'Jesus Christ Superstar' opens this weekend

Many people have their own beliefs about the Bible and the events that occurred in Jesus Christ’s life.

Jan Kuntz, director of the Stage Coach Players’ production of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” hopes her production will help audiences gain a better understanding of what Christ experienced in his final days.

“It’s a true story that everybody knows, so trying to bring that to life when everyone has their own interpretation of that story is really interesting,” she said.

Adapted from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical from the late 1960s, “Jesus Christ Superstar” focuses on the relationship and tension between Jesus Christ and Judas, his betrayer, during the last week of Christ’s life.

“We really get to delve into their minds and into their hearts and see what choices they are making at that point in time,” Kuntz said.

Gavin Wilson, who plays Jesus in the production, said the musical brings out Christ’s inner struggles as he prepares for his crucifixion to save humanity.

“I would say this is a direct telling of what it’s like for Christ to be a man and Son of God at the same time,” he said.

Throughout the musical, Christ is torn between his duty as the Son of God and his human emotions, which leave him conflicted about why he has to die, said Wilson.

Kuntz said she realizes not everyone has the same beliefs about Christ or his final days, which is why she has treated the musical and its story so delicately.

“I’ve been very careful in working not to offend anyone throughout this experience because religion is intensely personal,” she said.

For those who may not be very religious, Wilson said the musical and its characters still are relatable.

“If you choose to not believe even a little bit, you could stay on any side you wanted,” he said.

In addition to presenting a strong message of freewill and forgiveness, Kuntz said the musical also can be a fun experience for audiences.

“It’s definitely a show where even though it’s powerful and sometimes difficult to watch, it’s also entertaining,” she said.

Wilson said he and the cast, and even the community are anticipating an unforgettable show.

“I think there’s lots of excitement because it hasn’t been done in awhile, but also because it’s so powerful,” he said.

Kuntz said the production definitely will leave a strong impact on audiences.

“Because of the power and the passion of the story, it’s told beautifully,” she said. “The actors are incredibly committed to their characters, and they will give you a performance that will leave you conscious for days.”

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If you go

What: Stage Coach Players' "Jesus Christ Superstar"

When: 7:30 p.m. March 14 to 16 and March 21 to 23, 2 p.m. March 17 and 24

Where:Stage CoachTheater,126 S. Fifth St., DeKalb

Tickets: $15 adults, $12 children (12 and younger)

Information: www.stagecoachplayers.com

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