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"Jesus Christ Superstar" Rocks!

On Halloween our Upper Schoolers opened their fall musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” and it’s safe to say it was a production unlike any seen before at Dell Fine Arts Center. Director Rick Garcia’s interpretation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber rock opera had 54 performers and 25 technicians executing incredibly creative and complicated feats of aerial dancing, flying, and body percussion. The lead roles of Jesus (Ethan Hanna ‘20, Will Snider ‘20) and Judas (Eugenia De La Garza Montfort ‘21, Emma Williams ‘19) were double cast, providing our many talented performers an opportunity to shine while easing the demands of a six-show schedule - not including the two preview performances for our alumni and Middle School.
Ethan Hanna ‘20, who played Jesus, said he auditioned for this production because “The musical is a great community of people that I wanted to be a part of. I also wanted to challenge myself in a different way than I ever had before.”

Emma Williams ‘19, who played Judas, reflected on her favorite scenes, “Although they were some of the most sad and dramatic….I believe that Judas's humanity was evident in these. In ‘The Last Supper,’ Judas has an argument with Jesus, but is really trying to get him to understand that he believes she is acting for his good. In ‘Judas's Death,’ Judas struggles with her feelings toward Jesus and must face the reality that she has betrayed her best friend, and that she feels cheated and misunderstood by God's predetermined plan.”

When asked to name an unsung hero from the production, Eugenia De La Garza Montfort ‘21, who played Judas, exclaimed, “Mrs. Peggy Keelan, Kevin Keelan’s mom, because she's our rock. She's basically Superwoman because not only did she keep everything in check, she also made our schedules for each week, made sure we were always well fed, helped our director Mr. Rick Garcia with organizing everything, ordered our t-shirts, took a ton of pictures (she took around a thousand per rehearsal or show), was always there when we needed something, and a lot more. We are all super thankful for her.”

Emma acknowledged her fellow seniors, saying, “Being in the ensemble of any musical is extremely hard, tedious work, and I have so much respect and admiration for the seniors that have been loyal to the musical program all four years of high school. They participate not because they crave recognition, but because they truly love doing musicals. They give the same, if not more, effort as all of the leads, and get much less recognition. I love them!”

Ethan added, “Ms. Cate Gasco did so much work with me behind the scenes on the very difficult music and she made the whole cast sound amazing!”

Eugenia’s advice for students who are intimidated about auditioning for the musical says, “Go for it! You don't lose anything; you can only gain from this experience. Whether you get in or not, you've already learned how to slate, how to perform a song with character, a monologue, or even a dance. I know that auditioning can be scary and intimidating, but it's important to remember that the musical gives you a second family. One that will accept you for who you are and who you want to be. It's a community that shares a passion for performance, music, and art, and it's something special for every person who's part of it. So I encourage you to audition, and even if you don't get in, you can only grow and try again.”

Just because the fall musical is over, doesn’t mean our student artists are done performing. Ethan and Eugenia recently made the TPSMEA All-State Choir and will perform with that ensemble in January 2019 (read the story here). Eugenia is also in Acting class, working on their play, "The Curious Savage," which runs the first weekend of February 2019. Emma is also flexing her acting muscles, “Right now, I am in the thick of memorizing hundreds of lines for the two senior-directed plays I'm acting in that open in January. Though it is hard work, I am glad that I never have to worry when my next artistic fix will come.”

Many thanks to our parent volunteer photographer Peggy Keelan!
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  • Lower & Middle School

    1112 West 31st St.
    Austin, TX 78705
    Lower (512) 299-9800
    Middle (512) 299-9850
  • Upper School

    5901 Southwest Pkwy.
    Austin, TX 78735
    (512) 299-9700

Located in Austin, Texas, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private co-ed elementary, middle and high school for grades K-12. Students benefit from dedicated faculty, a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.