By Konnor Newton, Student Journalist
Part of the curriculum for NESCom’s Musical theatre performance class is to take on a roll in a musical. It’s a good way for students who have had a desire to get involved with stage productions, but never acted on them to give it a shot while earning college credits. This year’s performance will be the 1970’s rock opera: Jesus Christ Superstar, a depiction of Jesus Christ set in the present day and portrayed as a rockstar.
Playing the supporting and controversial role of Judas is Joe Lambert, a Sophomore video production student. Lambert has been involved with theatre since he was 10 years old. His past roles in musical theatre specifically, include the Wizard from the Wizard of OZ and Jud Fry in Oklahoma. Lambert says he signed up for the class looking to expand his experience with musicals, and he ended up landing himself his most complex and challenging role to date. Vocally and emotionally the role of Judas has pushed the limits of Lambert’s theatrical prowess.
“Most people would see Judas as the villain, but in this production at least, the audience really sees the drive behind Judas’ betrayal and it comes from the idea that he really in the end, wants to do good.”
Many who know Lambert would consider him and altogether chipper and upbeat guy. In this performance however, Lambert explores a wide range of troubling emotions. Including resentment, anger, even borderline insanity. Lambert explains that the persona he has created for his character is not just turned on at the drop of a hat, it takes him a number of minutes alone brooding and recalling as many sad and angering memories as he can. A process that can become taxing, but will ultimately pay off when he is able to get on stage and portray this role he has worked so hard on.
The cast itself has gone through its share of struggles having lost 3 key actors in the past two months leading up to the performance. Lambert explained that having worked with a number of casts and stage companies in the past, he’s extremely proud of his castmates for having stepped up and overcome the adversity dealt to them. Especially considering many of the cast members have had little to no theatrical experience prior to this show. Because of this especially Lambert feels he needs to put his all into this performance in support of those who had to step up last minute push their skill levels to the limit.
Catch a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Gracie Black Box Theatre at Husson University:
Friday, April 15th 7:30PM
Saturday, April 16th 2PM & 7:30PM
Sunday, April 17th 2PM