originally, I thought we would be there to flesh out the vocals and join in with the dances. Now, as the date of the production looms nearer, we have begun to see that we, the girls and all the other supporting roles in the production, have to communicate our characters and purpose just as much as the principals do. In the production, much of Jesus’ character is revealed through his interaction with us, his followers, and likewise, Judas’ betrayal only comes about because we, Jesus’ supporters, have begun to treat Jesus as God.
We’ve had to work at fleshing out our characters ourselves – it’s been hard, but we see the value of the process.
There is something slightly intimidating about a large group of boys in their natural habitat, especially when you are one of the small group of girls, albeit keen girls, infiltrating their territory. I could safely say it’s been a learning experience for most of us – none of the boys care what they wear to rehearsal, they leave behind all inhibitions when playing musical statues to “Single Ladies”, and the key we’re in, or rather not in, when we’re singing is merely a detail. But these differences merely make us stronger. As a cast, we’ve definitely got closer, inspired by our wonderful director, and are working together to create a fantastic production.
I can’t wait for the opening night, the culmination of all our hard work; note bashing, uncoordinated dance rehearsals (myself the worst culprit) and all the other goings on. Wish us luck for these last weeks of rehearsal, and come June 21st, I’m sure we’ll all be giving the performance of our lives!
Katherine McIndoe, Year 12
(Above image shows Jo Mcfarlane, Katherine McIndoe, Holly Anglesey, and Gussie Larkin of Wellington Girls College in rehearsal for the Last Supper. Photo: Justin Arthur, Year 13.)
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