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BWW Blog: The Godspell Cast of 2032: Where Are They Now?

The Godspell Cast of 2032 can be seen on Netflix’s Stranger Things, on tour with Hamilton, and in Mrs. Doubtfire on Broadway.

BWW Blog: The Godspell Cast of 2032: Where Are They Now?

If you are anything like me, you probably watched Netflix's movie remake of the 2018 Broadway musical The Prom this past weekend. In the movie, Andrew Rannells' character Trent books a non-union tour of Godspell, and the cast help tell the story through song and dance. Aside from The Prom's mentioning of Godspell, it was also the first live show to be approved by Actor's Equity Association during the COVID-19 pandemic, which played at the Berkshire Theater Group in Massachusetts. All of this babble of Godspell reminded me of the 2011 Broadway revival, which played at the Circle in the Square Theatre from 2011-2012. This production of Godspell holds a very special place in my heart, as it was the first time I ever auditioned for a Broadway show. In 2012, producer of Godspell Ken Davenport (Once On This Island, Kinky Boots) announced that he would be holding an open-call audition for children ages 6-16 to be cast in a special encore number at the end of the show. Over 500 Broadway hopefuls attended the open-call, 50 were called back, and only 10, as well as one swing, were cast in the special performance. Although I did not make the cut, I was asked to stay until the final dance callback and I remained friends with the majority of the cast. Next year will mark nine years since the Godspell Cast of 2032 blessed the Circle in the Square Theatre, and it is remarkable to see how their one-night performance prophesied their careers. The Godspell Cast of 2032 can be seen on Netflix's Stranger Things, on tour with Hamilton, and in Mrs. Doubtfire on Broadway.

Ken Davenport is the mastermind behind the Godspell Cast of 2032, "It was [my idea]...but it was inspired by a similar event I witnessed when I was working on the Broadway production of Grease in 1994. They did a "future cast" as well. It worked because so many kids knew Grease. I remember thinking, Godspell is the same, and it could work for us too."

BWW Blog: The Godspell Cast of 2032: Where Are They Now?Davenport was exactly right: Godspell is known by hundreds of people, and that was reflected by the amount of people who attended the open-call audition. "There were so many more people than we ever could have imagined! Lines wrapped around the block! It was so exciting to see so many kids who dreamed about being on Broadway." When asked what he remembers from the audition process, Davenport said, "Gaten Matarazzo. Within 10 seconds of seeing him do this thing, I knew he'd go on to be a star." Broadway producer Jennifer Ashley Tepper (Be More Chill), who was working for Davenport as his Director of Promotions, also reflected on her time working on the Godspell Cast of 2032. "It was so exciting to be one of the people in charge of facilitating this gigantic audition held at a Broadway theater. About 1,000 young people came to Circle in the Square and lined up in the alleyway and lobbies in order to have a chance at one of the ten spots...I spent all day and night running around the theater keeping things running, chatting with kids and parents, peeking in the auditorium and hearing several incredible moments, like Gaten Matarazzo at age 9 belting out 'Grenade'!" said Tepper.

BWW Blog: The Godspell Cast of 2032: Where Are They Now?While Gaten Matarazzo may be the most recognizable Godspell cast member, Danny Ward (Judas), Montana Byrne (Anna Maria), Jon Viktor Corpuz (Telly), and Holly Block (Swing/Dance Captain), have been taking Broadway, TV, film, and the music industry by storm. These cast members share their experience making their quote on quote Broadway debuts, and reveal what they have been up to since their 2012 performance.

Danny Ward, now 24, was 16 when he booked the role of Judas. "I am the oldest member of the cast, so after my Godspell Cast of 2032 experience, I went back to a normal life of sorts, performing locally at community and regional theatres. I decided to not pursue theatre after highschool, as I wanted to transition my passions to work on the business and marketing side of the entertainment industry. I was a Communications/Marketing major at Fairfield University in Connecticut, and now I work in the music industry! I am not performing any longer, but working in the industry still gives me the adrenaline I once experienced being a performer." While Ward does not perform anymore, "...[M]y experience being in the Godspell Cast of 2032 is EASILY the coolest thing I have ever done in my entire life. Booking the role of Judas...really showed me that dreams can be achieved and anything is possible. For years I had worked for a moment like the Godspell Cast of 2032. Even in my current life, when I have my own doubts and/or personal struggles, I remember that at the age of 16 I had achieved something so special and unbelievable."

BWW Blog: The Godspell Cast of 2032: Where Are They Now?Montana Byrne, now 22, was 13 when she booked the role of Anna Maria. "This was a huge deal for me because I grew up watching her on Hannah Montana and Camp Rock. I looked up to her because she provided representation for Filipina women. I was excited to play her because she showed me [that] people [who look] like me [can] be successful in show business!" Since then, Byrne, "...[C]ontinued to be very involved in the theater and film industry until [she] was 17. I went on to work for Netflix, Nickelodeon, Disney, PBS, and HBO. I still say yes to opportunities, but I am more focused on my singer-songwriter career now. My debut EP is coming out in 2021 and I have three singles out and a Christmas single coming out mid December!" When asked how being in the 2032 Cast has impacted her life and career today, Byrne shared, "I got a lot more work and recognition after this. However, I am most grateful for the message of unity, harmony, and peace this show represents. I am very careful in my songwriting now to only put out art that is going to heal people. It is a full circle [moment] for me to look back at Godspell and realize that I was a part of a show that radiates healing energy. It's almost like it was foreshadowing for what I'm trying to do now with songwriting." You can find Byrne's music at Montana Janel on all streaming platforms, and her socials are all @montanajanel.

BWW Blog: The Godspell Cast of 2032: Where Are They Now?Jon Viktor Corpuz, now 24, was 15 when he booked the role of Telly. After Godspell, Corpuz went on to play a Rude Elemental in Julie Taymor's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Patrick in the 2014 Radio City Christmas Spectacular, he originated the role of Prince Chulalongkorn in the 2015 Broadway revival of the King and I, and before the coronavirus pandemic, he was starring as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton in the first national tour of Hamilton. For Corpuz, who is originally from Tampa, Florida, being in the 2032 Cast had a huge impact on his life and career. "It was the catalyst to get me to go to New York. If that hadn't happened, I would not have moved to New York. I booked things not immediately after I moved, but fairly soon after. I just think the chain of events was a momentum that I wouldn't have had if I didn't do [the Godspell Cast of 2032]."

Holly Block, now 21, was 12 when she booked the role of a Swing/Dance Captain. "I was the swing, so I had to learn every part, even Jesus" said Block. "After Godspell and [touring the Tri-state area with] The New Kid, I was in various productions at Tarrytown Music Hall. I attended Circle in the Square Theatre Conservatory straight out of high school, taking the lead role as Christina Mundy in Dancing at Lughnasa, and I graduated in 2019. I'm also part of an Off-Broadway Theatre Company called Animus, and I've done several staged Off-Broadway readings such as The Philadelphia Story. I will also be in the Off-Broadway show One Night Only July 2021 originating the role of Kendra. I'm currently getting Safe & Sound, my own musical that I co-wrote with Elizabeth Jerjian from London, UK off the ground, with one of our songs from the show recently being licenced by NBC. You can check out our website www.safeandsoundmusical.com for any updates." Being cast as the Swing/Dance Captain not only helped Block build a foundation for her life as an actress, but it also helped her with her academics. "It was the turning point in everything for me. School ripped away my identity being severely dyslexic and [my teachers] weren't encouraging at all, many of them were the biggest bullies. There were a few that stood by me and saw my talent, but my school experience was horrible for my self esteem and my soul. The Godspell Cast of 2032 gave me my identity back, and it gave me something to focus on. I ended up graduating with Honors because this opportunity changed my life in ways I can never find [the words] to describe. This is proof that the Arts in school are not a luxury but a necessity. I'm so grateful to Ken Davenport for seeing something in me and giving me this opportunity. I'm so excited to see what the cast of Godspell 2032 will do as the next generation [of Broadway stars]. My plan is, if someone won't produce the Godspell Cast of 2032 in the future, I, Holly Block, will."

BWW Blog: The Godspell Cast of 2032: Where Are They Now?In 2012, Davenport made this statement, "Godspell has always had a tradition of launching the next generation of stars. From the cast members of the original productions like Martin Short, Victor Garber, Andrea Martin, Jeremy Irons and so on, to the cast members of our current production who I have no doubt you'll be hearing a lot from in the years to come. So we decided, why not get a preview of tomorrow's Broadway stars?." How was Davenport so confident in knowing that the Godspell Cast of 2032 were soon-to-be Broadway stars? "It takes more than talent to be successful", said Davenport. "It takes an incredible amount of passion. And to wait in line for hours, rehearse after school, on weekends, just for one chance to appear on a Broadway stage? That kind of effort always gets rewarded." While the Godspell Cast of 2032 was rewarded in 2012, they continue to be rewarded in 2020, and without-a-doubt will be rewarded in the future. At a time like now, where the dark coronavirus has affected all of us, it is important to remember a message from Godspell's song Beautiful City: Can we see a ray of hope? Yes we can! We can build a beautiful city!

Check out the Godspell Cast of 2032's performance via this YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgXa44RP_Uc

Check out the Godspell Cast of 2032's performance with Miranda Sings via this YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuAyXxvcy-4

Check out Broadway Producer Ken Davenport's blog via this link: www.theproducersperspective.com




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From This Author Student Blogger: Kyle Morales