Godspell Character Descriptions
Casting notes: The original production of GODSPELL was performed by a cast of five men and five women. While many productions have been done with a different gender balance or with more or less people, the script reflects the original cast breakdown.
In the script, other than the characters of Jesus and John the Baptist, the characters are called by the first names of the original cast members. (For purposes of the program, the first names of the actors in each individual production may be substituted.) In any given production, each actor will bring his or her own personality traits to the character, but it is helpful for the director to look for certain salient personality characteristics when casting each role. This allows the individual cast members to be different enough from one another for the audience to distinguish them, and it makes the specific assignments of lines in the script make sense from a personality and character arc point-of-view.
In addition to each individual being able to stand out, it is important that all be able to function as an ensemble, without feeling like anyone (other than Jesus) stands out above the others. Other important traits to look at in casting are comic ability and skill at improvisation.
Anna Maria: A bit of a tomboy, but basically open and sweet. Perhaps the youngest of the group. She is the first of the group to commit to following Jesus in the song "Day by Day."
Celisse: The female equivalent of the class clown. Goofy and a cut-up. In the 2012 Broadway revival, she played several instruments, including conga, ukulele and guitar.
George: The comedian, the class clown. The guy who can do a hundred voices and imitations.
Jesus: Must be the most charismatic individual in the cast. High energy, charming, funny, gentle but with strength. He is the sort of person others instinctively follow.
John the Baptist/Judas: He has attributes of both Biblical figures: He is both Jesus' lieutenant and most ardent disciple and the doubter who begins to question and rebel. Like Jesus, he is also charismatic, but in more of an overt revolutionary way. Usually played by someone handsome and masculine, with an undertone of sexuality. He is the most "serious" and intellectual of the group, though as with all the actors, he mus still possess a good sense of physical comedy.
Lindsay: The confident one, the show-off. The first one to volunteer, sometimes she jumps in before she really understands what's going on.
Nick: Very high energy. Impish and playful. In the original, he played several musical instruments, including concertina, recorder and guitar.
Telly: Not the brightest in the bunch, he is a little slow on the uptake. But there is a great sweetness and innocence about him. Because he sings "All Good Gifts" he must be a very good singer.
Uzo: The shy one. Sometimes a little slow to get things, but when she does, she commits all the way. Has an "earth mother" kind of warmth to her.