April 15, 2003
INFORMATION: Sue Bozman or John McElwain, (661) 362-3415 or 3494
Cast, Producers Putting Super Effort into 'Jesus Christ Superstar'
A strong blend of amateur and professional performers are working towards raising the College of the Canyons Theatre Departments production of Jesus Christ Superstar to new heights.
This is a huge production, not something typically seen on a community college campus, said director Mark Salyer. Its challenging not only for the message it delivers but also in the effort it requires from everyone involved.
The figure of Jesus is being portrayed by Ben Benefield, a graduate of the Academy of Film and Television whose first love is writing music. Benefield conducted his first symphony at age nine and has written eight full-length musicals, two of which have been produced. Joining the cast as Mary is Ever Fecske, who recently returned from a three-episode stint on the FOX-TV drama Boston Public, where she played opposite American Idol finalist Tamyra Grey. Cast member and Valencia High School graduate Mia Jones also has TV credits to her background, including appearances on Hill Street Blues and Thirtysomething as well as in numerous commercials. Other cast members run the gamut in experience in theatre performance from years to months.
This is an amazing group of diverse individuals, said Salyer of the cast. Audiences will be stunned by their ability.
The talent doesnt stop on the stage, though, as a highly talented collection of professional producers and designers have thrown their collective knowledge behind Superstar.
This really is a true collaboration between all the performing arts departments at College of the Canyons, and a number of professional designers, said Theatre Department chair Susan Hinshaw. Its just a big show.
Included in this group is costume designer Richard Bostard, who has twenty years of experience, including work on Cats and Phantom of the Opera. Julie Ferrin makes her debut with College of the Canyons as sound designer. Ferrin has won numerous nominations and awards for her recent efforts, which include work on more than 70 productions in the Los Angeles area in just the past six years. Richard Taylor and Wes Peelle have put together a dynamic, moving lighting package that will surprise and delight. Both Taylor and Peelle have years of experience working for Angstrom Stage Lighting and Production Services in Hollywood.
Regular College of the Canyons staff and faculty have also been adding the full weight of their experience to the production. Brodi Steele is in charge of both set design and technical direction while KC Manji, as music director, and Shannon Levy-Heath, as choreographer, have been pooling their professional wisdom and look to amaze audiences with the musical and dance intricacies of this rock-opera.
I think audiences will be thrilled by the effort that has gone into Jesus Christ Superstar, said Salyer, who has dozens of directing credits himself. Everyone involved is giving everything they have to make it a hit.
Superstar will run May 8 through 11 at 8 p.m. each night in the College of the Canyons amphitheater. Admission is free. For more information, call (661) 362-5070.